Okay, I’ve no one to blame but myself– no one FORCED me to go watch 2012… Aiyaaaaaaaaa!!!! Would that there was the thinnest spine of cohesive narrative and character relevance. But I guess that’s too much to expect. That’s part of the problem here. Several times throughout the film I wondered, who is the target audience? The trailers, all 30 minutes of them, already had me spluttering like a overheated kettle even before the feature began! (Stupid stuck-in-an-insane-asylum DeCaprio. Hugh Grant and Sarah (eatsomeFOOD!!!!) Jessica Parker in some clichebonanza romcom, city slickers on a dude ranch. Del Toro-Victorian-werewolf-manimal-WTF??? Overhype-Cameron-save-the-blue-natives-Avatar….) Cynical, hell, yah!
Okay– 2012. [SPOILER ALERT!] I went into it only expecting to be served a CGI extravaganza. And, it dished up. Lots o’ crevasses splitting apart major cities, a lot of planes trying to escape falling rubble (altitude discrepancies, but, hey, that’s not the point, right?), volcano eruption, tsunamis, etc. But after a while, because they were so many, the disaster feast became, well, boring. Aside from appreciating the look of it, what does it all matter? Therein lies the problem. We need characters, believable ones, to care about “what happens” and why anything matters. Characters cannot be arranged as the platform for special effects. From beginning to end, none of the characters mattered. They were flat, representatives of “types”, i.e. the divorced dad, the I’m-still-in-love-with-you-divorced mom, the wide-eyed children (meant to hit our heartstrings, save them! save them! not….), the kookie hippie who really knows what the conspiracy is, the geologist (cough, cough, what does he ever do?), the president and his purty daughter…. Ohhhhh…the pain. The pain, I say! By the end of the film I just wanted everyone to die, even the masses, to make the pain of having watched the film go away. That’s a pretty special feat– to make me not care about every single human character in a film about the survival of our species. So, kudos for that!
Three of my favourite moments: 1) When the divorced mom’s second husband dies in the last 2/3 of the film and none of the characters care. 2) When the divorced mom turns to the Buddhist monk’s grandmother (they’re somewhere Himalayan) yells, “I don’t know if you understand English, but please save my children!” Hahahahahahaha! 3) The idea that the survivors of humanity are represented by the people (rich and/or politicians and whomever they think is important along with a couple animals and the Mona Lisa) on seven(?) heavily fortified cruise ships, heading to Africa…. Oh, Noah, please pass me another urn of wine….
I wondered if any of it was supposed to be ironic? Or, if they were trying to play it both ways– ironic and straight-up, to meet the desires of a wider audience? But then, who was the target audience? I often look to the advertising prior to the film to help me figure it out when I’m not certain. They had that “really-it’s-just-like-a-movie!” military recruitment one, as well as cell phone companies, and then the stupid-ass trailers I mentioned earlier. So, I guess the film is meant to appeal to both teens/young adults as well as up to middle-aged folks? The central characters of the story would be the geologist and the divorced dad, both straight men. And with the focus on the ‘save the children’ manipulative, I think it leans the audience pitch toward adults who have children, homos need not apply.
Why must it be so stupid? Why must it be so sexist? Women are either moms or purty. They are meant to stay in the cargo hold with the wide-eyed children because only men have the balls to look into the face of the disaster that surrounds them. Give me a frackin’ break!
A really interesting quality to the film was the treatment of race. The geologist, the president, and his purty daughter were black. The divorced guy/writer character and his family white. The black/white race tension was flattened in some odd way, and I’m not quite sure how. Because in the film race “didn’t matter”? The geologist, in the know, with access to the survival ark, is in a position of privilege, as is the president and his daughter. The negative effects of race/ism loses it power when the minority subject rises in class, in status. So, does class power trump race, in this case? Must mull on this for a while. Of course the film was very America-centric, and the G8 nations (I think) all turned to the good ole’ USA to lead the saving of humanity– with China being the ‘cheap labour’ where the arks are built…. But did they have their own ark? Also, scientists all over the world would have noticed that the earth’s core was heating rapidly, catastrophically, surely….
I spent close to fifty hard-earned bucks (after purchasing crap popcorn, watered-down tubs of pop, and weird rabbit poo chocolates) watching this load of crap with my daughter, and we actually ended up fighting in the middle of it. Hahahahahahaha!
Listen! Tonight are the Geminids! The peak of the meteor shower (get away from city lights, look to the east) is two hours before and after 1 AM. It’s FREE! I don’t think you can see them if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere….
I’m gonna drive out tonight. It will cure the bad taste left over from the film. Even tho it’s still so frackin’ cold and the roads are icy…. My daughter said, Have fun. Good luck. Don’t get stuck.