Another disaster movie, but this one increases the devastation exponentially. In the movie, December 21, 2012 is the end of the world because it is the date where ancient Mayan calendar comes to a stop. The source of the calamity in this case is the sun and the synchronization of the planet in the solar system. Huge solar eruptions happen in the sun and the eruptions radiate the earth with neutrinos. These neutrinos somehow heat up or, as the movie says, microwave the core of the earth.
In other movies, normally some genius and macho scientists strive to do something to stop the disaster. In this case, however, nothing can be done to prevent the doomsday. So some country leaders are working in secret to prevent the humanity from being swept clean from the face of the earth. Of course, only certain people with special capability (and money) who are considered to be saved during the crisis. Governments around the globe are also working together to prevent the plan from leaking out to the public.
To make the movie more exciting, the movie focuses on the life of Jackson Curtis (John Cusack). He is an unsuccessful writer and a divorce dad with two children. During a camping trip with his children, he meets a hippie (Woody Harrelson) who somehow knows that the world is going to end and he knows the secret project that governments are doing to save the humanity (well, some of them). He even has a map of the location of the secret project.
Jackson thinks that the hippie is crazy at first, but then some chain of events starts happening which force him to believe. He manages to grab his ex-wife, her boyfriend, and his children to find a safe place as hinted by the hippie. This is the exciting part where Jackson and his companies run away from disasters by different means including foot, a limo, an RV, and airplanes (a big one and a small one).
The special effects are amazing. California slides into the ocean with trains flying and toll ways crashing down. Hawaii is consumed by lava. Magnificent volcanic eruptions. The destruction of Sistine Chapel. Tsunamis that affect even the highest landscape around the world. Some important casts do not survive the disaster, which also includes the US president (Danny Glover) being crushed by one of his aircraft carrier.
The casts are decent and they have performed well in general. The story itself is naturally weak. The source of the disaster is just some humpy dumpty science (although it is sufficient for this kind of movie). The safe haven is a bit ridiculous as well. “The engine can’t start because the gate does not close properly”. Yeah right, that is the stupidest reason I have ever encountered. The movie works when the casts are being chased by some disaster. However, when they start having lengthy discussions to each other, the movie becomes irritating. Some parts of the movie could be cut to shorten the duration, which more than 2.5 hours by the way.
In overall, this movie is quite enjoyable to watch during your spare time (if you have more than 2.5 hours to remind you again), especially if you like those crazy special effects with a lot of destructions and explosions. Expect nothing from the story though.
More information on 2012, the movie, can be found in:
- IMDB: 2012 (2009)
- 2012 official movie site
"Honey, don't look back!"