2012 is like a 1970s disaster film on steroids. Instead of a towering inferno or a sinking cruiseliner, we have the whole planet Earth getting destroyed. Because that, ladies and gentleman, is how Roland Emmerich rolls.
2012 is a lot like Emmerich’s other apocalyptically-inclined gems—Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow—except the special effects are better and the film may even be more treacly.
Yes, buried amid the rubble (and the tsunamis and the giant earthquakes that cause whole cities to split in two—neat!) is a message about caring for your fellow man. Kumbaya, brother—and watch out for that flying Eiffel Tower.
2012 has everything you would expect from this sort of big budget, high-minded schlock. Some humor (much provided by Woody Harrelson as a conspiracy nutcase who just may be right this time), some serious-sounding scientific jargon (brought to you with appropriate “run the numbers again!” dismay by Chewetel Ejiofor), some familial bonding (still-lovable John Cusack as a divorced dad who takes his two kids to Yellowstone—big mistake), a smarmy villain who wants to save the elite (also know as “the part for Oliver Platt”), some “We are the World” global hand-holding, and a CGI budget that exceeds the GNP of several developing nations.
Bottom line: You can either give over to the grandiose silliness or snicker at the film for its bloated 2 and a half hour running time. Either way, you can’t say that you didn’t get your money’s worth.