2012 could be described as the unofficial sequel to Deep Impact as both movies deal with the end of the world and the survival of human by government initiated programs, and in a way it’s a prequel to all those post-apocalyptic movie that refer to certain events that have occurred before the start of the film. But foremost it’s a movie that stand on its own and is the disaster movie to end all disaster movies, as the whole world goes to smithereens and we follow a select few that tries to make it to safety.
The people we follow is a cliche bunch: a father, divorced and estranged with from his kids, his ex-wife, her new husband and said kids. Guess who will end up together while whole world is destroyed. As much destruction we witness, we always leave these kind of movies with a sense of fulfillment because two people who belong together do end up together and estranged kids see how nice their dad is an dad sees how he neglected his children. It takes millions of deaths but at least on happy family is left. Brilliant how that works, Freud could write a library full about it.
We are watching this film for one thing: to see the Earth being destroyed with the best CGI available, and we get just that. Unfortunately it’s accompanied by multiple story-lines of people dealing with this disaster. Next to the broken family we get to see it through the eyes of the highest regions of the US Government, scientists, rich people, some old guy on a cruise, a monk and Woody Harrelson. Of course all these story-lines are the standard lines in movies like this: The president takes a stand and delivers heroic speeches and refuses to leave the sinking ship, rich people use money to buy them a place on certain safe places etc. Nothing new here, just the fact that the entire Earth is now the center of the disaster, rather than just a volcano located near a town, or a storm blowing some villages away.
Until the last 30 minutes I was actually enjoying this to my amazement. While over the top it was somewhat engaging. The movie did lose its credibility the last hour when it began to drag. This occurs when the broken family reaches the place where the governments are boarding the so-called save havens with literally thousands of people, who assumable all have paid a billion dollars each for a ticket. When this place also turns into place full of dangers for our protagonists I started scratching my head. The contraptions designed to withstand the destruction of the Earth are too stupid to be believed. Giant submarine-like ships with lots of to withhold them from floating away and best of all: they’re being build within the mountains in China. The goal: load everyone aboard these vessels, trow out the anchors and wait for the water to come. Who came up with this? If these sub-things are the solution, why not construct them near water, load everybody on the sub, head for deep waters, submerge, throw out the anchors and wait for the big waves to flow over and come to the surface again? Nope these guys have their vessels surround by mountains… smart.
2012 is simple popcorn entertainment which brings nothing new to the table. It’s fun to watch and pure escapism but that’s all there is to it.