Editor’s note: After watching 2012, our film critic was found shirtless on M Street, babbling about director Roland Emmerich and yelling vague threats to passersby. A list entitled “Two thousand and twelve reasons why 2012 sucked” was found on his person. Excerpts from the list will run in lieu of a review this week.
#1: 2012 might be the least controversial disaster movie ever made. Mankind isn’t at fault for the end of the world—it was the Sun! I love an implausible scientific explanation as much as the next guy, but solar flares? That’s the best you could do? You’re better than that, Roland Emmerich—you’re the man who tried to kill Jake Gyllenhall with cold air and hungry dogs!
#87: Attention all Hollywood screenwriters: a struggling writer should never be the protagonist of an action film. Stop trying to vicariously live your fantasies through fictional characters—it’s embarrassing for everyone involved. Audiences want to see former Black Ops agents get pulled out of retirement to stop a rogue Eastern European general, they want to see a blue-collar detective track down a psychotic egomaniac, and above all else, they just want to see Sly Stallone punch people in the face. Stick to the program. Aspiring writers are for twee romantic-comedies.
#218: Strategically placed Vault soda bottles.
#410: The film clocks in at two and a half hours. No disaster film should be two and a half hours long. I know that every Emmerich film is supposed to top the last, but doesn’t the law of diminishing returns kick in at some point? Are we going to be watching Paul Walker and Liv Tyler in a six-hour epic about a lunar explosion in a few years? “This summer … One small step for man will be … the end of humanity.”
#533: Why wasn’t Nic Cage offered an absurd amount of money to star in this film? It’s not as if Cage would turn down cash these days. Besides, he was born to growl lines like, “California’s going down!” and “When they tell you not to panic … that’s when you run!” Throw in a couple scenes where he gets to wear a bear suit and yell about burnt dolls, and I guarantee he would’ve not only taken the role, but also he would’ve lived on set too—free of charge.
#704: Strategically placed Sony laptops and televisions.
#902: Multiple scenes allude to September 11th, 2001. Audiences enjoy disaster films because their premises are too absurd to believe; however, shots of planes colliding with buildings and victims dangling out of windows rip us from our fantasy world in a way that reeks of exploitation. Tackiness isn’t the same as campiness.
#1388: Are we sure that Woody Harrelson isn’t insane? He plays another maniacal crazy man in 2012, but he’s a bit too convincing. Does anyone else think he probably spends his spare time camped out in an RV at Devil’s Tower, wearing a tin-foil hat and “rehearsing” the lines for his next film? Somebody check up on him, I’m worried about the guy.
#2012: Mankind survives? Worst. Apocalypse. Ever.