I’m not really a fan of disaster movies. I would describe 2012 as traditional global-disaster movie fare.
- We have an estranged family (husband and wife divorced, two kids, new husband in the frame)
- We have a growing threat, and a plan
- We have a few other key story members with either existing relationships that will be stretched by the disaster or new relationships that will be formed as a result of it
- We then get 158 minutes of a single threaded plot, which brings these people together or forces them apart and provides heroes the chance to stand up and be counted while villains perish in fiery justice.
I spent most of the first hour doing something else as well. Checking e-mails, browsing IMDB, playing Plants vs. Zombies. It’s pretty predictable, as the estranged husband takes his kids on a camping trip and discovers a global conspiracy over some cataclysmic event. However, eventually the acting and the action and the shear madness of the whole thing drags you in, and by about the one hour mark I was engaged.
The special effects are impressive, the destruction is amusing, the solution is far fetched and insane and the moments of heroic sacrifice are about as cliche as they get. It’s not a good movie. It’s too long for one, and it’s far too predictable for another, but it was eventually engaging. The only two actors who seemed to have any meat on their roles were John Cusack and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Cusack managed to bring some life to his character, Ejiofor did the best he could with some pretty slack writing. No one else stood out, which isn’t to say they did badly, but just that the source material was so entirely bland.
Should you see 2012? Maybe, if you fancy killing 158 minutes and can’t think of anything better to do, but don’t buy it, rent it for as little as possible.