First it was an alien invasion, then global warming caused the oceans to rise, now the man behind “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow” is tackling the end of all mankind. Director Roland Emmerich is once again jumping behind the camera to bring the story of “2012” to the big screen. Based off actual ancient Mayan predictions, the world will end in three years when the sun and all the planets align.
The movie follows several storylines that become intertwined as they all face mankind’s possible extinction. John Cusack (America’s Sweethearts) plays one of the main characters, a writer who learns the truth behind the earths impending doom just before it begins. He finds out world leaders have been building protective capsules, whose seats are being auctioned off to the highest bidders and travels halfway around the world with hope of getting his family onboard. As expected, “2012” is an amazingly creative, special effects driven cinematic adventure. Similar to how “Day After Tomorrow” focused on the destruction of New York City, this film starts with the west coast, eventually continues around the globe.
As impressive as the special effects are, the story is what seems to hold this movie back. Many of the scenes feel dragged on, while others simply could have been left on the cutting room floor. “2012” runs more then two and half hours long, which these days is quite a long time to watch the world implode. On a good note, casting for the film is pretty good, a lot of new faces which help give depth to the story. Another good note for Wisconsinites is the films numerous references to the Badger State, including a scene which refers to the South Poles new location in central Wisconsin.
If you enjoyed “The Day After Tomorrow,” odds are you’ll like “2012” as well. I personally feel “Day After Tomorrow” is better a story and easier to follow. Special effects always look better on the big screen and “2012” offers an exceptional amount of effects worth seeing. However, it is a long film and viewers should remember its main purpose is to entertain, not provide Oscar worthy performances.
Roland Emmerich Films
Released: July 3rd, 1996
Budget: $75 million
Box office revenue: $817 million worldwide
“The Day After Tomorrow”
Released: May 28th, 2004
Budget: $125 million
Box office revenue: $544 million worldwide
John Cusack starring in “Shanghai” out April 2010
Director Roland Emmerich directing “Anonymous” out 2010