‘2012’ bombs.

  • DISTASTROUS: '2012.'

I'd hang a spoiler alert right here if this movie were at all capable of being spoiled. Really. If I were to point out a steaming pile of dog excrement in your path, would you resent my having ruined the surprise? Would you go ahead and trod through it anyway in order to judge the number two on its own merits? What if the pile were so large that it took up the entire sidewalk? Would my warning be redundant?

While experiencing a movie such as “2012,” you're at first tempted to begin tallying the implausibilities. However, you have only so much mental space. This movie does not stage a single plausible scene. And the scenes don't have to be outrageous to test your suspension of disbelief. The actors in this film cannot draw a plausible breath. The assault on your credulity is so overwhelming that you begin doubting minute issues of perception, like how often a real person blinks or whether people actually wear watches anymore.

 It's a disaster film, and it's a disaster as a film. This film is disaster: Disaster as meaning and modus operandi. Human beings are beside the point, not only expendable but something of a hassle. Those who survive seem to do so because the disaster was too busy toppling buildings and temples and splitting an upscale grocery store in half to find the time to dispatch any more than the most dispatchable characters. Woody Harrelson practically has to beg for it. Others give disaster every chance, always finding the worst possible time to hash out interpersonal conflicts and never failing to give a good long reprehensibly political speech about altruism and other sentimental garbage.

Given all that, you're not really going to make me give you a plot description, are you? Best I can tell, this handsome deputy geologist in some fake governmental science program discovers sometime in 2010 the phenomena having nothing to do with the Mayan calendar that will eventually lead to the Earth's demise in 2012 and then he takes this knowledge to Oliver Platt and President Danny Glover who set about finding ways to build giant submarine/cruiseship/arcs funded by the world's apparently plentiful ultra-billionaires, only people like John Cusack and his estranged family and some Buddhist monk can't afford tickets and aren't worth saving anyway so they haven't been informed about their impending doom when said impending doom arrives ahead of schedule and the best laid plans of Danny Glover go spectacularly awry and tidal waves and supervolcanoes start happening but slowly enough to be outrun by Cusack and company in all matter of conveyance until finally things settle into a kind of post-apocalyptic love boat situation that resolves all of the major plot issues of the preceding 158 minutes neatly and with very little rationale.

(The best part is at the very end, when all the world leaders discover that the only land mass that seems to have survived cataclysm is Africa and not one person wonders why nobody bothered to include any African delegations in the multinational plan to save all of their governmental asses. I mean, even Italy plays a major role in the discussions. Italy!)

Look: I'm no scientist. I can't tell you whether the series of events we're meant to believe could take place could actually take place. I mean, not with any real authority. For all I know, the earth's core could melt and split massive chasms in our crust large enough for any plastic surgeon/sexual rival who's only two flights into his training to maneuver a twin engine plane through. But I can wonder why anyone would care to survive in such a world. I'm pretty sure I'd just roll with it.




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