Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Overkill of 2012


So I recently watched the film 2012 directed by Roland Emmerich.

Known for his other flicks that incorporate greater and more ridiculous scenes of disaster (from Independence Day through to Godzilla and The Day After Tomorrow) this one is certainly up there on the biggest scale. The technical achievement here of both practical effects and CG is truly astounding and has to be mentioned for its achievement.

The amount of time and effort put into the thousands of special effects shots is certainly impressive, but is there such a thing as too much destruction?

Thrilling at first, then overly familiar and then to the point of ad nauseum, destruction goes on and on and on… Toward the end my eyes started to glaze over. My brain seemed confused – on one hand the sheer spectacle leaping around before my eyes was telling me I should be thrilled and excited but the fact that there was just so much of it throughout the film started to render it all a bit impotent.

Sometimes I even felt a bit guilty as I thought of the hours of work that hundreds of people had put in only for me to simply go ‘meh’. Another building topples over – so what?

The other thing that seems counter intuitive is the way in which the main characters always only JUST escape whatever threat is closing in on them. For example, they JUST manage to drive under a falling building or they JUST manage to take off with their plane as the runway collapses. Sure, this makes for exciting cinema but the sheer repetition of this gambit ultimately renders it useless as you know that in any threatening situation the main characters are faced with they are going to - yep you guessed it – only JUST escape it by an inch… AGAIN.

So is there such a thing as too much destruction in a movie? Yeah, sure. And to be honest the only reason I wanted to watch this movie was to see the scene mocked by Dara O’Briain (you can watch it here).

Which, after all, doesn't even happen in exactly the way he describes it. Bloody comedians…
Roland Emmerich himself has stated that he is officially disastered-out after this film and doesn't want to do anything more like this. After watching this film, you will probably feel the same.

1 Aug 2011

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