I regret not seeing this movie on the wide screen. It was shown in all cinemas last year for several weeks but I had not found the time to watch it. Instead, I just copied a download from my sister and watched it in my computer summer this year. Too bad, the movie is really good. Wide screen would have made it much exciting. Well, here is how the movie goes…..
In 2009, Dr. Adrian Helmsley, an American geologist, visits astrophysicist Dr. Satnam Tsurutani in India and learns that neutrinos from a massive solar flare are causing the temperature of the Earth's core to increase. Adrian informs White House Chief of Staff Carl Anheuser and United States President Thomas Wilson this will trigger a catastrophic chain of natural disasters. In 2010, Wilson, along with other international leaders, begins a secret project intended to ensure humanity's survival. Approximately 400,000 people are chosen to board ships called "arks" that are constructed at Cho Ming, Tibet, in the Himalayas.
In 2012, Jackson Curtis is a science fiction writer in Los Angeles who works part-time as a limousine driver for billionaire Yuri Karpov. Jackson's ex-wife Kate and their children Noah and Lily live with Kate's boyfriend, plastic surgeon and amateur pilot Gordon Silberman. Jackson takes Noah and Lily camping in Yellowstone National Park, where they meet Charlie Frost, who hosts a radio show from the park. Charlie references a theory that suggests the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar predicts that the 2012 phenomenon is going to occur. He has a map of the ark project. The family returns home as seismic activity increases along the west coast of the United States. Jackson grows suspicious and rents a plane to rescue his family. He collects his family and Gordon as the Earth crust displacement begins, and they escape Los Angeles using a Cessna 340 as the city slides into the Pacific Ocean.
As millions die in catastrophic earthquakes worldwide, the group flies to Yellowstone to retrieve Charlie's map, escaping as the Yellowstone Caldera erupts. Learning the arks are in China, the group lands in Las Vegas. They meet Yuri, his twin sons Alec and Oleg, girlfriend Tamara and pilot Sasha. The group secures an Antonov 500 aircraft and departs for China.
Arriving in China in a crash landing, the group is spotted by the People's Liberation Army. Yuri and his sons, possessing tickets, are taken to the arks. The Curtis family, Gordon and Tamara are picked up by Nima, a Buddhist monk on his way to the arks. They stow away with the help of Nima's brother Tenzin. As a megatsunami approaches the site, an impact driver becomes lodged between the gears of the ark's hydraulics chamber, preventing a boarding gate from closing and rendering the ship unable to start its engines. In the ensuing chaos, Yuri, Gordon and Tamara are killed, Tenzin is wounded and the flooding ark is set adrift. Jackson and Noah dislodge the impact driver and the crew regains control of the ark, preventing a collision with Mount Everest.
After flood waters from the tsunamis recede, the arks set sail for the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa where the Drakensberg Mountains have risen in relation to sea level and become the tallest mountains in the world. Jackson is reconciled with his family. The Earth is shown from space, revealing a drastically changed landscape.
According to what I have read, the movie is based on a non-fiction book which is based on the prophecy of the ancient Mayan civilization that the end of the world will be by 2012. It is really confusing; so many disaster films have been released about the destruction of the earth – Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Armageddon, Deep Impact, War of the Worlds, and The Day The Earth Stood Still, to name a few. So how will the world end? By alien attacks? By astronomical catastrophe? Or by man’s negligence? There are really several ways “to kill a cat”. LOL!
One movie critic said that 2012 is “the mother of all disaster movies”, which I totally agree. 2012 is an epic masterpiece. It is a two-and-a-half-hour heart-stopping drama. There are scenes of disaster one after another. I was amazed and shocked when the US west coast cracked and plunged into the sea, like biscuit broken and dipped in coffee (LOL, forgive me if you think the analogy is bad). The special effects are excellent, making me admire how Hollywood invest so much resource and labor to realize the film. Too real that it gives you goose bumps.
Despite the magnificence of creation, the movie has no emotional depth for me. Except for the part that only the rich were the chosen passengers for the ark, the rest of the movie has no drama and somewhat shallow. Even the reconciliation of the characters as one family is not touching at all. Yes, there were exciting and suspenseful moments; yet, they were not due to the storyline but mainly because of the destruction scenes. 2012 is a very entertaining film, enjoyable and satisfying, but not something everyone can relate to.
But I truly love the film. It is better than all the other disaster films I enumerated. In fact, this is the best for me in that particular genre. Still, two thumbs up for the movie.