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Review

CGI saves ‘2012’ from annihilation

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November 19, 2009

So I’ve decided that when it comes down to it, I don’t really want to know how the world ends. I’ve made the conclusive decision that I don’t enjoy screaming children, panicky parents, blood-strewn bodies, or sentimental reunions in the last full moments of life. No, I’ve decided it’s not really my thing. It’s like watching a playback of the hunter killing Bambi’s mom over and over and over again. Sure it’s depressing, but eventually even the sadness wears off and soon enough you’re stuck in this stupor of utter boredom.

Speaking of boredom…

I had feelings much resembling boredom on Friday night when watching Roland Emmerich’s new disaster thriller, “2012.” Now before I go any further, you should know that on the whole, I don’t mind Emmerich’s pictures. I’ll even admit that when “The Day After Tomorrow” first came out, I rather enjoyed it (yeah I know, go ahead, insert laughter now). But when I first heard about “2012,” I thought “OK, maybe a little cliché, maybe a little ‘been there done that’, but what the hell, right?” Wrong. Oh god was I so wrong.

The plot behind our fabled coming rapture revolves around starving novelist Jackson Curtis and his family (which includes the typical American unit of today, meaning the ex-wife, her new husband, and the two aloof and unaware children).

As is natural with any end of the world picture, the Curtis’ seem to always manage to be one step ahead of every natural disaster known to man, which comes in very handy when they discover that they must travel to
China to uncover what the United States Government has been secretly building to “save the human species.” Ironically, these state-of-the-art race savers are nothing more than the latest from Noah and his new reality show,
“Pimp My Ark.”

And of course, these boats of the future know that there’s always one place in the world that natural decimation hasn’t touched, and it is only there that we can all…rebuild (don’t worry I won’t tell you where, although I will admit it’s kind of nice to know we end back where we started). After that…well, I think you all know.

While plot-wise, I was less than enthused, visually I was floored. The CG and disaster sequences for the film truly were remarkable in resolution and quality (which on occasion was a little unnerving) and at times definitely made you pull the confirmation look around like, “did that really just happen?” This, along with the great idea to make Wisconsin the new South Pole for the earth, allowed for me to give a few points away in kudos. Other than that, I’m sad to say that if you think you know the story already, then chances are you probably know the film too.

Though it wasn’t the best, I will gladly admit it certainly wasn’t the worst either. Obviously the point of the film was not to capture the ultimate survival story but to highlight how Hollywood has upped the ante when it comes to graphic design and CG technology. For that, I say nice work to Roland and the boys. That being said, I say to you, my Falcon friends: how do you feel about the end?

Katie Heaton is a student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.