Last night, my family decided to watch Roland Emmerich's movie "2012", as the previews of world destruction looked pretty cool. In the end, it turned out to be nothing more than a cheesy movie with a script that made us want to give it the Mystery Science Theater treatment.
Basically, the premise is that neutrinos from the sun are making the earth's core heat up and start melting the crust (the science completely escapes me on this), causing the 2012 Doomsday. So, several characters try to survive California falling into the ocean, the Yellowstone Caldera erupting, large earthquakes, and huge tsunamis while battling their own personal demons, largely with family members.
The effects were really cool, which is typical Emmerich, but the story itself was poorly written and at times even seems more like a cut and paste job from other movies like "Day after Tomorrow" and "Armaggedon." You have the typical divorced guy whose kids hate him and his wife wants to get back together, a jerk of a billionaire who cares for nothing except his spoiled sons, the young scientist trying to save the world and instill us with a sense of emotion with his speech about the good in people... I could go on, but let's just say the characters are cardboard cutouts. Even if your characters are typical stereotypes, it could be forgiven if the story and dialogue make up for it, but this sadly was not the case. A common theme, which became annoying quickly, was how most of the characters have family issues ranging from divorce, dead spouses, little relationship with their children, etc... As if a broken family is behind every good story. This is bad writing and has been overdone so many times, only serving to ruin the plot. Not to mention the sappy, predictable dialogue that pitifully tries to evoke emotion but instead makes you want to retch.
The story itself had plenty of potential, to be more than just a film with great effects, but sadly it fell far short of it. I give it one star out of five.
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