2012 : DVD Review

Title: 2012
Starring: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt
Director: Roland Emmerich
Run time: 158
Cert: 12A

2012 is epic end-of-the-world adventure that follows a group of people trying to stay alive and make their way to the safety while the world around them crumbles.

It’s been a while since John Cusack has been in a really decent film and some viewers will still question whether he has after 2012. Cusack once said, very candidly, that he’d only been in a handful of really decent films. Most likely (or at least I like to think that) he was referring to: The Sure thing (1985), Gross Point Blank (1997), Con Air (1997), Being John Malkovich (1999), High Fidelity (2000) and Serendipity (2001). Yes… you have to go back around a decade, or more, to find when he last starred in any really good films. However that’s not to say that Cusack is a bad actor – far from it, he is invariably the best thing in any of the films that he appears in – even the fairly mediocre films – Identity (2003), Must Love Dogs (2005). Cucask is always worth watching. He engages the viewer no matter what the script throws at him. He’s a live wire, giving everything to a role.

And as Cusack himself said, something like 1 in 5 is not a bad batting average. One in five films that he’s been in have been big hits. The rest are just paying the rent. And at least he is honest. So is 2012 a return to form? Well not exactly. This Hollywood blockbuster type of film, big budget, big effects, it’s not really his sort of thing. He’s much better in a character role. But then here he is in 2012 and he’s treating like it was a small character role, allowing him to get under the skin of Jackson Curtis.

Roland Emmerich’s writing and direction have always been there to be shot at. He may take flack for being too bombastic, too clichéd and too sentimental, personally I find his films usually pretty entertaining.

Support from Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt is good. Newton in particular stands out, having given her character both strength and fragility. A couple of deleted scenes on the blu-ray and DVD give a little more insight into Platt’s character making him either even nastier or nicer depending on which clip you care to watch. The alternative ending is also perhaps a littler tidier and a bit kinder to the characters.

The film looks excellent on blu-ray. The image is sharp and free from any artefacts or other blemishes throughout. The colours are rich and even the scenes at night are clear.

So we have been warned. The Mayan calendar says that the World will end in 2012. Not long until we find out.

Author : Kevin Stanley