Monday, 23 August 2010
In the year 2525
I watched "2012" on DVD last week. It is a stinker.
The storyline: It has one? Well I think so, because to be honest I was confused. To begin with it seemed to be about the Mayan end of days idea. It also introduced the alignment of the major planets and the sun; but seemed to settle on the idea that there was a super active sun which threw out all sorts of deadly particles which sort of melted to earth's mantle. This might not be completely accurate because I got distracted trying to reset the sane button in my head.
I will not, at this point, highlight the total nonsenses that litter the film but will try to faithfully report the film's narrative.
A few years back a lovely Indian scientist discovers that the earth was melting on the inside and that its crust would slip and slide all over the place creating one big problem. Principally, it appears that most of America would be in what is now the Antarctic.
Our brilliant Indian tells the big boys this but they, for very good reasons, don't tell you or I. What's the use of scaring the shit out of us when there's nothing they can do. But they draw up plans to build massive arks to carry all the rich and important people. Enter major evil guy - Russian or someone equally foreign - who buys a place on the ark for a billion euros. I know, but bear with the plot.
Enter the all American hero; sensitive, arty writer type with a broken marriage and a strong ex wife whose hitched up with some dork, and a sweet little daughter.. you know what I mean. Our hero's taking brat kid on vacation to ... Yellowstone Park (YP).
Ex wife and boyfriend are off shopping in a huge supermarket. They're choosing what to eat when the earth splits asunder and the baked beans are now really out of reach. Soppy dad arrives at YP wanting to show his daughter a lake that meant so much to him - except it's dried up. There's a hippy type character with his own radio station and he knows what's going to happen and where the arks are.
Things start getting out of hand on the West Coast and because it's happening on the West Coast the East Coast politician start taking notice. Enter American President with dead wife and Afro-Sino daughter who happens to be hugely clever. Danny Glover plays the US pres. I must have missed it but there's a recent amendment to the US constitution which states that in any disaster movie the President must be black.
Back at Yellowstone things are getting hot. Ever since they discovered the massive caldera - volcano to us plebs - someone has wanted to make a mega bang using CGI. It happens: hippy type gets vaporised and hero with whinny kid escapes in hippy's Winnebago which contains the map giving the location of the arks.
Back on the West Coast: it's convulsing and ex wife and dippy boyfriend (who has flown just twice) hire a plane but the pilot's dead - hit no doubt by half a continental shelf. Dippy boyfriend summons up nerve and flies plane as Arizona rocks like it's 1999. Since the film's major sponsors are the Mafia in Vegas we get fantastic close up shots of all the Vegas attractions as they slip into the abyss. Mum and dippy man head for YP to rescue daughter .
YP is exploding and amazingly dippy hubby and brat kid are outrunning a sonic boom. To be rescued by wife and boyfriend in small plane. Luckily hubby rescues map showing where arks are and they all fly off into the sunset as the world shifts 20 degrees and everything is looking rather tricky.
Our intrepid four, sensitive ex hubby, controlling ex wife, dippy lover and soppy daughter fly over a disintegrating world safe in the knowledge that they have the location of the arks. Except.. they're in China (Of course, why didn't I think of that) and our venturesome quadratics are flying a single engined monoplane.
No problem: they'll have to get a bigger plane. And they do: a 747 or the equivalent but that involves the evil bad guy.
The world's ending (shifting 20 degrees to the right) and our heroes with bad guy and his cargo of super cars (don't ask) are flying to China. They run out of fuel and are about to crash into the Pacific, except because the world's shifted they crash land in a mountain range in China.
OK. You're bored now. They are rescued by some nice Chinese who get into the one of arks but in doing so screw up the drawbridge mechanism, and also a mega mega tidal wave ( 1,000 ft and climbing) is on its way and they've cocked up the calculations so it'll hit not in 20 hr but 20 mins and .... But our writer sorts out everything by swimming under water for at least an hour making love to his ex wife forgiving his ex-wife's lover and being nice for once to his daughter.
And they sail off in the arks after being hit by a tidal wave as high as Mount Everest .
The black US president was drowned, as was the nice Indian scientist who warned us all in the first place. So was the Russian.. and I think most of the world. And the 2012 Olympics were put on hold. But the film didn't dwell on that.
So the technical flaws. First, rays from the sun that can melt the Earth's mantle but not affect humans. Two, the earth is disintegrating but these guys fly calmly through the atmosphere. Cell phones still work when the earth has shifted 20 degrees - they don't work now when things are stationary . Tidal waves 29,000 feet high... but the killer what's 1 billion euros worth when there's no world left?
It could have been our battle plan for Iraq.