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Meg's Blog

2012–Best Movie of All Time?

I went to see 2012 over the weekend.

As a disaster movie junkie—seriously, I LOVE a movie in which human beings are (pretend) killed by any sort of natural disaster, be it:

–Asteroids hurtling down from space.

–F5 tornadoes coming at them from the plains.

–Gigantic tsunamis barreling down upon them from the sea.

I have seen every disaster movie ever made, including the really bad made-for-TV ones.

I just love them so much!

So I just couldn’t wait for 2012, in which every natural disaster you could ever imagine took place.

(Actually not so: they appeared to have left out locusts, plagues, and I didn’t actually SEE any mudslides up close, although people did slide around quite a bit.)

Was I disappointed?

No! That’s because 2012 strictly obeyed all the Rules of Disaster Movies.

If you’ve watched as many disaster movies as I have, you know there are certain rules from which disaster movies cannot—or at least SHOULD not—ever stray.

Not if the producers want their movie to be any good!

I think we can safely establish—judging from audience response—that 2012 stayed safely within those rules.

But is 2012 the Best Movie of All Time? Is it even the greatest disaster movie of all time?

Let’s look at the facts:

2012 made over $225 million this past weekend (world wide).

But really, does how much money a film has made mean anything?

See: Transformers, in which talking robots, Shia LeBeof, and Megan Fox save the earth.

So…no.

2012 did, however, obey Disaster Movie Rule #1:

All disaster movies must have great stars for the stuff to blow up around.

2012 stars John Cusack, who gave us Lloyd Dobler, arguably the greatest romantic hero ever created!

It also stars Amanda Peet, who gave us the funniest imitation of Rosie Perez I’ve ever seen one night on David Letterman (allegedly, it is here, but I can’t download it. Better luck to you).

2012 also obeyed Disaster Movie Rule #2:

Have a black president (in 2012, admirably played by Morgan Freeman).

Having a black president in a disaster movie is a must.

I’m not sure which disaster movie started this trend, but if anything is coming hurtling toward Earth, and only Bruce Willis and maybe Ben Affleck can save us (see: Armageddon), such as a giant asteroid, aliens, or solar flares, we MUST have a black president to tell us to be calm.

(That is why some people were very worried about Barack Obama winning the election, and are scanning the skies warily. YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE.)

2012 goes one better by adding a smart, fiesty, pretty daughter for the president, played by Thandie Newton, a perfect match for the smart, handsome scientist (played by Chiwetal Ejiofor), who is the one who helps alert the President about the impending planetary doom in the first place.

Yay! Way to make a new rule, 2012! More smart, fiesty president’s daughters, please!

(Who speak French and work for the Louvre. You think I didn’t notice that nod to Da Vinci Code, 2012? Me likee! What more are you going to throw in there, 2012? Some vampires? Go ahead! I’m with you.)

Disaster Movie Rule #3:

Anyone remotely morally suspect must die.

Disaster movie junkies, you know what I’m talking about:

Anyone who has worked as a stripper and believes the aliens are going to be nice to us (see: Independence Day) but who isn’t a single mom must die (I know this isn’t fair and is also vaguely misogynistic).

Anyone who has stolen Bill Paxton’s design for a machine that predicts where tornadoes are going to show up (see: Twister) must die by being impaled (and so will anyone who is with him at the time. So stay away from people like him during a storm).

Anyone who wears a low cut dress and sings on a cruise ship (see: Poseidon Adventure) must die (I know this isn’t fair either and is also vaguely misogynistic).

I won’t spoil it for you by telling you how 2012 worked this one in, but they did.

I actually don’t always like this rule, and was hoping it would not be used in 2012. But use it they did. I’ll admit, I was a tiny bit bummed.

But it WAS the end of the earth, after all. Naturally, a lot of people are going to die.

Disaster Movie Rule #4:

This one is a bit of a spoiler, but I know how you people worry, so I’m just going to tell you:

ALL DOGS WILL BE SAFE WHEN THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH.

No dogs die in 2012.

Now, just to reassure you, the producers/writers of 2012 worked very hard NOT to give us the things we hate in disaster movies.

For instance:

No grandmas are killed in a lake of acid in 2012.

See: Dante’s Peak, a movie I now watch solely to see the scene where Grandma dies in the lake of acid. In fact, whenever this movie is on, I call down to my husband, “Honey! Grandma is dying in the lake of acid again!”

Then we watch it and laugh about how much the screenwriter who wrote this movie must have hated his or her mother-in-law.

Seriously! What a way to kill someone off!

Also, there are no incredibly fake CGI wolves in 2012.

See: Day After Tomorrow, a great disaster movie, except for the incredibly fake CGI wolves. There was no need for that wolf story line, which just made me sad for the wolves, and actually violated Disaster Movie Rule #4, if you think about it: Wolves are dogs.

And finally:

No children named Timmy are imperiled at any time, causing Tommy Lee Jones to have to dash into a building that is about to explode in order to save them.

See: Volcano, also starring Linda Hamilton. I HATE the Timmy scene in that movie, also any scene in which Tommy Lee Jones’ teen daughter whines about wanting “to go home, Daddy” when there is clearly a VOLCANO erupting in downtown Los Angeles.

Just SHUT UP already! Can’t you see there is a DISASTER going on? Geesh! I wish Tommy Lee Jones had punched her in the face. No offense to the actress who had to say those lines.

So there you have it, disaster movie fans! 2012 is a fun, rollercoaster of a disaster movie.

(Even He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog liked it, and he hates disaster movies because he was IN a disaster—9/11. But as I point out to him, that wasn’t a natural disaster. And what’s happening on the screen in 2012 is just silly and pretend.)

I’m waffling on the number of tiaras 2012 should get. The first 3/4 was great.

(A reader has now written in to point out that at no point in this film did any female characters make any important decision or save anyone–although that’s not really true, since Amanda Peet kind of saved EVERYONE by appealing to the Grandma to help them in China. But all of the female characters were, in fact, left OUT of all the important decisions, and forced to Comfort The Children. This is a good point, and I have deleted a tiara from my original post for it.)

PLUS someone goes on a weird power trip, someone else gives a boring speech, AND two people I liked were killed for morally ambiguous reasons, which I can’t reveal here since they are spoilers.

PLUS everyone is saved by a writer, which made me think: JOHN CUSACK’S CHARACTER IS A GARY STU!

So 2012 wasn’t perfect. It DEFINITELY doesn’t get 4 or even 3 stars.

But I still had a good time. So…

2012 is rip rollicking good fun, DEFINITELY hilarious (especially the last line, which follows Disaster Movie Rule #5: Have a kid say something cute, and an adult look pained), worth $10, and MUST be seen on the big screen.

You won’t regret going one bit (just don’t take it too seriously)!

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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