This entry won the “Best Viewer Review” award from CNN-IBN’s Rajeev Masand on his show “Now Showing” which airs at 1030PM every Friday. 🙂
Like most movies with special effects, 2012 had a lot riding on it. The main thing was that the stills which were released way back in july-august were very impressive. Added to that, a mail with the stills and the prediction of the apocalypse from the Mayan calendar invoked lot of expectations. Being a fan of the movies and also special effects, 2012 was top on my list that I was itching to check out.
2012 starts off with Dr.Adrian visiting his Indian friend, Satnam [in 2009]; who has discovered that the temperature of the earth’s core is rising. Time for some techno babble. Earth is made up 3 layers: the core, the mantle and the crust. The core is entirely molten in form and is the innermost layer. The mantle is the thickest layer which is semi-solid in form. The crust is the outermost layer on which all of us live. The temperature of the core is rising due to the excess neutrinos released by solar flares. Neutrinos are sub-atomic particles that carry no charge and have very less mass. Solar flares are sudden bursts of energy from the sun that emit radiations. My knowledge is limited to this, and an explanation about how the neutrinos cause the core temperature to rise is welcome. Coming back to the movie, Dr. Adrian informs his president, played by Danny Glover, and seeks a meeting of the world leaders to make them aware of the magnitude of the problem they will be facing in 2012.
Jackson Curtis [John Cusack] is a writer in LA who works part-time as a driver for a materialistic billionaire Yuri. As with most disaster movies, theirs is a separated family, with his ex-wife staying with her kids and her new boyfriend. On a camp to Yellowstone with his kids, he meets one of the best characters of the movie, Charlie, a creepy radio host. Charlie tells him of the apocalypse coming, with a superb animation on his blog which makes people of all ages understand what brings on the cataclysm! This is one of the funniest moments of the movie and I’m putting it up here. The rest of the movie is about how Jackson and other people try to survive the Armageddon.
The Master of Disaster strikes again. Roland Emmerich has always treated us to very good special effects, be it in ‘Independence Day’ or ‘Godzilla’ or ‘Day after tomorrow’. With 2012, he betters himself. He blows up all the famous landmarks of the world, the Eiffel tower, the Capitol building, the Jesus statue at Rio de Janiero, the Vatican so on and so forth. These series of disasters start off with a volcanic eruption at Yellowstone, ripping apart the entire city of California. There are many instances which show Emmerich’s genius at blowing up cities, the scene where a plane takes off from a crumbling runway underneath is top notch, entire skyscrapers tumble like dominoes, a train comes in mid-air as a subway falls apart, ships are overturned, giant waves submerge the mountains and hit a monastery in Tibet, the entire crust shifts so much so that new highest peaks are formed in Africa instead of the Himalayas!
So, what’s the rescue plan? All I can say is that the makers resort to the story of Noah’s Ark. The magnificence of the structures and the intensity of the damage are mind-blowing! These are reasons good enough to watch the movie. The acting is spot-on. John Cusack, Amanda Peet [Jackson’s ex-wife], Danny Glover [President], Thandie Newton [the president’s daughter] all do a fine job. The plot is nothing new, the characters are nothing new [barring Charlie..!], its full of clichés, but Emmerich does it. He must’ve had a lot of fun making it, as much as we had watching it! Full marks to him for making us truly believe and paranoid that disaster is indeed going to strike on 21-12-12. ‘2012’ definitely sets the standard for disaster films. Now that Emmerich has blown up literally every possible place as a director, I wonder what’s next in line!