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It’s 2012 and Roland Emmerich Annihilates the Planet. Again.

June 22, 2009

The impish Roland Emmerich is at it again.  First he unleashed alien hordes that wreaked untold destruction on the world’s major cities in Independence Day (1996). I suspended my disbelief about extra-terrestrials, but didn’t buy that Americans would tolerate even minimal use of the metric system, that the British would give the U.S. military credit for doing anything good, or that Randy Quaid could fit into the cockpit of an F-18.

Then came Godzilla (1998), in which a giant nuclear-mutated lizard trashes New York City.  Godzilla in this movie almost looked kind of cool, except that Godzilla isn’t supposed to look cool.  Godzilla is supposed to look funny, with googly eyes, floppy spine plates, and arms that flail like they don’t have tendons in the elbows.  Like Barney, if he were building-sized and on a whiskey rampage.

Most recently Emmerich gave us The Day After Tomorrow (2004), where everything from the Horse Latitudes up gets really, really cold.  So cold that like a thousand cubic miles of Atlantic Ocean—salt water, mind you—freezes in a couple minutes.  But not so much that you can’t stop a big ole pile of cold from chasing you simply by locking it out of the room.

And this November, we’ll have 2012, a movie depicting the end of the world through natural disaster, worldwide catastrophe, and Jon and Kate getting divorced; all because the Mayan calendar stops on 12/21/2012, after most people have purchased Christmas gifts but before we can return them.

Now, exactly how does the world end?  “Pole reversal,” Emmerich says.  “All kinds of stuff going on.  But it’s basically major earthquakes and volcano eruptions which kind of cause this global flood.”  This sounds like a lazy 10th grader’s report on plate tectonics.  I’d love to hear Roland explain the global warming at the crux of The Day After Tomorrow: “It’s basically Hummers and cow farts and stuff, and they kind of cause forces.  There’s a lot going on.”

This movie will be fun to project onto my retinas, but not to pay attention to.  It’s upsetting that the trailer, unlike G.I. Joe’s, does not show the destruction of the Eiffel Tower, a disaster movie staple.  2012 will probably be a waste of money, but we’ve all wasted more on less.  I just hope that Emmerich’s fascination with violent eschatology ends soon, so he can spend his monstrous budgets on movies that deserve them.

  1. June 23, 2009 10:04 am

    I’m glad we’re not open yet. My out loud tittering (used to titillate) would have been disturbing to others.


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