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2012: Directed by Roland Emmerich

Updated on November 12, 2011
aliciaharrell profile image

Alicia has been an Author, Columnist, and Reviewer for 8 years. Her success came from perseverance plus organized goal setting.

This action-packed disaster scene is from the movie "2012".
This action-packed disaster scene is from the movie "2012".

Movie Review

There are numerous speculations, even in the field of Archaeology, regarding the year 2012 and what may occur. Some doomsayers claim it will be the end of the world. Archaeologists have pointed out that the section on the Mayan calendar, known as the "Long Count", where the Mayan glyphs have been eroded and can be translated as 2012 or 2015. The scientific community's specialists regarding the "Long Count" (those who have dedicated their lives studying and translating the Maya glyphs) are not certain which year the Mayan calendar ends. They agree that it could be 2012 or 2015. So, nothing is 100% positive regarding the "Long Count" and its translation for the exact date (on the current calendar we use) of its ending.There is no evidence in support of predicting an apocalyptic or catastrophic event by the Maya people. An archaeologist friend of mine pointed out that all calendars from "ancient times" end in 2012 or 2015 (there is an uncertainty regarding which year due to how the elder calendars determined a single year, weather-worn the existing anceint calendars are which makes their legibility difficult, and our modern one is vastly different; makes it problematical to translate over to an exact year on our current calendar, the Gregorian calendar), and no reputable Archaeologists are claiming an "end of the world" scenario.

The movie 2012 , instead of basing its premises on the elder Mayan calendar doomsday theory that has spread globally as a bad rumor, its sole basis of plot comes from a relatively new scientific theory with a remarkably unique scientific explanation that has to do with solar flares and solar emissions interacting negatively with our planet, Earth. Possible? Well........its a theory, not fact. So, who knows? Just about anything is possible when derived by scientific speculations and theories. Makies for great Science Fiction. This viewer was very grateful for the science explanation approach being the primary inducement for this film's believable plot. This made the plots, subplots, action scenes, and story line easier to digest and view without thinking "That cannot happen!" Hats off to cast, crew, scriptwriters, Director Roland Emmerich, and all others who were part of the creative phases that went into creating this good Science Fiction movie.

2012 begins with Dr. Adrain Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor), an American geologist, in 2009 visiting his friend Dr. Satnam Tsurutani (Jimi Mistry) in India who has discovered some very peculiar acting neutrinos emitted by a massive solar flare. These neutrinos are negatively reacting to planet Earth; causing the Earth's core's temperature to incrementally increase. By Dr. Tsurutani and Dr. Helmsley's calculations this is a severe problem and that in three years (the year 2012) the Earth will experience catastrophic events linked to drastic climatic and seismic changes precipitated by the rise in the Earth's core's temperature. The outlook is grim for humanity for there is no place to escape this type of a disaster. Both scientists agree authorities must be notified. Some sort of plan needs to be devised in order to rescue the entire human race.

Dr. Adrian Helmsley returns to the United States and reports these findings to White House Chief of Staff, Carl Anheuser (Oliver Platt), and United States President, Thomas Wilson (Danny Glover). Dr. Helmsley explains to them exactly how the Earth's core's temperature increase equals disasterous climatic and seismic global events. Dr. Helmsley makes it extremelyclear that these catastrophic events are predicted by his and Dr. Tsurutani's calculations to occur in the year 2012. The President realizes a plan must be immediately formulated; be ready to initiate in order to save as many globally as possible. It is decided by the President that this plan at its birth will take three years before coming into fruition. It is further decided that informing the American citizens will be procrastinated; best to wait until the last possible moment in 2012 before leakig the information about the negative global climatic and seismic changes to the public. Dr. Adrian Helmsley is given a "gag order" and told to begin working on the plan to save mankind.

Then the story line of 2012 smoothly shifts to 2010. The heads of states throughout the world hold a G8 summit. They begin secretly collaborating on the method for saving mankind. At this summit, they strategically decide which 400,000 people are to be saved for the continuity of human life out of the billions in the Earth's population. This number of people chosen is determined by how many Arks can be built in time, before these catatrophic event wipes out every thing on Earth's surface. There are plans for saving most of Earth's animals too (shows scenes of collecting animals, insects, reptiles, etc - male and female for the Arks).To help fund this special secret project, the heads of all states throughout Earth decide to sell tickets at one billion euros each to the wealthy so they can be part of the 400,000 to be saved and obtain a seat on the Arks being built in the Himalayas. The wealthy, of course, is notified privately and sworn to secrecy.

Then the movie 2012 progresses forward to the year 2012. All Dr. Adrian Helmsley predicted in 2009 for the year 2012 begins to slowly, but definitely unfold exactly as Dr. Helmsley had explained to the President in 2009. The scenes shown are very traumatic with great impact as to how the Earth's core's temperature can affect its surface climatically and seismically.  The story line introduces the Curtis family (played by John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Liam Jones, and Morgan Lily), Gordon Silberman (Thomas McCarthy), and Charlie Frost (Woody Harrelson). Charlie Frost is a "crazy" radio Disk Jockey who sees exactly what Dr. Helmsley predicted and airs these predictions on his radio station aired from Yellowstone National Park. No one of course believes what Charlie says on his radio station. He viewed by others as an interesting to listen to crackpot. Has few loyal listeners. Charlie also secretively uncovered "the secret project of Arks", but is smart enough to keep this pertinent information to himself; that is until Charlie meets Science Fiction author Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) who is with his two children on a fun with Dad camping trip to Yellowstone National Park. The rest of the movie is a global catastrophic events survival film. 2012  gives a compassionateside to Dr. Helmsley as he inadvertently rescues a few books (including the one Jackson Curtis wrote) in his brief case, because of his passion for reading. These books were not part of the list of books planned for the Arks' individual libraries. Dr. Helmsley explains to the President's daughter, Laura Wilson (Thandie Newton), the importance of books,how they can transport us to other times and places as well as share traditions, values, and cultures. Dr. Helmsley is glad to include saving a Science Fiction book because it gives hope from a similar circumstance. This movie further proves against all odds that one man, no matter what he does vocationally, can make a difference and that every single human being matters, no matter what. Very heartwarming, tragic, but uplifting ending about the survival of the human race and where the new beginning for mankind eventually ends up being.

Other primary cast members (in the order given by credits) included: Zlatko Buric (Yuri Karpov, Russian billionaire - Jackson Curtis vocationally was the limousine driver for Yuri), Beatrice Rosen (Tamara, Yuri's girlfriend), Johan Urb (Sasha, Yuri's private jet's pilot), John Billingsley (Professor West), Blu Mankuma (Harry Helmsley, father to Dr. Adrian Helmsley), and George Segal (Tony Delgatto, Harry Helmsley's life long friend).

My favorite part of 2012 was how this film portrayed all of Earth's parents globally doing what ever it took, against all odds, to grant the success of the survival of their children and grandchildren; even if it meant they did not survive. There was a lot of people putting others before their own safety in this movie. Loved the positive portrayal of humanity in earthlings.

2012 , released 2009, is rated PG-13 (due to graphic frightening survival scenes) and is 2 hours and 38 minutes in length; just the right amount of time for the plot and subplot to be addressed properly and end without leaving any loose ends dangling. 2012 held me captive throughout its entirety. There were no scenes that slowed this fast paced brimming with action movie down. Worth every dramatic minute. Highly recommend!


For more information about the years 2012 and 2015 plus the "Long Count" (Maya calendar system) please view:

For more information about the Gregorian calendar (our current calendar system) please visit:


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    • FridgeWheeL profile image

      FridgeWheeL 7 years ago from Pretoria South Africa

      Brilliant movie. loved every second of it!