In the much maligned genre of disaster film, Roland Emmerich has been the most maligned of all. But Emmerich has wreaked his revenge on all the naysayers with his latest film, 2012. I can safely say it is the most ridiculously preposterous movie of all time. I loved it. I urge everyone to see it for themselves.
In creating 2012, Emmerich’s career has come full circle. After making one of the seminal movies of my youth, that one where he blew up the White House*, Emmerich’s career swiftly dipped into seeming self-parody. Yet 2012 is so extremely ludicrous that it actually succeeds to entertain where his previous films merely served up mild annoyance and the occasional unintentional chuckle. I can say for certain their is absolutely nothing unintentional about his latest outing.
To enjoy 2012 with the proper perspective, it is perhaps necessary to trace the evolution of Emmerich as a director:
|The quintessence of the modern disaster movie, Independence Day pioneers the now obligatory destruction of a beloved world landmark. All the better for being married to an alien flick as well. So what if there were a few plot holes? What did it matter when you had a president willing to fly into battle and Will Smith wisecracking his way into saving the planet? 7 on a scale of 10.
|After the success of Independence Day, expectations were high for the remake of Godzilla. It would turn out to be one of the most disappointing follow ups of all time, not quite as devastating as what Jackson did with King Kong, but close. Everyone is allowed one major screw up in their career (Superman Returns anyone?), but Emmerich would need to hit his next film out of the park to win his way back into our good graces after this debacle. 4 out of 10
|Following a partial return to form in The Patriot--really a Mel Gibson production rather than a Roland Emmerich disaster film--next up was The Day After Tomorrow. The world was introduced to a new movie villain, faster than Danny Boyle zombies, more sinister than the The Wicker Man pagans: climate change. The movie was laughable for its twisted science, juvenile plot, poor effects, and Dennis Quaid. An Emmerich movie was no longer an event, but literally, a disaster. 2 out of 10
|Despite its terrible reviews, The Day After Tomorrow grossed over half a billion dollars. Still the poor reception somehow managed to keep Emmerich out of work for four years. His return, the even more disappointing 10,000 B.C. A mash up of Apocalypto with Erik The Viking, you have a prehistoric man who goes from fighting sabretooth tigers to building pyramids for the Pharaoh. I'm not even making this up. 1 out of 10
|A more modest filmmaker might have, after being responsible for such a bomb, decided to move in a new direction. The genius of Emmerich yet again shows itself in his latest film, as 2012 offers a form of apology for his previous movies. He is telling the audience, "I'm sorry. I did not go far enough. Let me atone by completely abandoning all pretense of realism and credibility. Let me sacrifice Renoir on a superradiated altar of the Earth's crust, and wash him away with an Everest sized tidal wave." In so doing, Emmerich trumps his closest competitor, Michael Bay, in the race to create the most inanely satisfactory movie of all time. 8 out of 10
*No presidential residences were actually harmed in the making of the film
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