What do you get when you mix all the best and most devastating parts of Titanic, The Day After Tomorrow, Volcano, Deep Impact and Independence Day? You get 2012, the most exciting and overwhelming disaster film you will EVER see!
For an avid lover of disaster flicks, the prospect of a new one hitting the horizon sends shivers down the spine and after seeing the film goosebumps remained and did not subside for an instant through the entire movie. 2012 explores the prospect of a global doomsday event coinciding with the end of the current Mayan Long Count Calendar, around December 21, 2012.
If you thought the idea of the weather changing and approaching a new ice age was terrifying, imagine the thought of the sun giving off larger solar flares, tectonic plates shifting, landmasses subsiding into the ocean and the world, as we know it coming to an end.
I don’t know where to even begin with the praise that this film deserves. The imagery is sensational for a start. Cars race away from the ground collapsing, massive earthquakes cause buildings to fall into oblivion, surges of water take over land, The Vatican crumbles and the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts; in the end Los Angeles and many other cities are completely destroyed and literally wiped off the map. It is shots such as these that build the anxiety inside your chest to such a degree that it leaves you gasping for breath. Is the car going to make it out of the path of the oncoming volcano ash cloud? Is the aeroplane going to safely take off before the runway in front of it gives way? Are the family going to safely make it aboard the “spaceship”? As these images roll there is so much excitement, so many stunning visions that you cannot help but hold your breath until your face goes red and everything is resolved.
It is interesting in the way in which the narrative is separated. There are two groups of individuals concerned in this film. Firstly there is the government, who are monitoring and trying to find a way of controlling the event while saving as many people as possible. Then there are the unsuspected everyday people who have no idea what in the world is going on. There is however one man, Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) who accidentally finds out the truth and the movie follows him on a mission to save his family, no matter what takes. Cusack’s character is the cause of much of the astonishment that will occur.
John Cusack as the main man of the movie is utterly perfect; he is a devoted father and a passionate writer who will go to the end of the world (literally) to save his family. He is able to play the role with a realistic approach, real passion and that little bit of humour needed to keep the film alive. The sight of Woody Harrelson with long hair, a fixation for pickles (?!) and a passion for all things weird and unusual is peculiar at first. However, Harrelson is always going to be known as a comical actor for his fun loving roles and the role of mad man Charlie just seemed to fit him like a glove.
Even though 2012 runs at 158 minutes, there is no chance at becoming bored or losing interest. The only thing you may get is an ache or two from sitting down too long. But if you can put up with that, then it is WELL worth a watch.