The earth is going to experience a big disaster, which potentially will end human civilisation, in 2012, according to the movie '2012' directed by Ronald Emmerich. It's one of the most stupidest movies I've ever seen, and I will gladly put it in the same category as the other stupid movie of all time - Armageddon. As a movie it failed totally to suspend my disbelieve and during the first hour I was fidgeting in my seat, both from annoyance and from boredom. Not only it failed to be believable, it also feels very cliché. The film feels like a mix of scenes of many different films, from Deep Impact, The Day After Tomorrow (another of Emmerich?s film), The Core, Poseidon, Water World to Discovery Channel's Yellowstone Supervolcano and Tom Cruise's War of the Worlds, without much of its own unique or interesting addition.
Riding on the infamous stupid internet hoax that says that the world is predicted to end in 2012 by the Maya people (which is wrong by the way, 21 December 2012 is just the end of a cycle of one Mayan calendar, which will be followed the next day by a new cycle, just like 31 December 2009 will be followed by 1 January 2010), it's basically a modern take of the old Bible story of Noah's Ark, where the earth experiences a huge deluge and humans make humongous vessels in which selected people, animal and human art and culture are kept safe during the flood to rebuild the civilisation post disaster. The reason behind the inundation is a heightened sun activity, which causes the neutrinos to interact with matters instead of passing harmlessly as usual. This somehow causes the earth's core to heat up and boil and destabilises the crust, moving plates and creating mountains in a matter of hours instead of the usual millions of years, and this plate shuffling created huge earthquakes and truly giant tsunamis. I'm no physicist but if neutrinos can heat up the inner core which is solid by the way, and the outer core, in a matter of years, what would happen to us humans or the thin crust, for example? Surely we would have been burnt to oblivion long before the actual disaster depicted in the film?
But physicists are not the only ones who will have to sit aghast during the whole film. The hero of the day is apparently a geologist but as a geologist myself I had to sit during the whole film with my jaw dropped from disbelieve, such is the unbelievability and silliness of the film. Mr Emmerich, earth poles have reversed many times in its long history, but it takes thousands of years to happen, not days. And yes, the rocks at the top of the Himalaya were once at the bottom of the sea but it took millions of years to form the mountain. Granted, watching mountain forms in millions of years or people dying for years due to cancer from a too-strong sun activity will not make an interesting blockbuster, but some scientific credibility and accuracy can be included in a film and still make it interesting to watch. I was actually impressed by Deep Impact for example. And some with less believability and science accuracy like Kevin Costner's Water World (evolution does not work that way that fast, and also there's not enough water in the world to submerge the whole earth as deep as that) is still more enjoyable to watch as somehow you can suspend your disbelieve by an engaging story, or a good plot, deep characters and good acting, which are by the way missing entirely from this stupid movie. And talking about water - a tsunami as high as the Himalayas? Duh! Plus, when in the middle of the sea, tsunamis are not big, it gets bigger when it's nearshore. So for a big cruise ship to be capsized by a tsunami wave, it has to be nearshore not in the middle of the sea. Then there's the "magical" jet liner that can fly safely without engine problem in volcanic ash cloud, "super-strong" people who can stand the heat of a volcanic explosion without being burnt to death and "super fast" limousine which can run faster than an earthquake! Yeah, the plot holes make this film as water tight as a colander.
Probably the first thing that makes me hate the film, before all the ridiculous 'science', is the conspiracy theory. How could, in the globalisation era such is what we're experiencing now, people still believe that something as big as the core suddenly boiling beyond believe can be kept secret by the government? I mean, helloooooo, duh!! No matter how much power countries like the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and Japan have, there's no way they can keep this secret from all the different science institutions and scientists in the whole world and if they want everyone to keep their mouths shut then they will have to kill hundreds of thousands of people and it's just not possible. You read any newspaper and you'll see that in this modern world the press is very quick to catch potentially controversial things, even out of new researches by an obscure laboratory. So how can these governments keep determined journalists out of such a massive project as building giant ships, even if it's hidden in a remote place in a controlled country like China? Plus there are many oil companies conducting deep drillings for petroleum exploration; they will definitely pick up the change in earth temperature. Are these companies and the thousands of geologists working for them to be bribed to keep their mouths shut as well?
Then there's the cliché. Some of the scenes echo of scenes from other disaster movies: huge tsunamis hitting cities (Deep Impact), big ships brought ashore by water (The Day After Tomorrow), buildings destroyed, statues broken (The Core), car speeding through wrecks, trying to get away from 'the enemy' (War of The Worlds, though this time it's cracks on the earth surface, not aliens, they were running from), big ship capsized (Poseidon), son hated dad but then in the end thinks he is the hero of the day (War of the Worlds). Of course films can overlap in themes but I don't think this film brings anything new or unique that's worth to remember, it's just like a badly made sequel. The characters are undeveloped and paper thin, the acting unmemorable and the dialogues lame. And the annoying thing is, it's so damn cliché; you have a bad guy that has no heart and is really really bad, and then you have the good guy who fought for the right thing and in the end saves the day. Also you have this old guy who has not talked to his son for ages, then before the disaster came he realised what he's been missing and he called, and of course it was too late and he regretted it and everyone dies. Oh so lame. And of course the heroes get the girls, and the boy loves daddy in the end. You can even predict who will survive and who will die. This movie is definitely not just a run-of-the-mill disaster movie; it?s a disastrous movie as well.
Anyway, there's no use bitching and ranting much longer. I wish I hadn't paid the 8 dollar ticket; it was a waste of money. I was not even impressed with all the special effect depicting the destruction of the earth. I guess it's not my kind of film. But if you like senseless, over-the-top destruction and fast action, and do not demand any logical story plot, then it's probably a film worth watching (though the first hour is rather boring). If you want instead to watch a more thoughtful exploration of how humanity acts in the face of major calamity, better rent Deep Impact video and re-watch it.