Review by Ross Anthony

If you're worried that this film will get you even more worried about the doomsday warnings just three years away, I assure you, worry not. In the genre of Independence Day (but not quite as good), 2012 sets a ball of destruction rolling for 2.5 hours with hokey happenstance and big special effects, some of which are pretty cool.

Ultimately, it's the rollercoaster action scenes that make the film fun, so let me comment on these first. In one sequence, John Cusack burns rubber on a 20 foot limo through the streets of Los Angeles as they crack and drop beneath his wheels. Highways tumble, buildings crumble, it's a fantastic ride. The impossible narrow escapes quickly accumulate to unbelievable quantities pushing the hokey factor off the charts. But somehow the heart-pumping, believable, meticulously-created screen effects counter. It's the kind of excitement people go to the movies for. I loved this scene. But, I might be biased, as L.A. is my town. I enjoyed recognizing local landmarks in the mayhem. Unfortunately, though good in their own right, subsequent action scenes don't top this one. In fact, winged-aircraft scenes become a bit redundant.

Oliver Platt commands. His acting prowess carries the picture as much as the special effects. The ethics dilemma written as tension between his character and the main character also saves the film from being complete Hollywood fluff. There's an interaction between these two leads that is as solid as any great drama has to offer. However, the arc (no pun intended) of this interaction is sadly truncated, injuring the emotional climax of the film. The entertainment climax also suffers because of a very silly "jamming of the gears" sequence. The gears of this otherwise barreling movie get jammed there too.

Despite these disappointing flaws, I'm not ashamed to admit that I really enjoyed the raw excitement the film generates. It's no masterpiece, makes embarrassing mistakes at times, but it is good fun and it will perhaps get you appreciating our little blue planet a bit more than you do already.


Did you want more from the film philosophically speaking? May I suggest a book I wrote a few years back titled Eddie Johnson's Ark? If you'd like me to personally sign you a copy, then go to and click Books. Or, write in below with your thoughts on this film and I'll send you a 30% off coupon. (I'll honor these requests until 2010.)
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  • 2012. Copyright © 2009.
  • Starring John Cusack, Chjwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Thandie Newton, Danny Glover, Woody Harrelson. Directed by Roland Emmerich. Screenplay by Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser. Produced by Harald Kloser, Mark Gordon, Larry Franco at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Tuesday, 10-Nov-2009 14:18:26 PST