2012 (2009) Poster

(I) (2009)

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An insult to human intelligence
shakesbeer13 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I was well aware that this movie would be about over-the-top action and CGI only and so I decided to shut down my brain to stand-by and direct all available blood to the eyes and ears. A technique that works perfectly for classic Bruce Willis or Arnie films giving you 2 hours of entertainment and fun. Unfortunately this time it did not work. "2012" delivers so many low blows to a homo sapiens' mind that some kind of subconscious alarm must have been triggered that woke up my brain to avoid any permanent damage. Then the real suffering began.

You don't expect to get a good script with witty dialog and good storytelling in movies like this - and you don't get it. You don't expect the best and most convincing actors in the world in movies like this - and you don't get them. Woody Harrelson being the only exception. You probably don't expect the best editing, lighting, costume designing etc. in movies like this - and you don't get them.

You DO expect overwhelming visuals in this kind of movies - you get them partially. You DO expect thrills and suspense and surprises in this kind of movies - you don't get them.

Roland Emmerich artfully manages to make watching the end of the world in monumental pictures a thoroughly boring experience. Why? Because this film never touches you in any way. The main characters remain shallow throughout the whole 158 minutes. Some are just not interesting, others are so overdrawn (Yuri, Tamara) that you just can't think of them as real people. The story does not develop and lead to something you did not expect. There is no flow. Ridiculous action scenes alternate with pathetic, kitschy good-bye talks that fail to catch you because NO actual human being would ever talk or act in the ways depicted here. There is no realism at all in virtually any scene of the film so how could you manage to connect to it?

But the worst of all is the awkward exaggeration in EVERYTHING shown on the screen. It is nice to see a nail-biting last-second escape in a movie. Seeing your main characters taking a one-in-a-million chance every ten minutes is revolting. It is an insult to your intelligence. In this respect "2012" has set a new standard. It makes all four "Indiana Jones" movies look like documentaries. Who cares for the laws of physics? Just invent new ones if it is necessary to save the hero!

Of course this is fiction and you are allowed some creativity to keep things going but there is a limit to what you can ask from the viewer to believe.

*** Spoiler*** My "favourite" scene of the movie: Our heroes are on a Russian cargo plane heading for China. The plane is piloted by one professional and a student pilot who has had a few hours on a single engine sports airplane(?). After having survived a last-second escape (see?) from the airport they are planning to get a refueling at Hawaii. Unfortunately the island has turned into a lump of molten lava and they have to continue their flight knowing they would not make it to China but go down somewhere in the open waters. The very moment they run out of fuel they discover that the Asian continent has moved 2500 kilometers in their direction(!) and they crash-land their aircraft on some elevated plain a stone's throw from the original destination! Of course there is a group of helicopters flying by only minutes later to pick them up and get them to the secret base they were heading for... *** End of Spoiler ***

And no, this is not an exception. There are numerous parts like this. It is just like I said: an insult to your intelligence.

Believe me, I could easily list at least a hundred of flaws and errors made in this movie ranging from human behavior over technical design to mathematical chances - not even regarding the constant violation of physical principles.

All in all I am convinced that it is for your own good not to spend your money on buying a ticket for this crap but find any other use for it. Burning it is a legitimate alternative. At least that would save your time.
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This film had so much potential. What went wrong?
bennog11 November 2009
They had all the money, actors and special effects they needed so how did they manage to screw this one up? Obviously they thought exiting moments were more important than developing deeper characters and that's why this story that had great potential stayed so shallow. The dialog was always cheesy and none of the 'hero's' in this film really showed any real emotions nor did they give any of those speeches that give the audience goose bumps. Another thing that really bothered me was that so much was almost going wrong the whole time. Every second of the film had a 'close call' which made the film seem totally unrealistic. Examples are planes taking off just before the runway collapses or driving just fast enough to not get hit by an explosion. This can be very cool if it doesn't happen 100% of the time and I have never seen a movie abusing this way of creating excitement to this extent. So to sum up: If you feel like turning your brain off and watching special effects and big explosions with a very shallow storyline then this movie is for you. But if you feel like watching a movie with a bit of depth then go and see something else.
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The Disaster is THE MOVIE!
bragant13 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
2012 cost 260 million dollars and is 158 minutes long. At roughly 2 million dollars a minute, one might at least expect a thrill-a-second work of exciting entertainment, since one does not go to a Roland Emmerich movie expecting either art or deep meaning. Unfortunately, the many millions spent on this bloated, overblown "B" genre programmer could not guarantee the filmmakers a good script with a tight plot and interesting characters. Emmerich treats his own screenplay (co-written by Harold Klausner) with a level of seriousness customarily reserved for the Holocaust or biopics of figures like Jesus Christ or Mahatma Ghandi. There is no plot to speak of - Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) learns of the impending end of the world and has to rescue his offspring and ex-wife from danger. That's all that happens in the entire movie - for over 2.5 hours! By the 4th or 5th time we have seen Jackson and his gang escape death (whether by earthquake, plane crash, volcanic eruption, tsunami, etc., etc.) the whole thing has become so turgid and wearisome that one finds oneself rooting for the tsunami to kill them all just so the movie can end and one can go home. The thin plot might not be all that bad if the film were better-paced and more exciting, but Emmerich wants you to know that he is A Serious Auteur and that 2012 is an Important Film About Our Time, so every sequence keeps going WAY past its sell-by date. Watching this movie is like being hit in the head with a wooden plank multiple times - one is eventually stunned into abject submission. Emmerich does everything at least twice, and his respect for his own material seems to have convinced him that 2012 could not have been shorter by one second, when at least 45 minutes of useless sub-plots involving disposable minor characters as well as repetitive sequences of cities collapsing, flames covering the sky, 1500 meter waves drowning everything in sight and famous monuments crumbling into depthless chasms could and should have been left on the cutting-room floor. By the time Jackson saves the high-tech ark containing what's left of North American civilization (don't ask), apparently by channeling Shelley Winters' swim scene from The Poseidon Adventure, any sense of awe which the sight of huge waves washing over the Himalayas should generate in the audience has been replaced by a numb wish that the whole thing will be over soon and a prayer that one's brain death will only be temporary. After watching a whole lot of cities get destroyed again and again, one simply becomes mentally and visually exhausted by the whole bloated mess. Surprisingly strong performances from a thoroughly professional cast are wasted on tissue-thin characterizations - but believe me, these performers earned their money just from being able to say the bland, clichéd lines they are given with a straight face. Furthermore, despite the appearance of realism thanks to some technically flawless CGI, there is no blood or gore - there should be body parts raining down from the sky during the destruction of LA, but somehow no one seems to be on the streets. On the other hand, a lot of blood and gore might have reminded the movie audience that one is in fact watching a film about the extinction of literally billions of living things, but why should something so petty be more important than seeing whether John Cusack will get back together with his ex-wife and become a hero so his whiny, spoiled son will accept him? In any case, what does it say about contemporary society that a movie showing nothing less than the destruction of the entire world is rated "PG-13"? As far as the "science" and "facts" behind this utterly ridiculous bit of piffle, the less said about that, the better. Of course, this piece of overblown trash will probably turn hundreds of millions for its makers and secure Emmerich's position as one of the top commercial directors of the day. At least if the world actually ends in 2012, all copies of 2012 will be destroyed.
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It's supposed to be a disaster movie... Well, guess what.... The movie is a disaster...
stiva20 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers



First let me tell the good parts as there is not much of it. Awesome special effects. Roland Emmerich has surpassed well in using special effects... And, that's the only good part about this movie.

The script, whoever wrote it is a complete idiot. What's with all the drama? After this movie is over this is what came to my mind about the film.


1) Sun exploded.

2) 10-15 mins of Joan Cushack with his kids.

3) Then OMG... Earthquake, everybody get in the car.

4) Car almost crashed, we're dead. No, phew! close call.

5) Am flying the plane right into the disaster and destruction.

6) OMG! plane almost crashed. We're dead. No, phew! close call.

7) OMG! Mountain exploded. Fiery ball chunk from the mountain hit the truck I'm driving. My road is sliding upwards. I'm dead. No, phew! close call.

8) OMG! I am in the truck and along with the truck I fell into the abyss.

9) Hey, I am alive and I am seeing daylight. Wait a minute. How did I get off the truck and how did I survive?

10) Plane did not take off right. And, look thick black smoke encircled us along with the plane. We're dead. No, phew! close call.

11) I am in a bigger plane now. I am very close to a crashing plane. I can't lift it up. My plane is almost 85 degrees vertical. We escaped it. Phew! But no, look behind the crashing building. Another crashing building. We knocked the Eiffel Tower. And We're dead. No, phew! close call.

12) Let's go to Hawaii. But, hey where is it? And where is there lava pond in the middle of Pacific Ocean.

13) OMG! We are in total chaos and disaster. Car won't start-up. The guy sitting next to the passenger seat then says, "Car Start". And car starts (What the hell was that? Was that suppose to be a joke? Am I suppose to laugh at this?).

14) Look, I stopped the plane without crashing it. Phew! close call. But, hey no. Me and the plane fell into the abyss. I am dead.

15) Hey, lookie here. Three gigantic metal shark ships.

16) Hello, there Mt.Everest. Sorry to bump into you. Didn't see you there. Let me just pull back and get on my way. See ya.

17) Africa wasn't destroyed. Yay! me, all the continents are gone except for Africa. That's why it's called Cape Of Good. Let's go there.

The End.
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What happened to the Mayan prophecy?
ridley_coppola11 November 2009
I went to an advance screening of 2012 a few nights ago and I have to admit that this movie was entertaining at best and that's it. The whole movie is almost entirely comprised of special effects. Of course you'll see all of the lead characters survive scenarios that a regular human being would not. Some of the scenes are so ridiculously unbelievable that you want to laugh at the fodder that's being expected of you to believe. Emmerich certainly pushes "suspension of disbelief" to its limit.

John Cusack and Woody Harrelson are the only actors that attempt to hold the film together, while Danny Glover and Thandie Newton were an utter and complete let-down considering their previous work history. You won't see any remotely Oscar-worthy performances here. The casting of this film seemed off and poorly executed. You could tell the bulk of the financial budget went to the special effects and not the actors.

The thing that I found thoroughly disappointing about 2012 is that it's almost entirely lacking of any interesting backstory or intellectual substance whatsoever. There's very little mention of the Mayan calendar, Mayan history, or any of the prophetic wisdom that has foreseen the supposed end of days. The fear, analysis, curiosity, and everything else you've ever wondered about this new mysterious year that is quickly approaching is almost entirely removed from this film. That would have and could have made this film closer to a 10 if I didn't feel like my brain was utterly wasted on this CGI and special effects bonanza. They try to cram so many explosions, eruptions, earthquakes, and natural disasters into two hours that I might be a little desensitized to the real thing if it ever happens. After awhile nothing felt realistic or interesting about it at all.

It's novelty entertainment at best and that's it. You won't wince at how painfully awful this movie is, and you won't walk away knowing anything meaningful about 2012, but hopefully you'll help repay Sony pictures for the exorbitant amount of money that they and Roland Emmerich spent on their special effects budget. Don't say you weren't warned.
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Disturbing on many levels
Paul-27127 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This truly was a badly constructed movie lacking in imagination and any shred of humanity. Well, not quite. The humanity was distributed racially according to current Hollywood standards of what are the superior and inferior races.

The whites, are generally rather silly or in some cases, outright evil. The chief bad guy is a white adviser to the an idealized President Obama played by Danny Glover who played Danny Glover perfectly. The chief good guys are the president's daughter and black adviser - the latter who is the only character who seems to have some roots in being a human. The others do not.

Instead, they are as stereotyped as any 1930's movie, but with different characteristics more or less. The theme is a rush to board savior ships due to the end of the world about to occur. The occupants of the ships will be few compared to the billions about to die. These lucky few come from two pools - the world 'leaders' and their cronies as well as a few who can buy tickets costing roughly $1,500,000,000 each. Some of the wealthy who've bought their tickets are Arabs. Upon noting this, the *good guy*, the black guy, sneers out something like, "Is this the type of gene pool we wish to preserve?" saying more about the culture of Hollywood than Arab culture.

At one point, a character makes the important point that the savior ships should contain primarily young people who are robust enough to be pioneers and also have the ability to reproduce. Then, a bit later, we see the ancient Queen of England entering the ark ship with her dogs. So much for rational allocation of ark space. In fact, these aren't the only dogs to make it aboard. The film emphasizes in many places how more important it is to save Paris Hilton's dog than any of the humans who are being drowned, ground to a smear, blown up, crushed by avalanches or incinerated. It gleefully shows worshipers gathered at the Vatican to listen to the pope dying as the Vatican crumbles crushing not only them but the pope, the College of Cardinals and others detested by today's Hollywoood. Yet Paris Hilton's dog, getting a good deal of screen time, survives.

The Chinese are uniformly cruel inhuman automatons. The Tibetans are uniformly Highly Evolved Spiritual Beings. The whites are, as I said earlier, either idiots behaving like no human would possibly behave or pure evil who surely deserve to die along with the Roman Catholics, the Arabs, and the billions of others who aren't worthy.

To give one of many examples of how idiotic and unrealistic the white humans are here, the main character finds his ex wife now seriously involved with a new guy. During the course of their escapades, the new guy dies horribly. The ex wife, not being a Highly Evolved Tibetan or soulful black, pays no mind to her lover's death but instead just flips back, without a second's hesitation, to mating up with the main character.

This movie is pure propaganda and as all propaganda, it tells you more about the issuer of the propaganda than the ones targeted.
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Great disappointment
funwsin29 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The 2012 idea offered a great opportunity to make a true global disaster movie. The plot is imbecile. The characters are black and white. Typical stereotyping. Except for the White House staff. They are, of course, morally pure. The effects are good, but there are very few scenes with actual destruction and hi-tech effects. If the movie were an hour shorter,it would have been better and the story would be more fluent. The personal relationships took most of the suspense out of the movie. The dialogues are idiotic and simply annoying. Nobody in the Universe would talk like those pathetic characters in a global meltdown.

The film is full of standard characters. Everything is so predictable. The main characters miraculously survive disasters, land in high mountains and get saved in the last millisecond. 20-30 minutes of superior effects cannot compensate for shallow story and unrealistic characters.
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An insult to your IQ AND your emotional intelligence - why I walked out
MatthewInSydney17 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Yes, I walked out on this movie, 20 minutes before the ending. I've seen lots of films that were crapper, but this one was so damn aggravating. And unfortunately I went to see it by myself, so I couldn't relieve the tension by turning to a friend to say 'I HATE this film and want these characters TO DIE'.

To start with the okay things first - some of the disaster sequences were hugely excessive and brilliantly creative in their way (9 or 10 out of 10), it's ambitious in size, and the cast was mostly good. I enjoyed the comic Russians, even though they were clichéd. I've enjoyed slightly silly disaster films in the past, like Knowing and The Day After Tomorrow, so I try not to take a snob attitude towards them.

Now for some of why I HATED this - *SPOILERS* * Other people have commented on the 'heroes' (ie the dysfunctional white family) escaping every disaster at the last moment, more unbelievably than Indiana Jones ever did. While everyone else screams & falls down, continents literally move across the globe for this family's convenience! This is amusing once or twice, but then just gets silly. The emotional problem with this is that you can then only take this as being enjoyable action-comedy. But at the same time BILLIONS OF PEOPLE ARE BEING KILLED (there's no gore, but it's clear everyone on the planet is violently killed), and then even more amazingly you are meant to care whether this dull dysfunctional family gets back together. No, I wanted them DEAD! * This family is AWFUL. Despite the world going to hell, they care for nobody but themselves. They even take their escapes for granted, and all they can give the dying people around them are blank stares and then go back to talking about their personal issues. At least their young girl has the decency to sob once or twice (okay, I take back wanting her dead, but not the others). At a point later in the film, where the mother begs someone to save her kids, I wanted them to ask her what she'd ever done for anyone else's? What a cow. Drown em. * There's nothing wrong with depicting world disaster through the eyes of an ordinary family, but the story isn't actually told through their eyes only, so their importance is never explained. Why am I meant to care? * Did every African-American have to be so bloody noble? EVERY SINGLE ONE? * Having all the non-Americans get the secondary roles left a nasty taste. Because the rule in disaster films is that most of those secondary characters are just there to be killed off. The WORLD is ending, not just the US. But everyone takes orders from the US President, everyone is happy to talk English, and if you're a character from outside the US in this movie, say your prayers. Or rather, don't even bother. * What was the point of filling ships with billionaires? Their money would help build the things, but once everyone else on the planet dies, crusty old billionaires are not only not the best people to hang around with (they're generally not known for their manual labour or scientific skills), but after the world is destroyed so will 99% of their wealth! Their assets will be wiped out. There is no bloody point! A possible plot-line would have involved SOME billionaires bribing their way on board. But boatfuls of them? I have a low opinion of billionaires, but am certain most would be way too smart to think that was a good idea. * This film is kind of insulting to other nations. Even though plenty of US Presidents have been creeps, not all of them have been, and I can accept a heroic US President in a film. BUT, it's insulting to have other world leaders follow him blindly, and have him behave so nobly, going down with his country, while then portraying the Queen of England as one of the loathsome billionaires buying her way out - considering that the Queen Mum made a point of staying in London during the blitz, it's an insult. There's another uncomfortable point where a character expresses exasperation at the type of people they're saving - just as the camera catches sight of a smug middle-eastern billionaire. It comes across as an insult, whether intentional or not, but this film doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt. Oh, and killing everyone in the Vatican, weird. This kind of mild nastiness could have been fun if the whole film had've been more wicked and bitter, maybe making John Cusack a lovable sleazeball, but no, it has to attempt to pull on our heart-strings too. We are simply meant to love the dull white American family, and want to see them get back together, because Hollywood films take that for granted, and to accept that all African-Americans are amazingly noble, because that's Hollywood being PC.

Where I walked out - started to get the urge when the mother begged the Chinese guard to save her children. Would have loved the Chinese guard (oh look, he speaks English) to explain to her why her family didn't deserve his help in the slightest. Where I did walk out - when one of the noble African-Americans made a god-awful speech about why they should try to save more of those horrid billionaires, that those people deserved a chance to live etc. No, I was not going to let these characters try to regain my sympathy so easily after hours of callous behaviour. And I just knew it would be a matter of minutes before John Cusack's character would attempt something similar, through some heroic action (and the plot synopsis on Wikipedia tells me I was right!).
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Adventures of Super American Dad and his family !
merdiolu27 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The title of this sorry excuse for a movie should be like that..I mean after watching Curtis family survive every massive disaster milliseconds before...with making so many jokes and in script gags ( I swore I thought this was becoming a comedy towards middle while countless gigantic tragedies supposed to be going on everywhere with millions dying "The guy is an actor. He is getting paid to read a script !" ) , scientific nonsense and dismissal of laws of physics ( jumping through massive gaps on the ground with a limo ! , flying with a two propeller aircraft in front of an exploding super volcano , moving a gigantic Antonov plane between collapsing buildings and inside chasms , cell phones and global network of communications still on along with GPS and other navigational systems after Earth's magnetic poles screwed up ) , god awful leaps of logic ( hey listen and follow what every conspiracy nut says when the end is coming....They might have a map which shows our survival ) , racial and national stereotypes for dumb Americans ( "Arab sheiks and their families are not worthy of saving" implies morally superior scientist hero...WHAT ? Queen of Great Britain is leaving everyone and saving herself with her dogs , shifty fat Russian billionaire buffoons can not be trusted but hey their Paris Hilton like mistresses are hot ! ) , every disaster movie cliché crammed in ( a dysfunctional American family , dad estranged from wife and struggling with an menial job but he is a hero , her new boyfriend is a jerk to be killed , dog survives , family reunited at the end , a scientist warns everyone with a moral and ethical speech at the end and gets First Daughter , US President good decent man doing right thing always and sacrifices himself with his people....STOP STOP TOO MUCH US PATRIOTISM ALERT )

After watching all of this I went to restroom and threw up....Another case which Hollywood does not make a real production or interested with art of film making anymore but only bothered to create a PRODUCT to be consumed by idiot audience to make money....And it will make money because of the marketing campaign , CGI porn and ignorant masses. Not because script or acting means or worthy of anything. Seriously I respect John Cusack a lot. What happened to this guy ? Why he accepted leading role ? I will not even bother to discuss rest of the cast...They were all terrible one way or another ( except for little actress Lily Morgan ...She was quite talented and acted better than anyone else...Because she acted natural as she supposed to be...not like Woody Harrelson's overbearing absurd conspiracy nut manners

Roland Emmerich has only one or two script and he is using it over and over again with little changes ( except little changes names , characters events and characters are similar with "Independence Day" and "Day After Tomorrow" ) Even he has a different scrips he shows what a terrible director he is....He is just selling a CGI show and you can go to Disneyland instead and get a similar thrill in rollercoasters....
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Save your money!
mark-440113 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I was looking forward to this movie coming out. Went tonight, and what a let down.

1. Was very slow at that start. Took forever to get going. Yes, you have to supply an intro to get acquainted with the characters, and a base for the story. But it took forever! Needless useless dialog. Way too much information, and typical bs that can be found in all disaster movies.

2. Speaking of disaster movies, this one follows all the others in cheap storyline and thrills.

a. Typical disorganized hero with an estranged wife and kids. b. Typical step-father (who ends up being left out) Remember the fiancée in Twister? c. Typical African-American President. In Hollywood ALL Presidents must be African-American... Unless they are evil... then they can be white. d. Bad guy turns good in the end... then is killed. e. Super smart scientist that convinces the world and saves the day. f. Government holding secrets from the populous.

3. VERY UNREAL storyline. Just some really... I mean really STUPID scenarios.

4. How many times do you have to have a runway drop out from under you before you decide it is not a good idea to land?

5. Take a few flying lessons and you can not only fly... but navigate a Queen Air!

6. A lot of coincidences that are just way too hard to believe!

7. Story drags... and drags.... and drags and goes on dragging for 2.5 hours! After a while you just end up saying yourself... "Just end the world... I need relief!"

8. They just tried to jam too many (already done) disaster scenes. A combination of Poseidon Adventure, Deep Impact, Hard Rain, Airport, Armageddon, etc, etc, etc.

Anything good??? Special effects were "ok". At least kept me awake.

Whatever you do.... Save your money don't pay $10.00 to see it. Don't spend money on the DVD either. Don't even pay a $1.00 at the cubical to rent. Wait for it to come out on TV... then if you have nothing else to do... watch it for the special effects!
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ronniholme15 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Me and my girlfriend expected a lot from this movie, we obviously never expected it to be a drama masterpiece, but some nice action and hopefully a story that made somewhat sense.

God were we let down, the action scenes were terrible, of course we know that the hero will make all sorts of getaway moves, but Superman ain't got nothing on this guy.

The movie can pretty much be summed up with.

Terrible dialouge, scene where our hero and his god annoying family get's away just 0.0001 second before it's too late, and then another awful dialouge and nonsense, after where our little superteam decides to land on the middle of what is gonna be the worlds largest volcano, they of course get's away just at the very very last second, let's not forget that a volcano cloud moves at incredible speed, however our hero can of course outrun it in a mobile home down a curvy road.

This goes on and on, I stopped counting the amount of "tense" scenes after 1 hour, but it's retarded, because you know that the good guy and his family are gonna survive, it's obvious and therefore these scenes become retarded and quite boring.

Heck I would have preferred the ex-wife and a kid dying once in a while, it would have given you abit of the "omg are they gonna make it?!" feeling, but it doesn't.

It's an extremely boring movie, there's no "wow nice effects" we've seen it all before, acting is just horrible, of course the bad guy who just shows his loving heart at the end dies, of course our hero's ex-wifes new girlfriend dies a pretty terrible death so we're sure that he'll get his ex back, and of course she forgot everything about her just dead boyfriend 5 minutes after he's dead and starts making out with her hero "what a slut tbh" You really have a terrible taste in movies if you liked this, you gain nothing from seeing it, whatsoever.
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Funniest tragedy ever
dfranzen703 December 2009
There is now a long, grand history of disaster films in Hollywood. The best of the lot have combined suspense with cutting-edge effects to keep your adrenaline pumping. The worst combine cheesy CGI with shallow characters whose deaths won't affect you much.

Here's 2012, summed up: Look, some recognizable landmark! Kablam! Look, a giant wave! Wooo! Do our intrepid Good Guys have enough time to outrun the imploding planet and foil a plot to save only the pretty, rich people? Probably! It's pretty clear what happened to bring us to this point. Roland Emmerich, who's made such cinematic classics as Independence Day, The Patriot, Godzilla, and The Day after Tomorrow, was asked if he wanted a quintillion billion bazillion dollars to make a movie about the end of the world, and he said sure. Then he took parts of each movie's script, filmed them mostly with CGI, and pocketed the rest. Viola! Greatest movie! (A quick break to sum up the plot. Apparently, the sun and the planets have all aligned with the center of the galaxy, which winds up causing the Earth's crust to break up, which then causes the tectonic plates to shift. Mass hysteria! Dogs and cats, living together! The End.) See, there are two ways Emmerich could have gone with this movie. He could have given us characters to follow whom we cared a little about, thus involving us in their plights, and mixed in some convincing special effects. Or he could have said, "The heck with the characters, give me blowy-uppy thingys." This sometimes works: See Independence Day, a movie that made me feel pretty good when I left the theater after seeing it but that ultimately, frankly, was pretty bad.

Emmerich chose the latter. Which would have been fine, but the effects themselves are wildly unrealistic and often take so long to set up that you completely notice how godawful they really are. For example – and if you've seen the trailer, this is in there – there's a scene in which the Sistine Chapel falls, crushing thousands of spectators. Because the toppling is so slow to complete, it becomes painfully obvious that it's just a film running on a screen behind people running away. Sad and unintentionally hilarious.

And you can forget about the plot, really, because most of it makes no sense anyway and would happen only in a Big Movie like this. Of COURSE John Cusack is divorced from his hot, bitchy wife (Amanda Peet) and of COURSE she's hooking up with a plastic surgeon who of COURSE winds up having had some flying lessons that of COURSE will save them all and of COURSE Cusack's young son will somehow save the day as well and of COURSE there is a Russian businessman who used to be a boxing legend and of COURSE he punches someone out. And of COURSE people say "My God!" a lot, because that's what people do in crappy disaster films. And of COURSE the president is black, because in Hollywood black people get to be president only if disaster is a-coming.

At least the acting isn't horrible. Because everyone just runs from place to place in an effort to escape the horror, there aren't any subtle, low-key scenes that would allow good actors to flourish. Cusack is good in general, but what the heck is he doing in here? He's usually so good at picking projects, and he chose this? Willingly? Oliver Platt plays the kind of role that Bruce McGill typically gets, the hamhanded, I'm-in-charge, Al-Haig-like politician. I can't even remember his title. Danny Glover gets to be president and does get the best dialog in the film, even if his role isn't a big one. Woody Harrelson, as a crazed DJ deep in Yellowstone is also a lot of fun, although he's not the kind of guy you'd want to sit next to on a transatlantic flight.

Final verdict: Yikes. Yikes, yikes, and yikes. If you dare watch this travesty, you might find yourself laughing hysterically at things – and this is important – that were not meant to be funny. If that's your thing, this is your movie. I managed to see this as a matinée, so I'm not out the $10-$15 that some people are right now, so at least I got that going for me. Best advice: Watch it for free at home on a big-screen TV to fully appreciate the magnitude of suck.
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Another Hollywood CGI Bloated Mess
roland-rockerfella12 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Well what can you say about a disaster movie when the biggest disaster is the movie it'self. I'm not even sure where to begin summing up this turd. The bad acting, the corny duologue, the endless clichés, oh yes and let's not forget the nail biting escapes.

In fact there are so many nail biting escapes made by our heroes I think I will just focus on those. The trouble is i'm not sure which nail biting escape to focus on. The nail biting escape from suburbia, the nail biting escape from Yellow Stone, the nail biting escape from the airport 1, the nail biting escape from airport 2, the nail biting escape from the cargo plane, the nail biting escape from the arc.........etc,etc,etc,etc.

Man what a waste of 3 hours.
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At best, totally by the numbers....
chimera-413 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I don't know what I was thinking going into 2012. I guess I hoped it wasn't as generic as the trailers made it seem. Every trailer I'd ever seen for the movie made it look pretty much exactly like The Day After Tomorrow and it pretty much was.

Famous landmarks getting destroyed, mass destruction, hero outrunning/driving/flying mass destruction, family rifts that get healed up at the end, Inconvenient spouses offed and then completely forgotten about/ignored for the sake of reconciliation with exes. All the cliché trademarks are all present and correct, doing their duty by merely showing up. To be fair it's a competent enough, if silly, disaster movie which offers no surprises whatsoever while laying on more (admittedly impressive looking) empty spectacle for the sake of empty spectacle.

It felt way too long at nearly 3 hours and at least half of that was the build up. Predictable and seen it all before buildup at that. We've all seen it before. Strange geological anomolies. Nerdy tech guys coming up with unbelievable numbers that mean bad sh*t is gonna be going down. Officials that don't buy it then eventually do, the crazy survivalist dude that everyone thinks is nuts that really knows what's going down (here played by a very entertaining Woody Harelson, probably the best thing about the movie) etc.

You can pretty much go with your impression of the trailer for this movie. What you get here is what you expect to get from what the trailer shows you.

At best 2012 is totally by the numbers and at worse absolutely ridiculous, cliché and even a bit insulting really.....
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It's the end of the world, not anybody's career
polombob15 November 2009
Anybody going to this movie to learn about the Mayan prophecies for 2012 or for any true science, is going to be sadly disappointed. But, that is not why we go to movies anyway, is it? That is like going to see Godzilla expecting to learn something about giant lizards that vomit radioactive spray. Emmerich has taken a fictitious subject he knew would be controversial and woven some drama into it. People who tend to be slightly paranoid will no doubt be even more so after seeing the world destroyed according to interpretations of prophecy. The people who sell the books promoting the fear make money, just like the movie producers. So what? I didn't see this movie to pick up any information I haven't learned from the History Channel, nor do I believe any more than I did before, that anything bad is going to happen on December 21, 2012. Did I go expecting to be highly entertained by great CGI and action? Yes! And I wasn't disappointed! One thing many reviewers haven't been picking up on while watching this movie is the very slight tongue-in-cheekiness of the subject that Emmerich cleverly wove into the plot. He obviously doesn't believe any of the prophecy any more than most of the rest of us do. You can see it in the actors' performances too: Woody Harrelson, to wit. It is the same as a weatherman who can deliver his forecast each night without laughing because he truly doesn't know with certainty what is going to happen, but he tries to make us believe nonetheless.

See this movie if you love cinema. Enjoy the things about cinema that make it great. Take a small pillow for your butt cheeks because almost 3 hours of sitting in an uncomfortable theater seat will make you wish you had. But fear not. There is so much non-stop action you won't notice the discomfort too much.

The film has obvious flaws, trite clichés, and phony science, but if you are a fan of 50's sci-fi, you will love this movie. And remember, don't take it too seriously folks, just enjoy it. The end of the world isn't going to happen in 2012, there really aren't any giant grasshoppers, ants, or lizards roaming the Earth, and no one's career is going to end because of their role in this movie. It is Hollywood having a good time with a controversial subject. Nothing new there.

Enjoy the show!
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What was the worst scene or line in this awful movie for you?
thenugget3117 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I had to comment on this movie... I am only 3/4 of the way through watching this movie and I just can't believe how much they hyped up this heap of rubbish. I've read some people on this site asking people to lighten up and like the movie for what it is but really... If it were a comedy then fair enough.. ..it's hilarious... The reason why it's important to hate this film is because these people get paid to make this rubbish and there are hundreds of film-makers out there who would kill to have the resources, money and cast that this guy had and to then produce this rubbish is an insult to these would be film makers and an insult to the audience... Worst scenes for me were the supermarket scene and then the ridiculous escape scene in the car by Cussack and family... The script was just life threateningly awful... The nonchalant acting is excusable because the actors must have realised that this was a bad slapstick comedy quite quickly so I forgive them...

People who don't hate this film need to be the first to go when the world does finally end.

I still have 30 minutes more to watch so maybe there are even worse scenes yet to come!
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Diabollically Bad!
NikTesla17 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
What is it about movie directors now? Do they get paid per minute of unrealistic, ridiculous and overblown special effects while completely ignoring science? The claims that mutated neutrinos could be causing the core of the earth to melt is a complete joke. In order to cause the earths core, a massive ball of iron, to melt would have required so much energy that life would have been extinguished long before the core would melt, especially in the 3 year timeline given in the film.

This movie had some of the stupidest effects I have seen in a long, long time. The limo scene was beyond dumb, especially the gigantic wave following behind. As those sorts of waves travel at around 3000 metres per second or 10,800 Km per hour (around 6000 miles per hour) then I think they would have had a hard time escaping.

The speed at which the buildings and the bridge they drove under collapsed was ludicrously slow.

The bit with the loaded Antonov An-225 climbing like an empty airliner at an air show was laughable.

A tsunami would not have produced a surface wave of the size shown in the middle of the ocean. Tsunami's travel along the bottom, only showing once the tsunami hit the continental shelves.

The scene where tropical animals were being transported over a glacier, through frigid high mountain air while slung under helicopters showed that the director had not given even the slightest thought to what would happen to those animals being transported that way.

Another laughable scene was the bit when whole flooded hydraulic chamber scene. Considering how high they were and the fact the waves had traveled through the high mountains, the water would have been frigid. Those people trapped in it would have died from hypothermia very quickly.

The captain was not being able to start the turbines till the door is closed? Why not? And when the turbines finally started a big cloud of smoke, suggesting that the turbines were burning diesel or some other liquid fuel. Yet we are expected to believe that this fuel would last for a minimum of two months.

I was almost falling of my seat laughing during the Everest collision. A multi-thousand ton behemoth like that vessel hitting Mount Everest would have caused a massive ice slide. Yet all that happened was a couple of ice blocks fell and broke a window. And later we see the front of the vessel and there is absolutely no sign that it had run into the side of a mountain.

What can I say about the dialog other than how many 7 year old kids did they get to write it. The dialog was lame. The screenplay was a joke, with the good guys getting out of yet another inescapable situation at the last millisecond in the most improbable ways.

Yes, the special effects were spectacular and yet it was quite clear they were there to cover up for an incredibly lame, dull and boring screenplay.

I am glad I did not pay to see this joke in the cinema. I would have been demanding my money back.
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Great roller-coaster ride
andony6320 November 2009
Okay, the first thing I'd like to say is, ignore those comments from members who belong to 'the worst movie ever club!!' These members think it is way cool to label every slightly disappointing movie as ' the worst movie ever' and emphasize their juvenility with tons of exclamation marks. They think it is way cool to trash movies.

The movie just isn't that bad. It's not that great either so ignore those who gush and tell you how awesome it is and rate it 10 out of 10.

This is a film best viewed in the movie theaters on the largest screen possible to enjoy the thrilling sensation of cities breaking up, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. This is indeed a thrilling roller-coaster ride. It is best to leave your brain at home, however, as you will cringe at the clichés, the schmaltz, and the absurdities. That doesn't make it the worst film ever, though. So go for the ride and enjoy the CG effects.
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Worst film I have seen for some time
RIK-224 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Where to start.

Basically in summary this isn't really a film, it's a collection of many poor over-the-top CGI images and sequences that aren't realistic in any way or believable. Added to that is the most corny, pointless, dull, cliché ridden soap opera scenes the world has ever been exposed to. This film is completely devoid of any realism or emotion; it's over long and completely boring and pointless.

I will give just some small example of pure nonsense:

  • Aircraft taking off just before the whole airport and area is about to be destroyed, yet the tower keeps telling the plane they are no authorised to take off!!! 2 seconds later the tower is destroy, why would they be in the tower and why would they try stopping the flight.

  • Mobiles phone work all the time even with no land, towers or electricity for miles around.

  • The wife, who has just been stuck on a boat for x weeks/months still has lovely make-up and new clothes on, even on a packed ship.

  • Animals are flown in one by one, by helicopter in the open air. Not in boxes and not on trucks and not well in advance, hours before departure.

  • Why do all planes fly 1 inch off the ground at all times, rather than bothering to actually climb over any danger.

I could go on and on, this film is simply brain dead nonsense with no redeeming qualities. Even the green screen FX are awful and poorly done.
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You Were Warned!
rhklwk-123 March 2010
You were warned that possibly the worst movie made since The Monolith Monsters (1957) had been unleashed on the public.

Almost all of the actors are unappealing. John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, and Danny Glover are not compelling actors. Cusack, as usual, plays the weary sad sack. Harrelson's attempt to channel Dennis Hopper's maniacal character in "Apocalypse Now" is embarrassing. And Danny Glover's role as the president of the United States is an insult. In his "real" life, he despises America and praises Hugo Chavez, the thug that runs Venezuela and its drug cartels. Putting that aside, Glover's pulse can hardly be measured.

Child actors. Oh, if only we didn't need them. They are almost invariably portrayed as rude, contrary, and sullen. And the parents put up with it. But, never fear, by the end of the film, they are cuddly little teddy bears that have brokered a reconciliation between their estranged parents.

The adult characters in this movie are not believable. They are either cads, unlikely heroes, or holy men. Adults in authority almost always have bad motives. The chief bad guy is supposed to be the president's chief of staff, Anheuser, but in reality he is the only guy that knows what he's doing and is devoted to his duty. That doesn't count much, I guess, in the prevailing culture.

The story begins with some excitement, but eventually devolves into an overlong, overwrought cartoon. It's "Earthquake," "The Towering Inferno," "Krakatoa-East of Java," "The Poseidon Adventure," "The Bible," and "Airport '75" on steroids. Too many anguished characters, too many anti-heroes, too many noble savages, too many plots and subplots, no coherence, and virtual chaos.

Such is what passes today for entertainment. Yes, this is a disaster movie alright, but probably not the kind of disaster the producers intended.
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Good cataclysmic Action, but waayyy to much bad kitsch
eilfurz12 November 2009
I loved the first half of the movie with Roland Emmerich seemingly back to form (from his disastrous "10,000 B.C."). But as the movie drags on, even the smallest character gets his "i have to say goodbye to my loved ones"-scene - which becomes quite annoying after you've watched this for the 5th time in a row. then comes a great destruction scene and then we're back in soap-opera territory. don't get me wrong, basically that can be said about most of Emmerich's movies - they are just popcorn cinema - leave your brain at the ticket counter. still, i enjoyed the likes of "Independence Day" or even "The Day After Tomorrow". But the one thing, he can't do properly is "good"-emotional cinema - which works fine in some of his other movies when his pathos-laden, goofy dialogue writing doesn't get in the way of the big explosions - it fit's, makes them funnier to a point. unfortunately this doesn't work for 2012. if somebody could actually cut this movie down to 90minutes running time, i'd even be lining up for a second ticket.
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End of the World? Fine, If It Means No More '2012's
jacklmauro28 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
It is no small accomplishment to film a movie about the end of the world and make absolutely all of it very, very boring. Hats off to '2012'. Like some others, I rented this for sheer kicks. I got kicked, all right. From John Cusack - apparently Hollywood's poster boy for divorced, cynical writers who come through at the end - desperately trying to stay afloat in absolutely horrific dialogue (yes, his ex takes a moment as the world is ripping apart to remind him that he had 'blocked' his family), to Woody Harrelson's awful acting as the crackpot who knows the truth - and you just know he's howling with glee at having been paid a lot of money to do this junk - to pseudo-scientific rationales that choose to utterly ignore how the erupting of Yellowstone alone would plunge the Earth into years of darkness, to insulting racial stereotypes like you would not believe, to the ultimate infuriation of the leads embracing in meaningful relationship babble as seconds remain to fix the ark before everybody's doomed...it's all one extravagant and unwatchable mess. And what's really astounding is how steadfastly boring the movie is. The world is shattering and you are begging for, maybe, one decent scene to come along. Or a quake to knock out your TV.
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rock_steady_punk23 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
There literally are no words that can describe the absolute horror this movie is... I am an Environmental Scientist, I can honestly say that scientifically, not one thing in this movie is accurate... For starters, you cannot predict an earthquake, never mind a global scale catastrophe leading to the destruction of mankind!! If we put the budget of this movie into public awareness of important matters like Co2 emissions, conservation and disaster management the world would be a better place! I mean, is it any wonder people don't take global warming seriously when crap like this comes out and makes a joke out of everything that scientists have worked their whole lives to discover? I honestly cant believe this even got 6stars...
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Great special effects and... thats all
bluf20003 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Seeing this movie's trailer, I was eagerly waiting to see it.

I wanted so much to see a catastrophe movie, which is not pathetic, extra-patriotic, with self-sacrificing and heroic people.

But i have learned once more (TOO many times I am afraid), that if the following is true: (a) disaster movie (b) in USA, then the movie MUST be pathetic, with very strongly heroic self-sacrificing, patriot characters.

Of course the good characters prevail, and the bad ones die.

Of course the good character saves all, saves mankind, and anyone will listen to him. He makes virtually all that rulers of the world should do.

So... lets be objective. Special effects and CGI are great. These made me (from the trailer) go to the cinema to see this movie. And I was in no way disappointed by them, on the contrary. I could say that the first 20% of the movie was somehow OK. But... come on people. I am a Sci-Fi fan, I understand that the movie has fantastic premises.... but this must not influence character actions and development. They have to be Realistic. We are not watching cartoons here. So these are a few of the stuff that actually ruined the movie, and made me hate it.

* US president who refuses to save himself, remaining on the collapsing earth, and being killed by the disaster while he was nursing wounded people (ohhhhh my god, its so gross)

* new superman character John Cusack. He can escape from a van which, while he is inside, falls into a lava crevasse.

* bad reach Russian guy dies in the end very stupid, while the good poor guys escape. All of them. Oh, and BTW, Russian guy's children escape also (although they were also reach, but we cant kill kids in a patriotic, altruist movie, can we ?)

* after one hour of flight lessons, a common plastic surgeon flies planes much better than Schumacher drives formula 1 cars

* an altruist patriotic scientist can convince all state presidents to be good. And to cooperate.

* the dentist (sorry, plastic surgeon) must die, because John Cusack must return to his ex-wife (who in the while was married to the dentist. No, the surgeon. Silicon surgeon.). We cant let superman alone, can we ?

* by the way, John Cusack can also repair billion dollar hydraulic mechanisms (below the watter) which were broken very easily (suspect, isn't it ?) and easy to fix (for John Cusack. Superman.)

Well.... these are only a few things that actually killed me while seeing this movie. They literally ruined a film which could have been exceptional otherwise.

I give it 2 of 10 (I was mad writing this article:)).
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1500m high wave of puke - prepare for the impact.
prodigy-2520 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Where to begin dissecting this pointless waste of film (calling it a movie would be an undeserved compliment)? I think I'll start with mutated neutrinos. Why not? One can never underestimate the danger of those. So, if you'll ever see a mutated neutrino somewhere around your neighborhood, please, call the police immediately.

No, wait. This doesn't explain anything. I need to find a different approach...

Ronald Emmerich – the script writer and director of 2012 – doesn't care for any of those petty and boring laws of physics he studied (or did he?) in school. Our poor old Earth has existed for 5 billion years only to be broken and CGI-reshaped at the whim of his mighty imagination. And you know what? It could be alright if Emmerich's imagination were actually half as mighty as his immense complacency.

His past works (e.g. The Day After Tomorrow) were – if not terribly original – at least somewhat plausible if you turned suspense-of-disbelief mode on and remembered that it's typical Hollywood after all. But now, elated by success, he has thrown away all pretense of verisimilitude. Now neutrino act as microwaves, hydraulics that lifts massive metal gates can be blocked by a finger-thick Chinese-made plastic cable, a small propeller-driven aircraft can fly in close proximity to an erupting super-volcano (just to clarify: a single VEI-8 eruption can plunge the Earth into a volcanic winter, so your puny H-bomb pales in comparison), mobile phones continue to function just fine even when all modern infrastructure is already annihilated, and GPS navigation systems aren't rendered useless by massive miles long shifts in the Earth's crust...

Such is the world of 2012. Its pieces are poorly and hastily brought together in a truly absurd, Frankenstein's manner. If Emmerich needs to justify another completely unbelievable plot twist, soapy "emotional" scene or meaningless CG destruction sequence, anything goes. And forgive me for leaving actors and their characters aside. I like Woody Harrelson, but even his brief appearance barely deserves mentioning. Others are just "reading a script", and when John Cusack actually utters these words, they sound almost like an excuse.

2.5 hours of incessant brain torture that will make the coming of Apocalypse your golden dream.
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