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Movie Review: "2012"

Written By: Harold Schossman

2009-11-08

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So, German Director Roland Emmerich is once again doing what he does best: destroying stuff. While he merely destroyed a few cities in "Independence Day," he dished out considerable more damage in "The Day After Tomorrow" by freezing the northern hemisphere of our planet. In his latest film "2012" he utterly destroys Planet Earth altogether. Awesome special effects showcase the biggest mayhem of destruction in a long time. Pretty cool, eh! Is it really? Can well done destruction suffice to make a good Thanksgiving blockbuster? No. It can’t.

What seems at first glance like an interesting plot offering a gratifying response to the question 'what if the world were to end' dissolves upon closer inspection into a poor array of scenes which bear no credibility whatsoever to the protagonist’s fate.

It is okay to have your key characters narrowly escape their impending doom, but Emmerich does it over and over again hoping to elicit suspense from the viewer in a somewhat cheap way. The fact that an extremely unskilled pilot weaves his plane elegantly through collapsing buildings is as insulting to the audience’s intelligence as are the scantily clothed heroes making their way across the Himalaya. The first necesseties of life like food and water are never mentioned.

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While John Cusack holds up pretty well his role as estranged father who finds his way back to his son throughout the adventure is a somewhat old clichè.

Some subplots are set up but never quite resolved. When a monk is left by his disciple who seeks refuge on an ark it is unclear why a single person stays behind and the one who is in tune with the universe is washed away. Emmerich says religion won’t save you yet at the same time uses religious icons as a solution as the united governments. or should I say the one world government builds, giant arks just like the biblical Noah to ensure survival of the super rich and a few scientists. (editor's note - It should also be noted that the film takes several, less that subtle shots at various religions, leaving only Islam unscathed.)

Now I respect Roland Emmerich as a filmmaker, he is very skilled and no doubt knows how to shoot big scenes impressively at low cost. But if you’re making a film that takes itself seriously which 2012 does storytelling needs to be credible as well.

If you’re into destruction, if you appreciate truly well done visual effects and don’t care too much about plot you’ll probably like 2012, but upon close inspection the inconsistencies are just too much for me, personally.

About The Author: Harold Schossman is our International News Corespondent and our resident Expert Videographer. He has worked in the entertainment industry for almost two decades. Be sure to check out his outstanding video work on his YouTube account.

http://www.youtube.com/user/hdeditor