Disclaimer: This review is not for the faint of heart. It also contains spoilers.
Dear Roland Emmerich,
I have to thank you. When I used to mention to my friends how much of a disaster movie addict I was, I’d constantly have to defend my cinematic tastes. Now that I’m done watching the massive visual jackoff session you’ve labeled a movie, I must thank you for curing me of my affliction.
First and foremost, props to cast. Aside from the weird Fabio moment by Sasha (Yohann Urb) at the Las Vegas airport, and the over-the-top ranting by Oliver Platt, the movie was pretty well acted. Props to John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Liam James for making a dysfunctional family in the midst of a crisis, believable.. uh, er, for the most part. I’m personally going with the bad script excuse.
I’ve loved Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor since I first saw them in MI:2 and Serenity respectively. They deserve scripts much better than this.
When I spoke to my best friend about this, Pete mentioned that there were some “Oh come on!” moments in the beginning, but the special effects started to suck you in as the movie progressed.I hate to say it, but those moments of incredulity never went away for me as time progressed.
This overly long piece of garbage would have been better with a lot of edits.
Let’s trim just a little, shall we?
1.) The scene with the Russian boxer in Las Vegas. Why did you waste five minutes of my time with that? You could have opened on him sitting at the fight with his girlfriend. He gets a call to start boarding. Done.
2.) The extra footage of Danny Glover, attending to the doomed people of Washington D.C. I love Danny Glover. I love Danny Glover as President.I get that he was valiant up and to his last breath. However, going back after his last Presidential address to watch him die by shoving the U.S.S John F. Kennedy up his ass was a bit much, no? That selection of scenes could have saved another five minutes.
3.) The multiple script decisions that afforded the Curtis children, unnecessary danger. “Oh, it’s okay,our little girl can come with me as the world goes to shit, as I go try to find a map from the crazy guy standing next to a volcano.” Stay with the motherfucking plane! Jeez.
4.) All of the cruise ship scenes could have been nixed. Just show the big boat biting it like the Titanic under a huge wave. Neither story on that ship resonated with me. You could have had the quartet playing “Nearer My God to Thee” and I wouldn’t have been emotionally affected. That would have saved about 10 minutes.
On the same note: I didn’t truly care about anyone in this movie, save for the poor Indian scientist who bites it with his wife and child. It was almost like you and your writers were trying too hard for character development with too many people and in the end, no one got the attention they truly needed.
5.) The canine high wire act. What the fuck was that? Why is it in every single disaster movie, the dog lives? Why again was valuable time wasted to watch a Pomeranian make it to safety? Do you think after destroying the fucking planet that I would care about a damn dog? I’m pretty depressed after watching millions of people just end, but yay, the dog lives. (Insert eye roll here)
6.) The Sasha death scene. I actually thought I heard you scream, “Fooled You!” as the plane finally nose dived down the mountain side. It wasn’t even added suspense. It was just cruel. 2 minutes.
This movie could have been right up there with greats like, The Core and Twister and Independence Day. (Hey, don’t knock some good fun destruction!) I think ultimately where this movie fails is that it tried to be too much of everything and ended up losing its own identity in the process.
Furthermore, the science in this movie…sucks. I’m sure most people will see a cell phone call while the world is on fire as plausible. Hell, where do I sign up with a carrier who is that good? I can see their slogan now — “When the world goes to shit on December 21, 2012, don’t forget to say goodbye with our reliable network and family share plan!”
Ugh. So yeah. Bleh. I will concede that there were moments of pwnage, especially, the destruction of LA, the Yellowstone volcano (Where was the massive shockwave that would have killed everyone in that area, btw?) and the sheer scale of the arks.
Yet, there are too many things the story wants to pass as possible and factual that I couldn’t wrap my analytical mind around. I was never engaged by the story to just sit back and enjoy the ride. Instead, I was strapped to my chair and forced to swallow bullshit for almost three hours.
Now can you see why I’m so irate?
Being the anxious person that I am, I did carry around irrational fear we were all going to meet our makers in a similar fashion, but I’d like to thank you for easing my fear that it will not go down the way you’ve said it will.
Please don’t make any more movies.
P.S. You might want to go back and look at where Cusack cuts his head open under water. Miraculously when he survives being submerged and unconscious for a good few minutes, there is no cut. Ooooh. Editfail for joo.