At once overblown and undercooked, Roland Emmerich’s 2012 (2009) washed against me a couple of days ago and, by now, there’s not even spray left for me to wipe off. The film’s blatant disregard of narrative cohesion and characters’ autonomy is less annoying than its lack of visual tactility. As the Earth cracks and buildings fall, there’s no real sense of rupture in Emmerich’s world – the CGI effects make all specifics blurry around the edges, so what you see is floating, whirling junk-o-rama; not real chunks of matter being destroyed and thrown against one another.
Emmerich seems happy with himself, though – at least judging from the movie’s length. But then again, his aesthetic myopia may be beyond therapy by now. At one point, Amanda Peet’s new partner, played by Tom McCarthy, refers to his predecessor’s (John Cusack’s) writing as “junk”, to which Peet answers: “It’s not junk; he’s been published!”. Can’t argue with that logic.