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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday: 2012

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December 18, 2009

Movie Review Friday: 2012

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Each week we review a film with an environmental theme that's currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a short review and look for it in the next Movie Review Friday.

2012 (2009)

In theaters now

2012 is the definition of a blockbuster: action packed, full of digital effects, and exciting to watch. When scientists discover that a solar flare is about to melt the earth’s core, move the earth’s crust, and cause total destruction for life, the world’s leaders act. Would that our real-life leaders take threats to the planet so seriously. Roland Emmerich’s film follows several characters, most notably one played by John Cusack, as they race to the “ships” that are their only salvation.  

This film is a crowd pleaser in much the way Independence Day was. But instead of standing up to aliens, the world is now confronted with natural forces. 2012 is obviously supposed to have some parallels to climate change, which is both a strength and a weakness. While it’s nice to see a mainstream movie that tries to stir moviegoers into caring about the world they live in, 2012 also has the ability to make climate change seem like a wild plot that only Hollywood could cook up. And since this disaster is not manmade and cannot be stopped, how much can we really learn from it?

If you are looking for a fun escape to the movies, 2012 is a fine choice. But don’t expect to come out enlightened about nature or our place in it. Be prepared instead for weak science, too many special effects, and, of course, a triumphant humanity.

--Kyle Boelte

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