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"We were warned" huh? Yeah...you got that right.
Yep, that's right. I'm putting the Roland Emmerich 'epic' in the B-movie category. Why? Because it there is no better place for it!
This may be the biggest budget B-movie in history! I laughed, I cried (with laughter) and I laughed some more and I got the overwhelming desire to watch the original film that this one was most obviously based, When Worlds Collide
For anyone who may have somehow missed the film or the hype that went along with it...
Turns out the Mayans had it right all along. Somehow they knew that in the year 2012 a special alignment of the planets (which isn't going to happen by the way, at least not like in this film) combined with the sun getting REALLY active and shooting neutrinos at us, which it already does all the time by the way, (neutrinos pass through matter with almost no interaction) but this alignment or the severity of the solar eruption is changing the harmless particles to something new and different and in the long run pretty darned deadly. See they are heating up the Earth's core. This is bad. The core gets so hot that it actually starts to melt the crust of the Earth. This brings about some nasty fluidity of the geological plates and some destruction ensues. Now, though it is never explained as such, I guess the solar eruptions are happening all over the sun and shooting out these particles in every direction because they somehow bombard the Earth constantly for at least 3 years, starting in 2009.
Anyway... 2012 and the real silly stuff starts.
The Governments of the world were made aware of Earths impending doom and went about building "arcs". These of course are filled with animals, plants, works of art and genetically chosen people as well as anyone willing to spring for a seat at the bargain price of 1 million Euros!
Well our 'hero' Jackson Curtis (John Cusack), a not so successful author and divorced father of two (One of which is named Noah, Ha..get it?!), discovers the truth thanks to happenstance. A visit to Yellowstone and tuning into the radio broadcast of one Charlie Frost (Woody Harrelson). Charlie is what you might call a nut. Conspiracy theorist to the max and broadcasting out of his RV to tell the people the truth about Kennedy, aliens, cloning, and the end of the world. On this last one it turns out he is right.
Well, after a few nasty quakes rock California Jackson decides to agree with Mr. Frost and rushes to save his kids, ex-wife (Amanda Peet) and her husband.
Thus begins the first of many races to just
stay ahead of the disaster! It is amazing how you some people have the lucj to be able to drive exactly
just fast enough to keep the collapsing earth right behind there tires despite having to drive through fences, yards, avoid obstacles including cars, people, falling freeways, and the obligatory fruit cart.
The rag-tag group get to the airport where Jackson has hired a plane but of course the pilot gets killed in some mysterious manner. Hard to say how since the earthquake was obviously behind the car and they hadn't gotten to the airport yet and since the airport tends to be away from a lot of things that can fall on you...well, anyway he's dead.
Guess what! New husband, Gordon (Tom McCarthy) has had flying lessons! What luck! Into the undamaged plane, again what luck! As the plane makes it's way down the runway that damned crack in the Earth shows back up. Whatever skill Jackson had in outrunning it is communicable because good old Gordon manage to do it as he keeps the place ahead of it and takes off! OK, in all honesty he didn't exactly outrun it completely. The ground actually does fall away but since it IS a plane..well, it flies. Nowhere close to out of the woods yet Gordon has to fly the plane through downtown as he has not managed to gain enough altitude.
Now I really have to pause from my snarkiness and say in all seriousness I have a real issue with the the scenes that follow. As the plane is dodging collapsing buildings we get several shots of the occupants clinging for their lives and plunging to their deaths all the while the 'heroes' look on with a sort of "Wow! Did you see that?" expression. The horrific death scenes are played for laughs! WTF? I'm sorry, but showing a couple of brief scenes of crying kids as they witness the destruction does not excuse the lack of remorse from the rest of the cast.
Well, logically Jackson feels that they need to get back to Yellowstone and find Charlie. He has the answers and a map of where the Government is building the arcs!
They find Charlie as Yellowstone, a sight of a HUGE super-volcano, (That's true..Look it up) erupts! The worlds biggest volcano explodes in a cataclysmic (looking) explosion of fire and ash, and the shock wave does nothing more than knock Charlie off his feet. Again..Um, yeah.
Back in the plane Gordon manages to take flight and, yes my friends once again, JUST makes it out of the enveloping ash cloud. Whew!
You know.. I could go on but what is the point. The tall and skinny of it is, Jackson and clan make to the China (where they built the arcs) sneak on board, almost ruin the chances of the ship surviving, manage to rescue the ship, and all the while Dr. Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor), I haven't mentioned him have I? Sorry. He is one of the ones trying to do the morally right thing, while he pontificates about being human and quoting Jackson's book about how not to lose ones humanity. All good points. Bad movie.
Somewhere in all of this we meet the President (Danny Glover), Helmsley's dad and friend (Blu Mankuma & George Segal) who are a couple of lounge singers on the cruise ship 'Genesis'. (Genesis? Really? Who the hell would name a cruise ship 'Genesis'? "Genesis? Genesis allowed is not! Is planet forbidden!"
In the end, 3 arcs survive and after about a month the weather turns nice again and Africa is above water. The human race is saved.
I always thought, like most people I think, that the title 2012
was in reference to the year that the film was to take place. I think that is a misconception. It's the count on cliches.