“The moment we stop fighting for each other, that’s the moment we lose our humanity.”
The Scoop: 2009 PG-13, directed by Roland Emmerich and starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Chiwetel Ejiofor
Tagline: We Were Warned.
Summary Capsule: The world is going to end, and it’s up to a random collection of people to save… well, I guess as many people as they can, because it sure isn’t all of them.
Lissa’s rating: Run. Run. We’re all going to die. ::yawn::
Lissa’s review: Boy, were those movie-Mayans smart. Okay, okay, yes, they were, and they truly were an advanced civilization for their time. But as a friend said, if they could see the end of the world coming, then why couldn’t they see the conquistadors, hmm? The answer, of course, is because the Mayans didn’t actually predict the end of the world, as I understand it. December 12, 2012 is the end of this cycle on the Mayan calendar – the end of an age. It actually has very little to do with an apocalypse. Go figure. The Mayans were a very intelligent people. Movie Mayans border on supernatural.
However, according to the movie 2012, the Mayans knew the world was going to end. The planets are going to align on that date, and somehow that, coupled with some technobabble regarding the sun, will cause a polar shift and continental drift and all sorts of other impressive sounding things.
There’s a term on the internet – it’s kind of generic. It’s fail. There’s race!fail, when someone makes some comment or policy that is racist. There’s gender!fail, where someone makes some comment, policy, or story/plot that is sexist. You get the idea – it’s not very advanced, really. So let’s call the movie 2012 science!fail.
For one, the galactic alignment is NOT the alignment of the planets. It’s the alignment of the sun with the Galactic equator. It also doesn’t take place on one day. I mean, think about how big these objects are, really. According to one article I’m glancing over, science can’t even pinpoint this event to one year. It also appears – from some sources, anyway – that there will be no planetary alignment on December 12, 2012. The truth is, I am not an astronomer and the extent of my knowledge is a web search I’m doing while watching The Sing-Off. But what I’m really learning is wow – are there a lot of people who believe some crazy things out there. And from the little I’ve read about the Mayans, I think they’d be agreeing with me, not the doomsayers.
All that said, 2012 is a pretty fun movie if you want to watch the world end. It’s got the standard elements: big disaster shots, sympathetic hero with two cute kids, an ex, and an ex’s fiancé who seems like a jerk, a crazy guy that no one listens to but has every element right, and a huge conspiracy. Same old, same old, right? Well, not quite. There were a few things that really stood out for me as actually a little different.
For one, the world didn’t end in Manhattan. I know, right? Not Manhattan, and not just D.C. You know, it was nice to see disaster wreaked on a different part of the country for a change. And heck with the country. Disaster actually got wreaked on the world! We saw Canada. We saw Tibet. We saw India. We saw countries that were not predominantly white. The main characters weren’t all white. Yes, John Cusack was the main character, but the big scientist character was played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. And his collaborator was played by Jimi Mistry. The President was played by Danny Glover. A Tibetan family actually played a role. For once, this truly felt like the world wasn’t just the white people. I know that might sound a little silly, but it really stood out for me in a good way.
Of course, the reason to see a movie like this is the destruction porn. I feel a little guilty watching it, because I’ve really lost my taste for this genre ever since 9/11. But if you’re in the mood for effects… well, let’s face it. That’s really the reason to watch this one. You know you want to see how the world ends.
Although I’m normally an emotional wimp, I don’t often cry at disaster movies. They’re just too over the top to really affect me. This one actually made me tear up in spots. That’s pretty high praise right there. If you want a good disaster, end of the world movie, this one is actually worth watching.
Just ignore anything having to do with the Mayans.
- I have no patience for this Mayan calendar stuff?
- Need to fly an airplane through a thick cloud of volcanic ash? Don’t worry about engine seizure- this is Hollywood!
- We didn’t see Manhattan destroyed for a change.
- Apparently Africa is a country now, according to the representatives?
- The studio also launched a viral marketing website operated by the fictional Institute for Human Continuity, where filmgoers could register for a lottery number to be part of a small population that would be rescued from the global destruction. David Morrison of NASA received over 1000 inquiries from people who thought the website was genuine, and condemned it. “I’ve even had cases of teenagers writing to me saying they are contemplating suicide because they don’t want to see the world end,” he said. “I think when you lie on the internet and scare children in order to make a buck, that is ethically wrong.”
- The Yellowstone Caldera would explode with roughly the force of 1 million Hiroshima bombs, or 400 Tsar Bombs, the largest atomic bomb humans have ever detonated. The Tsar Bomb’s shock wave leveled everything in its 20-mile blast radius instantaneously, so if an explosion took place that was 400 times the size, it would completely obliterate everything near it instantaneously; not to mention Charlie Frost who was on the rim of the volcano, and everyone near the plane as they appeared to be little more than a mile from the explosion, if that.
- Chinese helicopters are seen airlifting numerous different kinds of animals to the tunnels where the Arks are located, but they are flying at extremely high altitudes (over the Himalayas) in weather cold enough for a thick layer of snow to remain unfrozen on the ground. Between the altitude, the temperatures, and the frigid wind blowing past them in flight, the African animals would die of either hypothermia or oxygen deprivation.
- In the movie, neutrinos interact with the earth’s core and cause temperature to rise. But, since they come from the sun, the first matter they should interact with is the water in the oceans, and as result our oceans should start to boil. For some undeclared reason in the movie, only the earth’s core interacts with them.
Jackson Curtis: When they tell you not to panic… that’s when you run!
Carl Anheuser: That was the First Daughter you were looking at.
Adrian Helmsley: I wasn’t looking at her.
Carl Anheuser: Better move fast, kid. The end is near.
Adrian Helmsley: The moment we stop fighting for each other, that’s the moment we lose our humanity.
Carl Anheuser: Are you telling me the North Pole is now somewhere in Wisconsin?
Professor West: Actually that’s the South Pole now.
If You Liked This Movie, Try:
- Independence Day
- Deep Impact