Nothing says holiday cheer like a movie about the end of the world. Well, I guess if there is a good dose of humanity and some top notch special effects, it does qualify as a good way to spend some times as this festive season descends upon us. 2012 is a movie about the cataclysmic date of 12-21-12, a date many cultures, religions, scientists and governments believe will be the end of the world as we know it.
Written and directed by Roland Emmerich and staring John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejofur and Amanda Peet, 2012 is a wild ride. Though the initial storyline setup is somewhat burdensome (relieved by introductions to a fantastic and extensive cast), once the action gets started, it does not let up. Here is the gist: the world is going to end. Every government knows about it, and they come together to make a plan for the survival of the human race. As the earth literally starts to disintegrate (cue smorgasbord of amazing special effects), our hero and his family scramble to make it onto the “arcs” that the elite of civilization have “boarding passes” to. Enter moral dilemma of who gets to pick and choose those meant to rebuild the new mankind. With lots of edge-of-seat clinging and impassioned speeches, the movie resolves itself on a note of infinite hope.
Now, you know me. I always want to delve into the meat of a storyline to pull out life lessons and wax philosophy on love and the complexities of life, etc. What cracks me up about this movie is that it has the framework to go to town in this vein: family, facing your mortality, what defines us as the human race … blah, blah, blah. All I wanted to do the whole time I was in the theatre was not have a nervous breakdown. I was vastly entertained, rode waves of emotion, but basically left feeling like I had watched something equivalent to really good crap reality television. I may not be a better person for having seen it, but I sure enjoyed it while I did.
One last thought. The premise of this movie, the whole “world ending” thing, kind of scared the pants off of me. However, with this reassuring froth of Hollywood interpretation, I am now convinced I will survive should it come to pass. It can’t be all that bad. Now let’s just hope we can survive the holiday season.