2012:Doomsday- Worst Movie Ever Or Just In Recent Memory?
I recently got Netflix on my Wii console. There are not a lot of “A-list” movies on Netflix, so I have done some browsing to try and find good action movies to soak up between the documentaries and the remote being commandeered by my children to watch the entire Sonic the Hedgehog TV series. I wouldn’t have chosen 2012: Doomsday to waste two hours of my life on until I read a conversation about it over at Lousy Canuck. The people who had watched it said it was really, really bad; and just like passing a car accident or renting Weekend At Bernie’s 2, I just had to see the clusterfuck for myself……
I had mentioned over at Lousy Canuck that I might blog about the movie. I just needed to have some angle. So in this post I have decided to give my opinion on three movies at once. I’ll build up to 2012:DD by first reviewing 2012- the recent Hollywood blockbuster, then Doomsday- an apocalyptic action film from Britain, then finally 2012:DD-the movie that is roughly as entertaining as listening to your drunk Uncle Louie spoil the plot of the aforementioned films while doing his best Fran Drescher impression.
2012 (2010- John Cusack, Woody Harrelson )
I watched this film about two and a half months ago. I am a really big John Cusack fan, almost to the point of a man crush, and I even enjoy his bad movies (America’s Sweethearts comes to mind). If you create a scale of Cusack-kickassedness…..where let’s say 1 is Must Love Dogs and The Journey of Natty Gann and 10 is Grosse Point Blank and Being John Malkovich then 2012 would be somewhere around a 5 1/2. The script was entertaining if a little predictable, but he is well cast as is Woody Harrelson, and with Hollywood Sci-Fi films you have to expect the lack of good character development and Americentric plot. I don’t think it is surprising to see the regular stereotypes-on-parade theme that is central to action movies these days, and this is just an extension of poor character development. The bones of the film, as always, rests on the non-stop action and mind-blowing special effects peppered with a hint of comedy to keep the mood light. The Apocalypse is not all doom and gloom you know.
The basic premise is what is important for this discussion. 2012 is based on the over-hyped end of the latest era of the Mayan calendar. This is an end times prediction that has had become a genuine pop culture phenomenon not seen since the millennium end.
Supposedly, the Mayan calendar “ends” on December 21st, 2012. The reason I air-quote “ends” is because contrary to popular mythology, the Ancient Mayans didn’t actually sit down and work out a calendar that clearly ends on that date. Even if they did, these people created the Mayan calendar about 1500 years ago, and I assume if you are going to stop wasting your time perpetually counting the days just in the off-chance your great-great-great….-great-progeny are too mentally retarded to count how many sunsets they have witnessed in the past year, you are likely to stop somewhere more out of pure boredom rather than a divine revelation. The fact of the matter as I understand it is that Dec.21 2012 is just a rounded end of and era in their calendar system, no different from the turning of a century or a millennium….and we all know how those apocalyptic predictions tend to pan out. Besides, I wonder if we have autistic savants calculating whether April 7th, 3522 will fall on a Sunday or a Tuesday, or if our calendar suffers from the same pending fate…..
The important distinction between this movie and the low-budget 2012:DD, apart from this one being entertaining and not a waste of my time, is that Hollywood apparently didn’t feel the necessity to overtly Christify the Mayan Apocalypse. More on that later….
2012: Five stars out of ten
Doomsday (2008, Bob Hoskins, Rhonda Mitra)
This movie seemed promising. I like apocalyptic science fiction. I especially like it when it is not always happening somewhere in America just because America is the only known (or important) country on our planet. Well, this movie decides that doomsday only happens in Britain, because Britain is the only important country on our planet. Oh, well. What I do appreciate is that off-Hollywood movies don’t compromise their integrity by insisting that everything come up roses in the end. This movie delivers in that respect.
A killer virus breaks out in Scotland, causing the British Government to quarantine an entire part of their country. The quarantined people are left to die and forgotten about for 20 years. When the virus re-emerges in London, the government discloses that they have known of survivors of the Scotland outbreak and send a crack team of soldiers to find a doctor in the quarantined zone who they believe found a cure for the virus.
I didn’t hate this movie. I wouldn’t watch it again though. I felt like the scriptwriter had just watched Resident Evil and Mad Max in the same evening and had a semi-cryptomnesia moment with his script. If you like those two movies, then this movie will be both familiar and entertaining.
What does this movie have to do with 2012:DD? Apart from sharing a word in the title and not being a Hollywood outing, not much.
Doomsday:Four stars out of ten.
2012:Doomsday (2008- Cliff De Young, Ami Dolenz )
I assume that you read the title of this post. So, not to spoil the surprise, this is an epically shitty movie. Is it poorly acted? Yes. Could I have done a better job with the special effects? I could do a better job with a commodore 64. Is that why this movie sucks more than an obese calf at a bone-dry teet? Nope.
This movie sucks because it takes a bad interpretation of an ancient calendar, makes the same idiotic (yet popular) mistake as to its apocolyptic nature, then anally-rapes common sense and history to shoehorn it into Christian propaganda.
Here without further ado, is the height of retardation. An archeology team is excavating an ancient Mayan ruin when an active volcano threatens to destroy their work. In a last-ditch attempt to get something of value from the dig, they frantically run into the temple and find an altar with an idol of the crucified Jesus on it. They grab the crucifix and run out. They then use Carbon Dating on a solid gold idol to determine that it is from the Mayan period, about 1500-1300 years old. How do I now know that this script was written by a Christian creationist? Because his grasp of science and scientific procedure includes carbon dating gold statues. Next time a YEC tells me they understand the science but it is wrong, I will remember this moment. They then come to the immediate conclusion based on the carbon dating analysis that Europeans brought Christianity to the new world 700 years before Columbus!!
This of course means that Christ was both known and worshipped by the Maya during the period that the calendar was being formulated. Tah-da! The Mayan calendar is a countdown to the apocalypse of Revelation! We know this has to be true because a competing Stone-Age religion could not possibly have any insight into the future without everyone’s favorite lovable zombie. Why out of all the temples known to anthropologists there is only one mention of Jesus or Christianity is beside the point. God must not have wanted to give away the surprise…
The Mayan inscription says to take the idol to the widely known and more famous Mayan temple of Chichen Itza where it is to be inserted in a “key hole”. Why the idol logically then predates the construction of Chichen Itza yet there is no mention of Christ in that temple, again, is a mystery.
Several people’s lives cross paths on the road to Chichen Itza, including a jaded ambulance driver who is an atheist, or at least a particularly good stereotype of what Christians imagine atheists to be like. She has visions of a Maya pyramid with a cross on it, which she doodles on paper as she mopes over her lack of a relationship with her creator. She is called to a shooting where a Mexican guy has a tatoo that matches her doodle, and although he dies, this profoundly affects her. She turns to her penitent religious grandmother who implores her to drive to Chichen Itza, and offers to go with her. Also on their way to the temple is a missionary who is taking a Mayan pregnant lady to Chichen Itza on the advice of a legend told to her by a villager, and the missionaries father, who is trying to save her from her stubborn refusal to head to Idaho to avoid the apocalyptic signs he is witnessing as head of the US Geological Survey.
Oh, did I mention that near the end of the movie several people just vanish without a trace, a-la-Left-Behind? They are of course those people who are the Christians in the movie, except the missionary, because of course God is using her for a higher purpose.
Really epic crap. The Christians responsible for this are obviously trying to piggyback Christian apologetics onto a popular cultural mythology. My issue is that they have a popular mythology of their own, so why bother to co-opt another cultures myths to perpetuate your own end-times delusion? The main reason is that this movie was not soley marketed as a Christian film, it is meant to try to reach out to a secular audience that is eating up the Mayan Apocalypse meme.
This movie goes down as one of the worst movies ever, and one of the stupidest ploys to re-brand Christianity to seize on a pop-culture phenomenon.
2012:Doomsday- Negative eight stars out of ten.
Aside: there is a “goofs” page that talks about the impossibility of Europeans crossing the Atlantic and other minor gaffes. Can I just add to the list of errors: The entire fucking plot.