What The Film!? – 2012

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What The Film?! is a weekly column exclusive to Under The Gun Review that brings to light the plot holes Hollywood hoped you’d never notice. Written by comedy writer Dane Sager, this column shows no mercy to films that try and pull the proverbial wool over our eyes.

If you know a film with major plot holes that you feel needs to be exposed, tell us! Email utgjames@gmail.com with the subject “What The Film” and we’ll try to get your suggestion featured on the site.

December 21st, 2012: the supposed end of the world according to people who don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s just four days away! Who’s excited about the spiritual sequel to y2k that no one wanted? All of the pseudoscience behind this world wide phenomenon are done in the same way that the ‘facts’ in Loose Change are checked: people come up with a conclusion and seek out only evidence that proves them right and ignore the mountain of evidence saying otherwise. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the exact opposite of the scientific method.

It’s complicated.

2012 director Roland Emmerich is mostly known for his assumed sexual arousal he gets from seeing The White House destroyed, something he tends to fit into almost every movie he’s done. After doing it several times over the course of ten years, he decided to make the disaster movie to end all disaster movies. He said he wanted to end his disaster movie career with such a large bang that no other disaster movies could ever compete.

The movie follows Jackson Curtis, a science fiction writer living in Los Angeles as he tries to piece his life back together. His ex-wife doesn’t seem too fond of him, her new boyfriend doesn’t, and his children seem distant towards him. And on top of that, his daughter still needs diapers!

In her defense, toilets can be pretty scary.

While on a camping trip trying to reconnect with his children (poorly, as he spends most the trip trying to write on his laptop), he meets the crazy and eccentric Charlie Frost, who hosts a radio show from his RV. Charlie invites Jackson to sit in on his show as he talks about how the world is going to end on December 21, 2012. He explains that there will be intense tectonic shifts, destroying most (if not all) of the world, a theory he says came from a scientific paper published in 1958. Charlie further explains that Albert Einstein agreed with the theory, despite the fact that Albert Einstein died in 1955.

After an earthquake occurs back home in LA, Jackson and his children decide to head back home to be with Mom and her boyfriend, a road trip that only takes a few hours despite Yellowstone National Park being over a thousand miles away. He continues to listen to the radio show on the way back despite the insane distance and that the station 745AM is an impossible radio station to reach (for those too young to not know what radio is, AM stations are done in intervals of 10).

A twenty two hour drive, or about seven Tool songs.

As it turns out, Crazy ol’ Charlie was absolutely right and the world was totally ending (shocker!) and that the world’s governments were making “Arks” to save people. To make these Arks, they sold seats to the richest of the richest people on Earth, to generate the massive amount of money they would cost despite the fact that the world’s governments could have just printed a shitton of money to pay for the arks, as it wouldn’t be a problem because that economy clearly wasn’t going to exist in a few days.

Jackson and his family end up going on an adventure that has them traveling the entire world in an attempt to find these Arks. Every single time they leave a location, they do it in a plane that just barely takes off. There is never a plane taking off sequence that goes smoothly or poorly. It’s always the exact same way where everyone gets really antsy because they think they’re going to crash/not take off in time, and then they clearly do. It’s not dramatic when it happens every single time.

Although the entire “Get out of Los Angeles” sequence was pretty cool.

Now, the thing about this movie is that it’s almost three hours long and unlike the Transformers franchise, the action sequences don’t get boring a half hour in due to the constant bombardment of it all. You need to have some highs and some lows, and Roland Emmerich has a way about his ridiculousness that Michael Bay doesn’t. It’s almost as if there’s some sort of campiness hidden in Roland Emmerich’s work that leaks through, telling the audience “Yes, I know this is stupid too, but at least I’m aware of it”. I mean, this movie is filled with more bad movie science than I have time for, but could this entire movie be a joke? Could 2012 actually be a satire on the current state of movie goers, audiences watching any story with a sufficient amount of explosions?

At the end of the movie, Jackson and his family have survived and are on one of the remaining Arks with several thousand other people. While staring out over the horizon, wondering what could happen next in this new exciting rebuilt world, Jackson’s daughter whispers into his ear, telling him that she no longer needs diapers anymore. You just sat through a three hour movie and saw the deaths of over six billion people, but the story finally ends. This movie wasn’t about getting the family back together or the survival of the human race. You just paid twelve dollars to see a little girl get over her fear of using the toilet.

Diapers: The real antagonist.

The world isn’t going to end on 12/21/2012, but if it did, wouldn’t you like to see me backtrack and pretend I didn’t say any of this? You can see me do it on Tumblr and Twitter!

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