The critics have given a mixed review on the latest disaster movie ‘2012’.It is a Science Fiction Columbia Pictures epic with the idea of the world coming to an end resulting in an apocalypse in the year 2012.
The International economic crisis has changed the themes of the movies being produced and directed portraying topics like abduction, Artificial Intelligence, aliens, apocalypse etc. The Mayans calendar cyclic end inspires the movie’s story, and a general picture of dooms day is seen throughout the entire movie. The special affects used in the movie could have been outstanding if backed by an equally excellent script.
The movies major theme concerns family values. Minor themes include the best of human nature winning out, helping others and handling difficult natural calamities followed by the shock. The movie 2012 is directed by Roland Emmerich and is written by Roland Emmerich and Harald Kloser.
The director Roland Emmerich is a shrewd operator and his other hits include the Independence Day, Patriot and Godzilla having a number of similarities. The character of Jackson Curtis, played by John Cusack, is a divorced limousine driver and a writer, while his children are living with his wife’s (Amanda Peets) new boyfriend. The star cast of the movie also includes Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
The story begins in Guatemala where mass suicides start to take place in Mayan jungle by locals in order to escape from the apocalypse. The Mayan Calendar system is comprised of readings through hard astronomical findings and considering time as circular (Hagee).
The Institute Of Human Continuity urgently responds and huge arks are made under the Himalayan Mountains to save humans and specific species. There is reasoning and heated arguments as to when the government will break the news of the Armageddon.
The movie continues and at this juncture Jackson meets Charlie Frost (radio host and blogger) believing that Mayans are right and it may be the end of the world. Cracks start to materialize in California, and the government keeps on persuading the public that there is no threat. Jackson goes to his kids and wife and her boyfriend (Gordon who apparently knows how to fly) and gathers his kin and see the runway crack beneath them.
They soon realize that the affected area is not only restricted to Los Angeles alone but its atrocities have expanded to Yellow Stones as well. A volcano erupts and the resultant ash cloud cuts through Las Vegas. Similarly, Washington D.C is hit by a massive tsunami which destroys the White House. The survivors Jackson Curtis and his kin must reach China to board on the ark to save themselves from the lethal tidal wave that is about to hit.
The use of characters and their roles is captivating but as this topic is not a new one so original idea seem to fade out at the end of the movie ‘2012’ starts looking like its predecessors like Independence Day etc which could be viewed as a weakness.
It has been prophesized that galactic tipping of the axis would take place. Also when the world’s clock passed December 31st 1999 to January 1st 2000 it was believed that all the computers would malfunction, utter chaos would materialize and the end of the world would take place (Hitchcock). The end of the planet Earth portrayed in the movie has made people believe and think differently refering to the end of civilization(Thompson).
In my view the movie 2012 lacks content and could have used a little more attention as far as the script is concerned or the way it was delivered. 2012 did not stand out like The Matrix or Armageddon and many other movies made on similar topics. The movie’2012’ is more like recycling other people’s ideas both old and new (Bradshaw 2009).
Bradshaw, Peter. 2012. November 13, 2009. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/nov/13/2012-film-review (accessed February 21, 2011).
Hagee, John. Can America Survive?: 10 Prophetic Signs That We Are the Terminal Generation. New York: howard books, 2010.
Hitchcock, Mark. 2012, the Bible, and the End of the World. Oregon: Harvest House Publlishers, 2009.
Thompson, Jason. International Men’s Day: The Making of a Movement. Soul Books, 2010.