So I caught 2012, Hollywood’s latest “End of the World” flick, this weekend. I felt obligated for some reason. Not watching the latest way that Hollywood decides that the world is going to end is like saying you don’t care about humanity.
I guess that’s why theaters were packed this weekend and the film debuted at No. 1 despite horrific reviews. No surprise, I didn’t think it was a good film. It full of unrealistic scenarios that the filmmakers want you to see as realistic, which sucks. I knew there was little chance I was going to think it was a film, yet somehow I went. Like I said I felt obligated.
I knew I was going to see the film when I first heard the title 2012 because of what it represents.
See, I’m fascinated by the idea of the world ending in film. Independence Day. Deep Impact. Armageddon. War of Worlds. The Day After Tomorrow. Children of Men. 2012. Good and bad, I’ve seen quite a few of them over the last decade plus. There’s something attractive about most of these films, no matter how poorly written or corny they may be.
I suppose it has a lot to do with watching how people act and react when they know the world is in chaos and is unstable, watching how people act and react when there’s a lack of institutional control. The juxtaposition of those who have already accepted their fates and just find their ways to their knees to pray — or face a tidal wave of certain death instead of running to savor your last breath — is interesting as well. I’m always left wondering if this is how it will really be if something catastrophic happens in my lifetime.
The “let me get close to that son I never really knew” bit can be compelling as well, if played right. It can also be quite terrible. Even watching landmarks fall, like watching the White House get blown up in ID4, on the big screen is interesting.
Those are the things that pull me toward this specific kind of film. I’m wondering, though, why others are so attracted to them, because it’s become apparent that if Hollywood says the world is going to end in this film, there’s a good chance it’s going to be a chart topper… even if the most recent episode of SpongeBob SquarePants is more plausible.
Why do you think this is?