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    November 14, 2009

    MOVIE REVIEW: 2012

    ENGLISH - PG13 - 12 November 2009 - Science Fiction/Action/Adventure
    Distributor: Sony Pictures
    Running Time: 158 mins.
    Director: Roland Emmerich
    Producers: Roland Emmerich, Mark Gordon, Harald Kloser, Larry J Franco, Ute Emmerich
    Writers: Harald Kloser, Roland Emmerich
    Casts: John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Danny Glover
    Plot: Never before has a date in history been so significant to so many cultures, so many religions, scientists, and governments. A global cataclysm brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors.

    The Verdict:

    Green Tea Bern says:

    2012 has long been a date been prophecies by many party for its unnatural circumstances of the world's doomsday but luckily to say, there are various theories to against it. Taking into consideration that this should be yet another great theme for apocalyptic movie, here come Roland Emmerich in his another attempt on destructing the world and leave some survivor to stay on. Over the years, Roland Emmerich is responsible for killing two-thirds of the world. Unlike The Day after Tommorow, this prove to be more fun than ever.

    Following an event of solar flare in 2009, a group of brilliant scientist has confirmed that the world may be heading for a doomsday due to emission of particles from that activity that has caused uproar on the Earth's core stability. This lead a series of unforeseen earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis that swept across the globe. On another affair, Jackson Curtis, a divorced father, writer and limo driver, having found out the catastrophic event is about to struck California, is desperate to overhaul all in order to protect his children and his ex wife. Together, Curtis led a group of survivors to somewhere safer where governments have already built something in preparation for the doomsday.

    It makes no mistake that Roland Emmerich is a visionary director that has his all sight towards bringing the story of destruction in one breath-taking effects, but like any others that he has made, the story-telling is still not up to the level we expect. The story is not poor considering it is arguably better than The Day After Tomorrow.

    For this movie, the script is written lazily, unnecessary long, slow and a bit messy. Dialog is made as simple as possible to reflect the story but it makes no concrete expression of the characterization. Plus, the movie runs on 2 hours and 38 minutes, prove to be exaggeratedly long because of numerous unnecessary scenes that takes the whole thing keep dragged. There are several moments that the movie turned slow particularly on the middle stint. Little messy? Of course, I cannot tell how are these things connected to each other but at least there is a clear two sides of adventure that cross-path into one; one by the "brilliant but always been wrong" scientist Dr Helmsley and one by Curtis.

    Although the fact that the story has been less-inspiring, the movie does give a very good popcorn-flick to watch for. For the first half an hour, the movie spent most of its time trying to warn about the possible catastrophic. It builds up the intensity and the roller-coaster ride begins when Curtis was forced to evacuate his family (plus ex-wife's boy friend) out of California and of course from Yellowstone. From that moment, the whole story is thrown into another half an hour of destroying the American soils. Then the movie settles down and up again to its finale in the mountains of Himalaya. It was fun to seat on the plot that has bumpy ride sometimes cause they make a good feel of balance from inertia, but it is also a mindless one.

    But the greatest improvement over Emmerich's past works is the emotional play. With several emotional scenes incorporated in between those mindless actions. This time, Emmerich brilliantly use some family-relationship to develop those. Take for example, one white guy whose son married a hot Japanese - it reminds us how we should value the true family savour but in his case, they didn't connected before disaster struck. Otherwise, Jackson Curtis truly changed and becomes a hero for his kids and his ex wife!! Nevertheless, the movie is generally too predictable!

    John Cusack is a truly gifted actor, previously made some impact of playing psychological thrilling performance in 1408 and Identity. As always, he is an author yet again that has to deal with family crisis - for this part he did it well. He also makes the whole thing interesting because his role is supposed to be an "unlikely" hero, great! The role of Dr Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor - Inside Man, American Gangster) is also a reflect of a "hero that nobody cares" and "the despair one". The most annoying are none other than Carl Anheuser (Oliver Platt) and Yuri Karpov (Zlatko Buric) but there are times their insanity and annoyance are fun to watch. The story has a moderate build up on each characterization as the story moves on. In overall, the acting performance is plausible with an ample history been thrown in to describe each of them.

    Like many stylish world destructing movie, this effects and CG are very huge indeed. But here is a thing, this is also another movie that requires much of the CG to deliver the story together. Although the effects and cinematographic work well, but there are still some flaws that makes the whole feels awkward.

    In a nutshell of this long review, 2012 serves more like an "popcorn and mindless entertaining movie that rocks the roller coaster ride hard that generated by intense emotional play and working CGs while also been lazily-written, unnecessary dragged to a two-and-a-half hour of journey". Are you ready for this?

    Additional notes: Roger Ebert said, " Is it a masterpiece? No. Is it one of the year's best? No. Does Emmerich hammer it together with his elbows from parts obtained from the Used Disaster Movie Store? Yes. But is it about as good as a movie in this genre can be? Yes. No doubt it will inflame fears about our demise on Dec. 21, 2012. I'm worried, too. I expect that to be even worse than Y2K."

    STORY - 3.0 stars
    CASTS - 4.0 stars
    CINEMATOGRAPHY - 4.0 stars
    EFFECTS - 4.5 stars
    Overall - 3.5 stars
    Green-Tea-O-Meter: 14.7
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