What Do Storks and Jimmy Johns Have in Common?

They deliver, that's what.

When we watch a movie, be it in a theater or at home via Netflix, we all want the same thing: for the movie to deliver. Where discord arises, however, is in the individual assessment as to what was delivered, how it was done, and whether it was worth the price/time. I think everyone has experienced the gamut of movie delivery experiences, from the highly-touted blockbusters that fizzle to the dark horses that pleasantly surprise, movies that give everything they promise and flicks that deliver so much more.

Here's an example: 2012. The Folks, Beckie and I went to see it Wednesday afternoon, and I think it's safe to say we had a good sense of what to expect. Roland Emmerich, the director, can be considered a kingpin in the disaster film genre, consistently delivering based on a "heavy on action, light on plot" formula. Previous examples would include Independence Day, Godzilla and The Day After Tomorrow. Yeah, I was enamored with Independence Day when it first came out and thought Will Smith's lines were the best in cinematic history. But let's face it, when you put it in perspective, most of the plot points are campy and a little goofy (super-advanced aliens really have no defense against a virus from the primordial days of the internet? They can't time travel forward and download Norton's?)

Does that stop me from watching it and enjoying it? Hardly. In fact, by recognizing that you're going to get some camp/cliches/huge leaps of scientific logic, you can discard the hang-ups and enjoy the movie for what it is.

That is why I thoroughly, and I mean thoroughly, enjoyed 2012. I knew two things going up to the ticket booth. First, the plot would be thin, the cliches would be many in number, and the special effects would be spectacular (let it never be said Roland Emmerich didn't go all out on visuals). Second, this movie would be far better on a big screen than on a TV (again, thanks to the special effects). And I was right on both counts.

Visually, this is easily Roland Emmerich's best entry to date. Wow. I mean, wow. This literally blows all his other films, combined, out of the water. From LA crumbling like a cinnamon crisp to tsunamis as big as mountains to the most mind-blowingly incredible volcanic explosion ever, you're eyes and ears will feast.

More than that, it's got a coherent plot. Note I don't say "great" or "poignant" or "meaningful." I don't know that it really tries to do anything like that, unlike some of his other movies (Day After Tomorrow = (un)intentional commentary on global warming). The story is full of cliches, unbelievably unlikely moments, and vehicles that take WAY more punishment than even a Volkswagon could withstand. But the plot flows, and flows well. In short, I found myself wanting to know how the story was going to end, rather than just enjoying the CG-Eye candy.

So there you go. Is 2012 worth seeing? Absolutely, as long as you're going to see it in theaters. If you're not, HD or Blu-Ray might do it some justice, but it won't be the same. On the big screen, though, it was worth every penny.


Popular Posts