Sunday, December 6, 2009

2012 - Or How the world isn't going to end

So the Hubs and I just got back from watching 2012. Now, before you go running screaming towards the next blog or pee your pants in hysterics, let me tell you that I didn't go in expecting to see good science. Heaven forbid that science enter into a Hollywood flick. No, I went to see things blow up.

And blow up they did.

In my opinion, you go to see a disaster flick for the special effects and the not-so-subtle reassurance of the nobility of Man. There's a formula, you see. The hero, in our case John Cusack,  knows that disaster is coming. He strives to save those closest to him through any means necessary. Even if it means dragging his ex's boyfriend along. At some point, someone in the hero's group of survivors will die because the hero can't save them. In this movie, that's Cusack failing to save Tom McCarthy, the aforementioned boyfriend. Later, the hero will risk his life to save not only his family but a larger group. The formula also includes a character who represents the moral compass of the film. In this case, a scientist that first alerted the government to the threat (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who speaks eloquently about what it means to be human and how saving those we would leave behind is the right thing to do. The moral compass generally has to contend with the amoral pragmatist who believes that sacrifices must be made for survival.  Add a lot of eruptions and tsunamis and falling buildings and an ass ton of other special effects and you have your classic American disaster film.

The point is not to present a story that makes scientific sense or has anything but a passing resemblance to reality. The point is to intersperse a lot of action with a few minutes of high psychological drama.  And looked at from this perspective, this film fulfills its genre requirements absolutely.

Now, do I believe that the world is going to end on 12-21-12?


But it makes for one helluva movie.


kel said...

The previews for this movie scared the pants off my daughter! And now everyone in her 2nd grade class are talking about how the world will end in 2012!! Urgh! I'm with you, I don't think it's true at all!

True Blue Texan said...

Indeed, this film would be a little too intense for a second grader. Especially since 2 young kids play a big role in the film. Personally, I learned my lesson with Jurassic Park. My youngest was about your daughter's age when we went to see that film in theaters. Now, in my defense, I'd never seen a dinosaur/monster movie that had any sense of realism. (I was raised on Godzilla and Ray Harryhausen.) She spent the entire film in my lap with her head buried in my neck. She's 19 now and I can safely say that she had no lasting scars from the experience.