Saturday, November 14, 2009

2012 Review

I saw tonight Roland Emmerich's 2012. I'm not a big fan of Emmerich's movies but i love "end of the world" movies, and 2012 is all about that.

So, what do i think about it? First, all the digital effects are perfectly - and even wonderfully - done. Two, it's not the worst of his movies - 10000 B.C was the worst one - it has a better story than The Day after (which is not difficult) and it's less "republican" than Independence Day (which is not difficult, too).

The main problem as always with Emmerich who is not - and will never be - Stanley Kubrick, is that the story line, characters dialogs, etc...are still very "primary". They could have cut at least 20 minutes in it (2012 runs 2h40min) and the movie would have been better. Still, some of the scenes (and i'm not talking about the destruction scenes but of the scenes which are in-between) are so predictable, mainly because we've seen them hundred times in other movies.

There is also another problem: if you've watched the teaser, the trailer, and the movie clip released last month you've seen already two third of the main destruction scenes. In two words: Emerich spent too many of his bullets in the movie promotion. But to be fair there still is beautiful and stunning scenes to discover like the one of the volcano explosion in the Yellowstone national park.

Obviously Roland Emmerich is the Irwin Allen of the 21st Century. With the main difference that Emmerich arrived at the digital era and can create never-seen-before images. But Irwin Allen had great actors: Gene Hackman, Shelley Winters, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, etc... in The Poseidon Adventure and Paul Newman, Steve Mc Queen and William Holden in The Towering Inferno. And i'm sorry to say that it makes a big difference as this old generation of actors not only were playing perfectly their part but also had an "interesting" acting. In 2012 actors are okay, they do their job quite well, but their characters are really stereotypes and of course none of them have an acting as interesting as the one i've just quote. If we except Woody Harrelson, probably the most interesting acting, we've seen so many times in other movies this kind of characters that it's hard to have any empathy for them.

Because the digital SFX are so well done we can watch 2012 with pleasure but basically the movie is between a summer blockbuster and a Deluxe TV movie which deserves of course to be watch on a big screen to fully enjoy the destruction scenes.

Picture: copyright Sony Pictures


John Locke said...

Less republican? Was ID4 about being a republic? Man, I missed something in that story and it was a pretty thin story that I didn't think I missed anything in.

Alain Littaye said...

No, i was not using here the word "republican" in the meaning of "republic" but more in the "conservative" meaning of the word.
May be i should have write "republican spirit" or "republican values", which would have been closer to what i mean.

Anonymous said...

It would probably be better if you left politics out of your reviews. If you meant by "republican spirit" and "republican values" a sense of pride in one's country and a desire to defend her against all enemies, then I can accept the characterization. But I'm almost thinking you mean it as a slam against the movie. Also, you need to brush up on your English usage. "Maybe I should have WRITTEN..." You should have used a past tense verb.

Alain Littaye said...

You're right, i should have written "written", i knew it but sometime i do mistake on the verb tenses.

As for the rest of your comment it was a brilliant demonstration of "republican spirit"! There is of course no problem to defend his country against enemies, but there is one with patriotism. I don't think any country in the world is perfect, some are just less worst than others. And most of all no "system" is perfect. I prefer of course to live in Occident than in China or Burma, there is no doubt about that, but even the occidental system have a good side and an evil side.
So, instead to think that we are living in "the greatest country in the world" anyone should see his own country with lucidity and try to make it better. And of course i include France which is far to be the best country in the world.

Nathan Birnbaum said...

I'm a Republican and I like your website, Alain, although I tend not to agree with your political views, but I HATED ID4. It was a horrible film filled with some of the worst dialog I've heard.

And I've heard and seen a lot of films.