Director Roland Emmerich declares his superiority to Italian Renaissance artists in 2012
, first by threatening the Mona Lisa, then by reveling in the destruction of the Sistine Chapel. 2012
(AKA Revenge of the Earth
) has been under some scrutiny for exploiting 9/11 imagery. But its failure isn't that noble: Emmerich hasn't the skill to invoke fear. Without an artist's understanding of death, he resorts to his ID4
cliches, alternating between melodramatic scenes of feuding politicians and soap opera about Average Joes discovering they're All-American heroes.
Treating the end of the world as a cool special effects display would be fine low-cal escapism, except 2012 rarely convincingly places its stars in the midst of destruction. A gargantuan-budget cheap-movie, half its "money shots" only sell good actors staring into green screens.