Roland Emmerich is the master of disaster. He has wiped out LA, parts of NYC and many other places in his previous movies, which boast bigger and badder scenes of destruction. Mayhem is his middle name and each year, he comes up with something else to wipe out or threaten the survival of the human race.
2012 is his latest offering, which combines his trademark ingredients of a collection of A-grade stars plus another bunch of B+ stars (cheaper to hire?) and what tickled me most – a local talent in the form of Chin Han, who actually makes it to the credits and the IMDB website for this show! Kudos to the journeyman who has rubbed shoulders with the megastars in Batman and now this.
The premise is not unfamiliar to us, Earth is about to be destroyed, of course having used up Godzilla, Aliens, and the weather, he reaches deeper into his rather shallow thinking box to combine apocalyptic events with a event twist, whilst throwing in stories of old, including the Great Flood and the Ark. I doubt if the fans would be too worried about the story arc, and would be more impressed by how he chooses to blow up various capitals around the whilst.
If all this movie was about was merely a few scenes of explosions and mayhem thrown together, I doubt if it would have found much success at the box office (actually it is still just that, some quiet scenes between the big blow-ups). In many of his movies, he adds what he considers a human element, and sometimes it adds the dimension of fragility (see Dennis Quaid in Day After Tomorrow) and it can also be the clowning hero (see Will Smith in Independence Day) and John Cusack belongs to the former genre, being able to be a hero in the anti-hero mould. We see parallels to Dennis Quaid’s role, as separated father, someone who does not see action as an instinct, and a bit of a down and out loser, albeit a clever one, whose one claim to fame prior to this was a book which sold less than 600 copies.
But the all-American will always rise to the challenge, especially when the waters are rising even faster. He has to save his family, even the step-dad replacing him and also save a few others along the way. We do see his limitations, and unlike the Rambo or Arnie models, he does not single-handed save the world, which is a better touch than the ridiculous idea of a virus infecting the alien mothership. We see a variety of personalities as the movie develops, the intellectual geologist, the sanguine and self-sacrificing president, the practical all cut to the chase politician, the tough Russian trying all ways to save his twins and of course, our own Tenzin, the worker who saves his family and a whole bunch of others along the way, albeit a tad reluctant. I reckon he got a good 20 minutes of air time and plenty of dialogue too, so this should do his pay and his movie cred a lot of good.
Don’t expect too much for the plot, and enjoy the ride. 3/5 for the plot.
As a 2 hour block of fun, we are treated to a surround fest and this should be a good movie to demo the bass and surround system, with plenty of loud scenes to keep the hobbyists happy. Action 4/5
Amanda Peet is fine eye candy, but her role is not as juicy nor is she Megan Fox, so I give 2.5/5 for the chick factor.
Should you get this movie? If you liked his previous work, then you will consider owning this, but it is fun enough for at least a rental.
I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.