Death of the Critic

Why Did I Watch That? - 2012

Written by: Tom Blaich


I watched a bad movie today. It is sort of a guilty pleasure of mine. Watching bad movies that is. I revel in the terrible plots, paper-thin characters, cheesy effects, and wooden acting. It fuels me. I love them in a way that I can’t quite describe, or feel about bad games or music. To me, bad films deserve to be recognized, talked about, and maybe occasionally ridiculed. This one is no exception.

There aren’t lot of disaster movies made every year. And that might be because, regardless of year. there aren’t really that many good ones. They are big, expensive, and prone to complete critical evisceration. However, that didn’t stop
2012 from being made. Although if it had, we would all probably be better off. It stars former heartthrob John Cusack as novelist turned chauffeur as he desperately tries to survive the oft-predicted apocalypse of 2012 while simultaneously saving his family from an improbable amount of falling objects.

Built around heavy handed biblical symbolism and a series of “Thank God I’m not standing where I was five seconds ago.” moments, it follows in the footsteps of the other Roland Emmerich disaster monstrosities. All flash but nothing to back it up.

It seems like the entire purpose was all about making things bigger, to the point where they forget how basic things, like the planet, work. The story that backs up this ridiculous series of improbable vehicle-versus-nature chases is teen fanfiction levels of dumb. The world is ending because a solar flare made the planet’s core too excited, so instead of informing people, or doing anything cool like making giant colony spaceships, the world governments banded together to make a bunch of giant boats in the Himalayas.

These boats, affectionately and inventively called Arks, are supposed to keep selected (read: rich, famous, and/or powerful) members of humanity alive through a giant flood that is never thoroughly explained. This of course leaves all of the normal people in the lurch and John Cusack picks up the banner to lead their charge against the shadowy elite.

Above: Not how land works.

If you have ever seen an Emmerich movie, you’ve seen pretty much every single movie that he’s made. Remember the great Air Force One escape scene from
Independence Day where the plane barely gets away from a massive fireball? Emmerich decided to not only do that again in this movie, but to do it multiple times. Because just one ridiculous plane escape was far too few. Couple that with a general willingness to ignore how earthquakes, tectonic plates, and tsunamis work (WHY ARE ALL OF THE CITIES BUILT ON TOP OF BOTTOMLESS CHASMS?) and you get a movie that could best be described as a two hour long video of a cartoon butt farting explosion sound effects.



Tom has been writing about media since he was a senior in high school. He likes long walks on the beach, dark liquor, and when characters reload guns in action movies.

You Might Also Like:
Why Did I Watch That? - Big Money Rustlas

Schlock - A Torrid Love Affair

Why Did I Watch That? - Nine Lives

blog comments powered by Disqus