Film - 2012


steven harris is not impressed by Roland Emmerich and lets you know why...

Roland Emmerich clearly pisses his pants with laughter whenever Hollywood agrees to make one of his blockbuster/disaster movies. It’s as though the studios don’t understand he’s been delivering increasingly diminishing artistic returns since Independence Day in 1996. That’s almost twenty years since he made a film that actually succeeds in terms of the triumph of art over destruction-as-pornographic-money-shots every five seconds.

Stargate is surely his only genuine movie which places true personality at the centre of the still highly satisfying action instead of parading a collage of various social stereotypes before thrusting them together in a sequence of catastrophic escapades.

2012 boasts such sublime acting talent that the first time I watched it I did expect it to be Emmerich’s best film since 96. Wrong. It’s his greatest waste of sublime acting talent since well whenever the last shitstorm of calamity hit the screens with his name attached to the credits.

John Cusack rarely picks bad movies, never performs badly yet even he cannot save 2012. Chiwetel Ejiofor? Yes please, he’s awesome. Oh except his character is so astonishingly one-dimensional that it’s a wonder he ever agreed to appear in this hideous misuse of his talents. See also Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, Oliver Platt and Jimi Mistry, all of whom are serious, nuanced actors capable of delivering jaw-dropping work onscreen.

But let’s not have any of that acting crap in 2012. Oh no, let’s just pile up the clichés, both cultural and cinematic. Let’s steal images and motifs from every disaster movie there’s ever been and smash them all together like eggs in a shopping basket then wonder why we’ve got yolk and albumen all over our fucking shoes shall we, Mr Emmerich?

It’s like watching Armageddon with all of the subtlety removed (think about that sentence for a moment, then realise just how sarcastic I am being about Armageddon before you take it at face value).

It’s like pretending The Poseidon Adventure is actually an arthouse classic up there with the work of Fritz Lang, F.W Murnau or early Wim Wenders. Yes, I am now deliberately referencing icons of German film-making, Herr Emmerich. Have you forgotten which country you were born in?

It’s like filming a dog doing a shit on the Mona Lisa and trying to convince people that not only is the Mona Lisa now more meaningful because it is smeared in canine faeces but that the filming of the shitting dog has greater cultural and historical significance than the painting itself.

It’s like being paid disgusting sums of money to make brilliant actors speak hackneyed puke while all around them the CGI world goes to CGI hell in a CGI handbasket and the special effects whizzkids all have to stop working every ten minutes to indulge in acts of mutual masturbation because they’re all so in love with themselves and with each other for getting salaried to produce this crap.

It’s like I really didn’t like this movie the first time around and I now want to take out all the self-hatred I feel for having subjected myself to it a second time on you, Mr Emmerich, as though you are personally responsible for my decision to overlook the fact that I already knew this is one of the most complacent and suicide-inducingly fuckstick awful movies ever made in the history of ever.

I hate you because I now hate me? Wanna make a movie about that? I’ve just seen a dog that looks like it’s really in need of a crap.

Image - IMDb.

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