Anthony's Film Review

2012 (2009)

This eye-popping, suspenseful disaster movie easily surpasses all others before it...

Before I talk about the movie 2012, let me explain my one criterion for a good movie. If a movie entertains me, it's a good one. It doesn't matter how the movie entertains me as long as it does. For this reason, I can enjoy a sophisticated film as well as a popcorn movie and am willing to rate either type of movie highly if it really grabs my attention. Also, I always try to find something to like with any movie I see. After all, this is the reason we watch movies. We want to enjoy them, and there are many ways they can be enjoyable, even if they are familiar compared to movies already in existence.

With that in mind, here's my bottom-line opinion of 2012. It's an awesome movie. Not awesome as in wholly original and surprising, but awesome as in breathtaking and able to put the audience on the edge of the seat. I went into the theater not expecting too much. As the movie progressed, I found myself more interested in the story and gripped by the intense disaster scenes. Not that my pre-viewing expectations mattered, because even if I expected a horrible movie or a masterpiece, my opinion would still depend on what I finally saw. And I can honestly say that I saw something that was well made.

2012 centers on the end of the world on December 12, 2012, as predicted by the Mayans. In the three years leading up to this day, there are signs that the Earth's core is heating up. This is because of huge solar flares on the sun that propel neutrinos into this planet, occurring before the moment when the sun and the planets in the solar system line up perfectly. Various characters are observing this trend or are affected by it. They include, but are not limited to, Chiwetel Ejiofor as geologist Adrian Helmsley, Danny Glover as the President of the United States, Thandie Newton as the president's daughter, Oliver Platt as advisor Carl Anheuser, John Cusack as divorced writer Jackson Curtis, Amanda Peet as Jackson's ex-wife, and Woody Harrelson as a radio DJ/conspiracy theorist.

The first disaster scene doesn't occur until about the 40-minute mark. That's OK, because there is suspense building up to this point. Once the actual disaster begins, this tension is maintained. Yes, it was cool to watch a lot of things being destroyed all at once, but at the same time, I found myself holding my breath. The destruction, as farfetched as it was, looked so real that I could imagine myself in it. Roland Emmerich, the director of 2012, is really a master when it comes to disaster movies.

However, this disaster scene is only the beginning. Instead of a movie with one continuous disaster sequence, we have a movie that delivers a series of disaster scenes, including the one during the climax. These scenes add conflict to the story in which the characters are making their way to a location where the high-tech version of Noah's Ark is being built. The ongoing worldwide disaster also adds intense drama to the various character interactions, especially when some characters are sacrificed in this disaster. And if you think the climax is predictable, think again. There are plenty of twists, turns, and surprises such that you might find yourself doubting your expectations. That alone can add even more tension to the experience.

When I look back on this movie, I can honestly say that I was amazed. 2012 was just so much fun. I don't care what anyone else says. This movie is not supposed to be a contender for the Academy Awards or anything like that. It's just a fun thrill ride purely for entertainment value. And if you love disaster movies, especially Roland Emmerich's past movies like Independence Day (which now feels like a low-budget movie compared to 2012), you will definitely enjoy this one. It truly is the ultimate disaster movie, the one to end all disaster movies.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about 2012, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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