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Nov 18, 2009

Fletch's Film Review: 2012

Note: There will be spoilers in this review. However, not only does this movie not have any spoilers in that Sixth Sense idea of what a spoiler is, but really, is there anything that I could say that would possibly spoil this movie for anyone? If you don't know that it's about the end of the world as R.E.M. knows it (how much was Roland Emmerich killing himself for already using that song in Independence Day?), then you have bigger issues than worrying about spoilers. Like, it might be time for a CT scan, and pronto. So proceed sans fear, dwellers.

Note two: Yes, the author of this review is the same moron that placed his odds of seeing this film at 7% just days ago in the last TGITDNMAR and stated that "I just can't support it financially and look at myself in the mirror." I don't know what to tell you other than to share the news that I have about 49 years of bad luck due to me now. I just had to see how bad it was, and good lord, it was worth every penny. It's terrible - laugh out loud terrible at times, and you will simultaneously love and hate yourself for seeing it.

On to the review...

You know what? Scratch that. Actually, scratch that "scratch that;" Roland Emmerich doesn't "scratch" anything - he blows it the hell up or drowns it in a torrent of water. So..."explode that." There will be no formal review for this - just a series of random thoughts strung together by "feelings" and special effects sequences.

* I'll save my picking of nits for later because I have a much larger gripe with this flick. Not surprisingly, it has to do with the writing.

The first character we meet is a scientist played by Chewitall Edgeonthefloor (if you're familiar with the deli franchise Schlotzsky's, their slogan is "Funny Name. Serious Sandwich." Ejiofor needs to change his name to "Impossible Name. Serious Actor." But I digress.). His scientist, Dr. Sherman Hemsley, learns of impending doom headed to Middle Earth in the very near future, and he must speak to the White House Chief of Staff (Oliver Platt, known to Mrs. Fletch as "the fat guy") to tell him of this news. He talks to him, gets on the White House staff himself and yada yada yada a plan is set forth to ensure the future of the species, which includes building a number of 21st century arks. It's all top secret, hush hush, on the down low and the QT. As DOOMSDAY looms larger, Hemsley becomes stricken with a serious guilty conscience and the main drama of the film (outside of that whole "planet more or less going bye-bye thing") hinges upon the see-saw for power between Ejiofor and Platt over whether to go public, to the public, that they're pretty much all gonna die, and pronto.

Ejiofor wants to spread the word, Platt wants to zip the collective mouths of all that are in the know, and will go to any length to enforce this. We're meant to join in Ejiofor's plight since his Indian pal was lied to about this and some French was killed for that and damnit, the "people DESERVE to know!," or something like that. He is just and true, Platt is wrong and bad (the situation plays out on a smaller scale later in the film as well).

My problem is that I sided with Platt the entire time. Am I supposed to feel guilty about this? "What about the workers [that built the arks]?," Platt is asked, with everyone knowing that their fate is doomed along with 99% of the rest of humanity, while the rich and powerful (and John Cusacks) are safely stowed onboard.

Well, what about them (and the rest of the "masses"), you might ask? A wise person once wrote something about "survival of the fittest" and evolution and all that jazz; news flash, Mr. Scientist, but in this here 21st century, like it or not, wealth and power are what makes one man (or woman) "the fittest" in this society. The ability to kill a buffalo with your own hands and/or rudimentary tools might be nice, but it doesn't make for the greatest of retirements or the largest pool of available mates. The group of people that set out to build these arks (and stock them full of as many historical artifacts and species as possible) were doing this for the hopeful continuation of life on Earth as they knew it. To have told the remaining 7 billion people on the planet, at any time, would no doubt have submarined the entire efforts, causing mass hysteria, riots, and a pre-apocalypse apocalypse that no one could possibly imagine.

Had there been any tangible benefit to telling the world of their fate - had it made the slightest difference in the end outcome - I might have been right there with the righteous Hemsley. But it wouldn't have.

* Well, I feel better with that off my chest. Now, let's round this out with my Favored Five Improbable, Impossibly Stupid, Incredibly Genius Moments of 2012.

5. Was this a run-of-the-mill horror flick or a disaster pic? Could the deaths among the known characters have been any more obvious? Those that had sex or said "I'll be right back" were doomed; all "innocents" were spared. More annoying than anything else.

4. How were the arks being powered, exactly? And why was there apparently still internet service post-apocalypse?

3. So, are we to believe that typhoons/tidal waves/whatever just appear out of nowhere without the slightest notice or precursory water? A character stands on the grass of the National Mall in front of the U.S. Capitol and watches a mile-high tidal wave appear - out of nowhere - and subsequently take out the White House. Um...they're practically parallel. There was no water in front of said character as they witnessed the wave. Not a drop.

2. Emmerich wanted to destroy the Sistine Chapel. Fine, I get it. Did the crack in the ceiling have to go directly between God's hand and Adam's? There was not a more obvious shot in the movie.

1. We all rolled our eyes when Arnie (brilliantly lampooned here, by the way) flew a friggin' F-whatever jet plane through a building in True Lies. That was so 90s, though. It was high time that got outdone, and severely, no? The sight of Cusack driving a speeding limousine through a building would have been bad enough, but a building that's crumbling to the ground at that moment? Laugh out loud funny.

Fletch's Film Rating:
Shaky Cam Rating (details):LAMBScore:
Large Association of Movie BlogsLarge Association of Movie Blogs

9 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: 2012"

JLG said...

Only a 2 on the shaky cam? I'm surprised.

Fletch said...

D'oh! I thought of the score to give, but forgot to change my code. It's a 3.

Good lookin' out, JLG.

Richard Bellamy said...

Wow, so much to tirade about. The limo through the building was really stretching it - and that's a pun. Ejiofor - Edgeonthefloor - love it! I must admit it's fun to write about this movie.

wiec? said...

wait a second a character is named Dr. Sherman Helmsley or Sherman Helmsly is in it and plays a Doctor?

either way thanks for catching this bullet. now i know i was right to skip it but i enjoyed reading the triade anyway.

Fletch said...

wiec? - Chiwetel Ejiofor plays a character named Dr. Helmsley. I merely exaggerated the truth. :)

Buffett35 said...

The water actually gets sucked back from the shoreline before a tsunami/tidal wave hits. That scene is totally on point.

Fletch said...

Says the guy from Illinois. How would you know? ;)

Buffett35 said...

They explained it in some other disaster movie involving either an earthquake, a volcano, or an asteroid/meteor. Not sure which.

Anonymous said...

You are right that 2012 s a hard movie to spoil and it still amazed me that it managed to crate such a huge hype around itself. The film was too American - everyone got saved in he last minute and the main characters always had an amazing luck ...the director overdid that and most people in the saloon were laughing instead of being impressed from the last cascade. The short but brilliant appearance of Liam James could have saved the film if it was not too cliched. And yes at the end only the rich ones survived - how inspirational ...