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2012 (2009)

November 15, 2009

5/10 Buzzkill Horoscopes

Enjoy the next three years, folks, ’cause this whole apocalypse thing sure is gonna suck.

2012 is the story of how we’re all going to die in three years because the Mayans made a prediction we never listened to where the Sun gets too hot and the Earth’s core boils up and explodes all over the place. But there was one thing those Mayans never could have predicted: John-freakin’-Cusack.

Check mate, Mayans.

This is the latest movie by director Roland Emmerich and it’s exactly what you’d expect from the brainchild of such dramatic masterpieces as Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow. This is a disaster movie. Lots of shit blows up, lots of people die, there’s lots of corny one-liners all-around, and since you’re getting what you’re paying for, it’s actually pretty fun for the most part. 

The good thing about 2012 is that even when it tries to be serious, it knows damn well that it’s not fooling anyone. It’s easy to forgive all the melodramatic speeches and canned catch-phrases because Emmerich knows his audience isn’t paying to see an Oscar contender, they just want to see the Earth go BOOM! and that’s what he gives them. He had to at least try to throw some drama in there, and even though it’s all pretty laughable, everything about this movie needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

And when it comes to destroying Earth for entertainment, the special effects deliver (even though you get to see all the best parts in the trailer). Somewhat intense for the most part, but it’s not Die Hard, it’s eye candy.

But even though this movie’s faults are pretty forgivable for the most part, alas, there remains a couple things I just couldn’t overlook.

Yeah, I guess it’s cool to watch Las Vegas and Yellowstone National Park get sucked into the ocean or melted down to nothing, but then I started thinking about what it would be like seeing this if I lived in these places – not in the world of 2012, in real life. With the mindset of how I would react to seeing Manhattan go up in flames, it just ends up being a total bummer. I reached my plateau of bad taste once Emmerich kills off the Pope and sends all of Vatican City crashing down on crap-loads of bystanders. Really? The Pope had to get it? A little much if you ask me.

The whole formula of “thing blows up, hero’s ass gets save by the skin of his teeth, rinse, wash, repeat” is pretty entertaining for a while, but it won’t be long before you’re saying to yourself, “Wow, isn’t this wonderfully convenient for John Cusack and his family.” Granted, it would be pretty lame if he died at the first earthquake, but come on, at least injure the guy or something. Dude is out-driving earthquakes in a limo and outrunning volcanic eruptions without even marking up his suit jacket. Who knew Cusack was so hardcore?

And the amount of well-known actors in this cast is mind-boggling, so instead of going into all of them, I’ll just pick out a choice few. There’s a good cameo by Woody Harrelson as a dirty hippie hellbent on warning people about the end of days, Danny Glover plays the President (naturally), and you know what, John Cusack is actually pretty good. He doesn’t freak out or get too serious when he and his whole family is on the verge of death and he’s pretty amusing to watch for the most part. Has a much better sense of humor than I would if I were in his shoes.

But the worst part about 2012 is how effing long it is. Went to an 8:00 showing of this on Friday and didn’t get out of the theater ’til 11:15. Apparently the running time here – without previews – is nearly two hours and forty minutes.


What was so important about this plot that forty extra minutes had to be tacked onto it? My good buddy Fred and I were both falling asleep by the third Act for chrissakes, and I never fall asleep in movies. Look, disaster movies don’t need to be this drawn out. Just end it at two hours and everybody’s happy. Felt bad for the people waiting on line for the 11:30 show as I was leaving the theater.

But when all is said and done, 2012 is as good as you would expect it to be. It’s epic, mindless fun and that’s about the long and short of it.

Only thing it’s missing is Will Smith punching aliens, Bill Pullman flying jet planes, and Jeff Goldblum smoking a cigar. Then again, the same can be said for every movie.

Welcome to Earth!


3 Comments leave one →
  1. mcarteratthemovies permalink
    November 17, 2009 10:58 am

    I couldn’t predict John-Freakin’-Cusack being this movie myself. Why? He’s Everydude, that sarcastic, self-absorbed antihero we love to hate. Why is he in another action flick? I know he pulled it off in “Con Air,” but at least that movie was semi-aware of its own dumbness.

  2. November 18, 2009 12:29 am

    Hey there!

    Great review. My big question is – did Harvey Fierstein reprise his role as the panicky gay guy?

    We loved this and linked to your post on our blog, Product Review Round-Up under the category of Entertainment. The link is embedded in this listing:

    NEW 11/17-Cut the Crap blog gives 2012 5 out of 10:”effing long” but “John Cusack is hardcore”

    Happy Trails,
    Grace and Tiffany
    The Uncommon Cowgirls of Product Review Round-Up
    Product Review Round-Up

    • November 18, 2009 8:47 am

      Hey! Thanks for the plug, G & T!

      And while yours is easily the best comment on this post I’ve had so far, unfortunately Harvey does not make a much-needed appearance as once did so eloquently in Independence Day. Thanks for reading and I threw up a link to your site on mine to kinda return the favor. Really appreciate it and keep on keepin’ on, you guys are the bomb!

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