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2012 Movie Poster

2012: Movie Review

Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rated: PG-13
Directed by:
Roland Emmerich
Starring: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oliver Platt, Thandie Newton, with Woody Harrelson and Danny Glover
Released by: Sony Pictures

In Short: Roland Emmerich's latest disaster flick may be cheesy, but the special effects make it a fun 2-1/2-hour ride.

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And "2012" Is Just Fine, for What It Is

Director Roland Emmerich just loves to destroy the world. The German-born Hollywood honcho began the blockbuster segment of his career back in 1996 with Independence Day, in which aliens were out to annihilate us humans and take over the earth. Then he unleashed Godzilla, followed by The Day After Tomorrow, which posited global warming as the world-destroying culprit. His latest, 2012, suggests that "neutrinos" released by the sun will cause our destruction from within, at the core level of poor Mother Earth.

One thing is certain about Emmerich's varying visions of destruction: he sure knows how to make his audiences scream with delight and fear at incredible images of upheaval. And that's the best part of 2012, too. Just watching the whole Los Angeles basin crumble into the ocean is worth the price of admission. Then add in awesome tsunamis, volcanic explosions, and the toppling of St. Peter's Basilica, and this disaster flick is an adrenaline junkie's dream.

2012 2012

Okay, so beyond the special effects, there's a pretty basic, hard-to-believe Hollywood-driven tale focusing on a single fractured family. John Cusack and Amanda Peet play divorced parents of two young kids, who have taken to her new boyfriend (Tom McCarthy) and pulled away from their dad. On a camping trip to Yellowstone, Dad and kids discover that something is not right in our world when they stumble across a massive government installation in the heart of the park.

Meanwhile, in Washington and around the globe, the heads of state know that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, and they are secretly creating ships built in China and designed to save a few lucky and mostly rich people. As the impending doom approaches and the world literally spins on its axis, an assortment of key players including a rich Russian and his twin boys, the U. S. president and his daughter, a slightly crazy radio talk show host, two old jazz musicians, and the scientists who first discovered the crisis all meet their fates.

2012 bounces us from one eye-popping sequence to another, which keeps the action moving despite its 2.5-hour running time. And while there are moments that are definitely cheesy, predictable, and cornball, the end result of this fast-paced flick is the feeling that you've just had your hair blown back on a fun E-ticket ride. And isn't that what going to the movies is all about?


Reviewed by Jenny Peters

Updated: (11/11/09 AR)

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