Grandmother Sonam (Lisa Lu) with all American survivor a typically bland Amanda Peet)
The problem with CGI, is that the more, you are faced with "unreal computer" imagery, the less your emotions engage with the narrative and 2012 is crammed to the gunnel's with the most exciting, impressive yet ultimately vacuous scenes of disaster ever seen on film since the awful The day after tomorrow!
Los Angeles is crumpled like tissue paper and slides into the ocean, St Peter's in Rome collapses on thousands of fleeing nuns and the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio loses his outstretched arms in an earthquake that echoes around the world....add to the mix ,20 thousand feet tidal waves washing over the Himalayas, the White House being flattened by an American Navy aircraft carrier and Las Vegas being sucked literally into the ground and you will get the film's gist........namely MORE s definitely MORE!!!
Unfortunately Roland Emmerich who loves his disaster movies from the 1970s)....has thrown every effect known to computer Geekdom into this film, which is a shame, as the more you see the less you feel......He should have realised what the first rule of the disaster film is ....... and that is to make the audience care about the characters!!!!!!
Having said all that, I kind of enjoyed this three hour romp, (once I had disengaged my brain) and despite the rubbishy script, cardboard characters and end of the world platitudes...it actually worked as a piece of entertainment.
African American President (Danny Glover) his art lover daughter (Thandie Newton) and wonderfully righteous scientist (Chiwetel Ejiofor) make for likable passengers in the new high tech arks developed for the salvation of humankind (and are all black which makes a change for major disaster film characters!)....meanwhile the ordinary people- ( John Cusack) and his ex wife (with her boyfriend and two kids) travel from the US to China to join in the exodus with a motley group of survivors that comprises of a handsome Tibetan monk, his grandparents and a Russian bimbo with a small dog! -like you do!!!
2012 is pure rubbish.......but it does entertain in that typical disaster movie sort of way. Characters die, but they do sort of cleanly ( dont blink but passenger liner lounge singer George Segal drowns when in a homage to The Poseidon Adventure,( and a finger up to the movie Poseidon) his ship is capsized!)....but in the end most of your favourite characters make it to give it a go in the "brave new world"
I wanted to hate this movie but in the end I had to give it a begrudging and enjoyable 7.5 out of 10.....
Ps. I was thinking this morning about some of the not-so-subtle messages Roland Emmerich wanted to share in 2012, and I think that the single message seems to be centred around the concept of fatherhood! Historically Women have never really featured favourably in disaster films and this is especially true in all of Emmerich's movies. In 2012 the three women portrayed ( bland mom, bland president's daughter and bland Russian trophy wife) hardly get a look into the action and drama, and the main narrative drive is dominated by the father (and son) relationships of the piece...No less than 7 characters John Cusack,Thomas McCarthy,Danny Glover,Zlatko Buric,George Segal,Blu Mankuma and Jimi Mistry all have issues of resolution and love with their children (interestingly all but one sibling is male!)....I would love to be able to discuss this with the director himself to see where his motivations came from...Gawd I feel am back in my film degree assignment days.....where I could discuss the smallest motivation of a director for the whole assignment quota of 3,000 words!..... I am such a geek