2012 is probably the smartest movie to come out in 2009. I’m not saying it’s the very best, but it certainly makes my top 10, and I can’t believe I haven’t heard more about it other than the regular popcorn “I liked it”/”I didn’t like it.”
As you can see from the trailer, awesome effects, right? Clearly the disaster movie to top all disaster movies, when the entire Earth is destroyed from the inside out. There are earthquakes, volcanos, tidal waves, fires, floods, etc. etc. All those things you would expect from the (coming) apocalypse. Except God. He’s no where to be found. The entire movie is centered around unanswered prayers, the destruction of religious symbols, and the promise of evolution. The funniest joke in the entire movie is when the Italian PM refuses to get on the life-saving arcs that have been built for the world’s elite and opts instead of stay behind in Vatican City and pray. Unfortunately for him, the Sistine Chapel, one of the world’s most pronounced Christian symbols, is, by definition, doomed. Full of worshipping believers, the chapel cracks right down the middle separating God and Adam and killing the rest. And all I have to say about that?: AWESOME.
About twenty minutes into the movie I realized this one was important and immediately whipped out my notebook. Here are my notes with a little added commentary:
*Middle class anxiety – John Cusack’s character is a failed writer (the perfect symbol for the bohemian spirit) working as a limo driver for a calloused rich-bitch Russian dude. In order to get on the arcs at the end of the film, people payed billions of dollars. And even though Cusack doesn’t have the money, he has the guts and the know how to weasel his way onto the ship. The Russian, of course, doesn’t make it.
*Threats to masculinity – A prominent image in the film is the Washington monument crumbling to the ground.
*Best Graphics Ever!!
*”I wish you could see what I’m seeing, people.” – This is Woody Harrelson’s character talking – the only one in the movie that seems to realize it’s a comedy. We are currently seeing his ass crack.
*”Atheist? Apocalypse without God.” – This was close to the beginning of the movie when I didn’t know if a miracle might save planet Earth. It doesn’t.
*Reference to lottery in Deep Impact.
*Disintegration of Government when President commits suicide. – They try to frame Danny Glover’s death as a nobel “captain goes down with his ship” thing, but really it just means that the good guy that was U.S. President World President is no longer around to control chaos.
*Times Square. Symbol of failed capitalism.
*President’s televised prayer cut off mid-sentence.
*Firefighter performance – you just have to see this one.
*Images of Christianity disintegrate. Human’s pathetic attempt to understand big picture/eternity. – Clearly nature has the upper hand in this movie, and it seems to be because people have ben so worried about worshipping God that they haven’t payed much attention to the science that might have saved them. When nature hits, no one is prepared because they were all preparing for the religious apocalypse. Anyway, bye bye monks, bye bye that giant Jesus in Brazil, bye bye Sistine Chapel, bye bye Buddha.
*Nature doesn’t distinguish. OR God hates us so so much. – Definitely the former.
*President crushed by symbol of war. Called JFK. – This was another great, dark joke. As the President is praying in his last seconds, a giant tidal wave, carrying a battle ship covered in weapons rolls on top of him and crushed him. The name of the ship is “John F. Kennedy.” HA!
*Bentley commercial. – So many commercials. This movie was the king of product placement. It made look E.T. look like Noam Chomsky. (Did that make sense? It was a socialist joke…)
*Rich people stampede!!!
*So many Wisconsin jokes – I guess the producer was from there or something.
*AFRAICA! Origin of life. Evolution. – When it seems like all is lost, and Noah, 400,000 people and two of every animal are just waiting for that dove to come back with the olive branch, they find out that Africa is high and dry, and that it probably never flooded in the first place. Which leads us to…
*Colonization!! – Get ready for 400,000 rich Americans, Africa!
I loved that this movie even backtracked and denied the presence of God in the Bible while also confirming the validity of the stories in the Bible. The whole Noah’s Arc thing is totally probable, but God had nothing to do with it, it was merely the lining up of the solar system.