November 13, 2009

2012 (The Year After Tomorrow A Year From Now)

**Warning. This review might seriously disillusion those six people left on earth who really like disaster movies. The rest of us have moved on to liking movies that are themselves disasters. Like Twilight.**

Let me begin this review by saying that I've written about Roland Emmerich before. Let me then follow this statement by saying that I have a mindcrushingly hard boner for John Cusack. Given these two things, you'd expect me to have a similarly large tent in my pants for this movie, right? Wrong. 2012 was actually kinda painful.

First, this is a Roland Emmerich film. You may know him as the guy who brought you ID4, The Day After Tomorrow, and that really crappy Godzilla movie. I know, he's not that big of a name among the breakfast cereal set, but he taps into a deep underlying passion at the heart of every American to see New York burned to the fucking ground, and he's usually pretty good at coming up with creative ways of doing just that. ID4 had aliens who used powerful laser beams capable of blowing the shit out of large buildings. The Day After Tomorrow had freezing tidal waves and environmental destruction. Godzilla had Mathew Broderick trying to pull off a Brooklyn accent, which on principle alone should have caused New York to fall into an angry, murderous pitchforked riot like people forced to watch George Lopez do standup. In this case, Emmerich came up with the idea of making a disaster movie about the Mayan 2012 apocalypse, which, accoriding to Emmerich, is caused by neutrinos from the sun which cause massive environmental damage and tidal waves. Waitafuckingminute. This sounds familiar.

Isn't this the exact same premise as Knowing (2009) staring Nicolas Cage who uses his power of numerology to predict the end of days?

Isn't this just The Day After Tomorrow, except with John Cusack instead of that guy in the hat from G.I. Joe? Haven't we seen the whole death-by-giant-wave thing before? Like here? Or here? Or even here?

The whole 2012 Mayan calendar thing isn't even there, either. This movie makes no mention of how the Mayans made their prediction, who made that prediction, why, or when. The movie may be named 2012, but it is named so only to cash in on a current cultural meme without actually having to make a movie that actually addresses any aspects of that meme. It's like taking a DVD of Towering Inferno and renaming it World Trade Center. Wait. Oliver Stone already did that.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love end of the world movies. There is something about the idea that the end is coming that really gets to people. But this movie doesn't even offer that. The main characters are too busy rolling initiative and jumping away from rocks the size of Roxanne's Tits to really reflect on the value of their lives. There is footage of people praying, so it seems that in the Emmerich-verse at least the people who are constantly dying in increasingly senseless ways are completely at ease with their respective gods as they do so.

And then, Emmerich tries to tack on this absolutely over-the-top preposterous Noah's Arc ending that is ripped, shot for fucking shot, from the ending of Fritz Lang's Metropolis. Of course, in Metropolis when the emotional lead character leads all the great unwashed little people to smash the machines that will keep the richer members of humanity alive, the filmmaker is really trying to show us how fucking retarded such populist pathos is, especially because everybody drowns as a result. Emmerich riffs off this scene with a straight face, and instead waves a magic wand and makes everything okay. Considering Emmerich had $250,000,000 to play with and Lang didn't have sound or color, and the Lang ending makes abso-fucking-lutely no fucking sense in this context, I'll just let my frustration speak for itself.

So, in my rage, I'll leave you with the one good end-of-the-world movie I've seen in the last week or so. Or ever. Probably ever.

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