★★ / ★★★★
Written and directed by a disaster movie aficionado Roland Emmerich (“The Day After Tomorrow,” “Godzilla,” “Independence Day”), “2012” was about a writer (John Cusack) who stumbled upon information about government operatives preparing for the end of the world and decided to take his wife (Amanda Peet) and children (Liam James, Morgan Lily) to safety. Meanwhile, scientists, humanitarians and politicians all over the world (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover) scramble to plan on what to do when the major disasters finally strike while at the same time try to contain the information from the public. I thought “2012” was not as bad as critics claimed to be. I was entertained from beginning to end because when I decide to watch a disaster flick, I’m not concerned so much about the story and character development. I’m more focused with the special and visual effects of destruction and mayhem. On that level, I think “2012” delivered. Unfortunately, I felt like this picture had too many characters and it essentially had trouble juggling each of them. In addition, I felt like the storyline regarding Cusack and Peet’s characters have been done before: how the man and the woman of the family rediscover their passion for each other after years of disagreements and workaholism. In fact, there were times when I thought it tried to inject too much story when it really did not need to. After all, when disasters happen, finding refuge should be a good enough incentive to work together. Reigniting any sort of passion should be left in the back burner. It quickly became repetitive and I constantly wondered how many more minutes until the next natural disaster. I did like some of the supporting actors in this film because they provided a nice breather from the typicality of it all: Thandie Newton as the daughter of the president of the United States and Johann Urb as the Russian pilot. Granted, they did not get to do much but I was actually interested in their back stories. I definitely wondered how the movie would have been different if the focus was on them instead of the family. Personally, as far as disaster features go, I prefer “The Day After Tomorrow” because I thought it was a little more intimate and it was not as all over the place. But I can see why a lot of people, such as my mom who doesn’t really care about the story as long as there are explosions, think this one is very enjoyable because of the many intense action sequences. My advice is too see it for the fluff, not for its emotional core.