2012 was a mess, but it wasn’t as bad of a mess as I expected. Normally I would not have seen this movie in the first place, both from the bad reviews I read of it and because of the “Killer Ice” in “The Day After Tomorrow” by the same director. When Ice chases people down corridors it is pretty ridiculous. So obviously I am not unbiased on this. This is actually worse; since I’m not really a fan of the Disaster Genre, or a fan of movies that exist for Special Effects. I mean, what’s the point? Do you want pretty things on screen or explosions? Well sure, I like explosions but its generally the context of the explosions and the story that matters to me. After all an explosion affecting a children’s hospital is a lot different than the evil alien spaceship.
The reason I don’t generally like disaster movies is because to me they’re the same thing as those people who slow down in the opposite lane of traffic to rubber neck at an accident. I HATE those people. How, exactly, does hoards and hoards of people dying constitute something artful and uplifting? Indeed, you could make more of an argument that horror decries the dangers of evil more than a disaster flick. Of course, the trope of a disaster movie is that it tries to show the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. I admit, I like this, a lot. And in that context, 2012 has some interesting things to say.
As a fit of destruction over and over again, it is utter rubbish. As a profound statement on the greed and disgusting behavior that humanity often exhibits, it is excellent. Thus, while I despise the genre, and the marketed purpose of the movie, it managed to have some winning points in spite of itself.
The basic premise of the movie is that secret Killer Nutrino Particles are heating up the Earth’s core to the point that it moves things around. The director decided to one up himself even more by pretending that science doesn’t even matter (like it ‘kind of did’ in the Day after tomorrow) and just say that India and China can move 2300 miles in one minute…just cause. Lots of people die. The heroes scatter from place to place trying to not die. They go to the secret location of the arcs and get on board. IE, pretty much the plot of Independence Day + Day After Tomorrow. This is their bastard step child.
The thing I like about the movie, however, is that the ‘lottery’ that takes place in Deep Impact is shown as the farce that it is. There is no lottery. There is no ‘best and the brightest’. They sold seats on the Humanity Gets to Survive boat…to rich people. Now, the movie brings up an interesting point. You can’t fund a multi trillion dollar project secretly using public funds. See, there are these things called laws, and you can’t move large amounts of money secretly without people noticing. Private people can. I find it interesting that they get the finance aspect right and the science so totally wrong and ridiculous.