2012: Predictable, mostly boring and just plain stupid
I have a wrist watch, which runs pretty accurately, but for five times a year I have to set back the date one day, because the date dial has 31 positions, and it’s not a very smart watch. That however, doesn’t make me think that each month in the year has in fact 31 days, that there is a conspiracy going on involving the American government, and that anyone who doubts me is an ignorant fool.
I saw 2012 yesterday evening, and I’m starting to see a pattern. A pattern of a scientist who stumbles on something impossible, authorities keeping things under wraps, a heroic American president, a couple finding back their lost love, a moralistic speech toward the end, and an anti-hero or weirdo for comic relieve. First all the characters are introduced, while the danger starts to loom (most of them don’t care/believe/notice yet). Then the danger turns out much worse than expected, cue massive CGI, in which the characters survive or die, and in the end everybody is cheering, despite general destruction.
But in 2012 we are presented with much more off-the-shelf plot elements. We had astronomical alignments in Tomb Raider, The Biggest Solar Flare Ever in Solar Crisis and trouble with the Earth’s core in The Core. Emmerich finds a combination of all three in some bizarre Maya calendar inspired doomsday theory, and produces a movie that, after the aforementioned introductions, presents us with hugely awesome CGI in which entire countries are flipped upside-down, an aircraft-carrier crashes onto the white house and Yellow Stone Park simply explodes. This part of the movie is fun, despite the repetitive nature of the frightening bits.
But as soon as our heroes arrive in the Chinese Himalayas (their plane ran out of fuel, but the mountain was brought to them) the fun is over. From that point onwards the viewer has to sit through tedious arguments about who gets to be saved in the bible-like arks and who doesn’t (apparently the giraffes do). There are a few actions sequences left, but all of them are completely predictable and therefore totally boring.
I could go on and say that the neatest recent planetary alignment occurred already in 1998, that doctor Phlox should know better than to confuse a magnetic pole with a geographic one, or that to repopulate a species you need considerably more than two specimen, but I guess that if this was a good movie, I probably wouldn’t have complained about it being utter crap, science-wise. But as it is, this is a predictable, mostly boring and just plain stupid movie.