The Mayan calendar predicts that the world as we know it will end in 2012, so, really, this is sort of like a pre-emptive documentary. An eclectic mix of characters are introduced, including Chiwetel Ejiofor's scruple-ridden scientist, Danny Glover's scruple-ridden president, and Oliver Platt's scrupleless politician. But our protagonist is John Cusack's failed writer, who discovers, through some mind-numbing coincidences, just what the US government is planning to do. Desperate to save his estranged family, as all hell breaks loose around the world, it's a race against time to find a way to some safe land, and the "spaceships" the government has built to save a select few in order to reboot humanity.
2012 is essentially another one of those blockbusters that delivers the goods in terms of following up the action that the trailer promised, but fails in most other respects. Cusack and Ejiofor are both consistently better than the material they're given; managing to come away with their dignity intact despite some atrocious lines. Ejiofor's rousing speech towards the end is embarrassingly cheesy, but c'mon, this is the guy who directed Independence Day - he's not exactly Diablo Cody. The audience wants to see stuff be destroyed in an extravagant, overblown fashion and Emmerich knows how to do that very well.
Clocking in at damn near two and a half hours, you may get slightly tired with a conclusion that seems like it's never gonna come, but it does deliver on the action front and, for most, that is where the attraction will lie. This is firmly a film from the director of Godzilla and ID4; which is either a compliment or a slate, depending on what you thought of those two blockbusters.
Review by Mike Sheridan | 09:00 | Thursday 5th November 2009 | Movie Review