This weekend my brother took my ten-year-old son to see 2012. I had actually been looking forward to seeing the movie myself and when I learned that's what they had gone to see I immediately asked my son what he thought about it.
"It sucked," he said cheerily.
"Really?" My son is not difficult to please when it comes to action films so I was a little surprised by such a succinct and unqualified criticism. "Were the special effects any good?"
"Yes," he said, "but that was the only good thing. The rest was dumb. The Apocalypse took two whole weeks! It was, like, the longest Apocalypse ever! It should have been a lot shorter."
"Well," I hedged, "The director, Roland Emmerich, is sort of known for his ability to destroy the planet in his movies."
"What do you mean?" My son asked skeptically.
"I mean that in his previous movies he has always had some sort of apocalyptic event that results in the destruction of most of the earth which his team demonstrates in stunning special effects. This is the third movie in which he destroys Los Angeles and from what I've heard he's done it more convincingly and spectacularly in this film than in any of his others."
"But why does he always destroy the earth in his movies?" My son asked.
"Probably because it's fun?"
My son thought about this for moment before replying. "It probably is fun," my son admitted. "But if that's all he wanted to do then he should have just done a montage. A montage of destruction."
Yes, those are the words he used. A montage of destruction.
"Look," he continued with a somewhat exasperated tone, "I like watching things get blown up as much as everybody else. But if that's all the movie is then I don't want to see it! There was no plot, mom! Now if it was a Youtube video of course I would have wanted to see it because YouTube videos are short! All this movie maker had to do was blow up a whole bunch of stuff and just show those scenes and leave the rest out. He didn't have to try to make up a story around it because he really wasn't very good at that part at all. Okay?"
So there you have it, my son's review of 2012. Great special effects but no plot or any semblance of a story (and remember, this is from a ten-year-old who wasn't exactly looking for a lot of complexity or subtext). You might want to wait until someone posts the highlights on YouTube.
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