Posted on 11/15/09 04:01 PM
Oh no! The world is ending, wait a minute, this is a Hollywood film, stick near Cusack and we'll be fine. Roland Emmerich's "2012" is another of his end of the world scenario films with John Cusack at it's helm as Jackson, the failed optimistic novelist.Far away from Cusack is the real reason why the world's about to end deep in space as the world is on a coarse to align with all the planets causing a massive solar flair to burst from the sun. The government knows of the impending doom but decides to tell no one until the day of the planet's date with the microwave. Reports of giant cracks in the earth are popping up everywhere and earthquakes are a normal part of daily life. Back to Cusack though, for some reason a failed novelist is the main character in a film that seems to want to cover the military and government aspects of the world near the brink of annihilation. What is there to say about Cusack, he's a hero who can out-drive an earthquake somehow. I am supposed to believe it because Hollywood shoves it down my throat that in disaster movies if you are the main character you can jump over a tsunami and laugh in the face of a super volcano without getting hurt.
One thing I liked about this movie is John Cusack doing what he can to try and fit the role as a failed novelist which he has already done in 1408. I don't know how a failed novelist fits the quota of being an action hero as Cusack is "put through the ring of fire" so to speak in going head first into disaster only to come out safe. He seems like the perfect choice to be a failed novelist, he is easy with a bottle in his films, he breaks a smile every time a pig flies and he has the demeanor of a man who could wear a poker face while watching George Carlin stand-up. All together, John Cusack is a cold cowboy of film who I enjoy as an actor.
Also Danny Glover is in this film as the President of the United States which is essentially a dream come true for a fan of his in Predator 2 and more notably the Lethal Weapon series as Murtaugh, the over-the-hill cop trying to get his Mel Gibson(or partner for all of you who still think Mel Gibson is human.) under control. Glover's role in the scheme of 2012 is a sad, fallen hero of the American people, willing to accept the cold reality that his countrymen will fall to the forces of nature that threaten his people. What makes his character so admirable is his unwavering commitment to helping the men and women left behind in the wake of tsunamis closing in rapidly after numerous mega earthquakes shift the tectonic plates hold his country together. Like the captain of the Titanic, he would not leave his sinking ship, but unlike the captain, he did everything that he could to help the remaining people outside the whitehouse to the very last moment.
On another realm, there is the bad aspects of this film like the highly derivative nature of this film's make-up. The entire film I could not stop pointing out scenes from other disaster movies such as Independence Day, Day After Tomorrow and Titanic. Like when Cusack and his family were outrunning an explosion in a plane. It was exactly the same as when the president's plane was outrunning the explosion in Independence Day. Also, Danny Glover's character is like that of a more helpful version of the Captain of the Titanic, a man whose connection to their place in life means that in the face of trouble they are unwilling to "jump ship." It's like a person sitting on a chair with a fire underneath it, except the person doesn't want to move. This film suffers from severe un-originality.
This film is also what I like to call an angel in cliche heaven, jumping over fires and escaping near death every single scene of action in the movie. Think of John Cusack as a person you can lodge over a cliff and somehow his hand appears at the edge of the cliff and he pulls himself up. How could a failed novelist do this? I don't know, he probably just took pilades and mountain climbing classes. But that's not the end of it, apparently John Cusack is so fast that he can not only outrun an earthquake happening under his feet, but he can catch up to an airplane near liftoff. Just because he is the main character, it does not mean he has to have every action hero cliche in the unwritten book of wannabe Rambos cliches. I like to think of people as human, what would be wrong with seeing him get injured or burned or at least fucking something happen to him. Because according to this movie if you give John Cusack a limo he can drive through an active super earthquake and survive the ground being swallowed while everyone else on the road dies. That is fucking bullshit!
I give Roland Emmerich's 2012 no thumbs for being every other disaster movie that came before it. To the single kid in the front row clapping, stop that! You look like a monkey pleased to see a banana and the director does not hear you claps.