Who Shall Be Saved?
Release Date: November 13, 2009
Starring: John Cusack, Oliver Platt,
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet,
Woody Harrelson, Thandi
Newton, Danny Glover, Liam
James, and Morgan Lily
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 158 minutes
Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony
Director: Roland Emmerich
Executive Producer: Ute Emmerich, Mark Gordon, and
Producer: Roland Emmerich, Larry J.
Franco, and Harold Kloser
Writer: Roland Emmerich and Harold
Address Comments To:Michael Lynton, Chairman/CEO
Amy Pascal, Chairman - Motion Picture Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment
(Columbia Pictures/TriStar/Screen Gems/Provident/Triumph Films)
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
2012 begins with the discovery of neutrinos by an academic researcher Adrian Helmsely (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) causing physical reactions and creating microwaves to warm the Earth’s core. In 2012, countries unite once they validate the fact that the world will end soon. With the help of Adrian, Carl Anheuser (played by Oliver Platt), and the President of the United States Thomas Wilson (played by Danny Glover), world leaders come together to put a plan in place to save heads of state, scientists, artists, plants, animals, and prized artifacts of civilization.
2012 is a story about family. In 2012, Jackson Curtis (played by John Cusack) a writer, whose passion for writing has destroyed his family, stumbles on the government’s secret when he takes his children Noah and Lilly (played by Liam James and Morgan Lily) on a family vacation to Yellowstone National Park. Jackson meets Charlie Frost (played by Woody Harrelson), who tells Jackson of the government’s plan, a map to a safe zone, and the space ship they are building. Jackson, his children, and his ex-wife, Kate (played by Amanda Peet), embark on a trip to make it to the safe zone – China.
Jackson’s family, his boss, and the Russian President Yuri Karpov (played by Zlatko Buric) meet a roadblock in their own trip to the safe zone, but with the help of Jackson and his family they make it to China. After teaming up with Jackson and his family, Yuri, a ticket holder on the “ship,” takes his children and selfishly abandons Jackson and his family. Jackson and his family have to find another way to get on to the “ships” or Arcs since they are not ticket holders.
2012 tells the story about the type of selection process that might be in place to save humanity, and the covert operation that governments might undertake. 2012 is also a modern day equivalent to the story of Noah’s Ark. As such, it echoes the instruction given to Noah in Genesis 6, because the Chinese build multiple arks, and animals are flown in on helicopters, presumably two by two.
2012 depicts several instances of self-sacrifice. [Some Spoilers follow] President Wilson abandons his seat on the ark to warn the American people and give families an opportunity to say goodbye to each other. Adrian convinces the Heads of State to re-open the ark doors to save thousands of people left stranded outside the ark doors. In a surprising twist, Yuri sacrifices himself to ensure that his two sons, Alec and Oleg, make it aboard.
The cast of 2012 evokes real emotion, desperation, and a sense of urgency. 2012 is full of moral conflicts and dilemmas, and even minor villains, some of whom believe that nature will choose for itself who or what will survive. 2012 is full of special effects and lots of disaster. 2012 does an excellent job creating real chaos, but it sometimes seems too contrived and clichéd. It also contains too much foul language, so caution is warranted.
Overall, 2012 has an excellent story about the importance of family, the importance of selflessness, and the importance of doing away with trivial disputes and making amends before it is too late. It also contains some brief Christian, redemptive moments, including examples of bravery and self-sacrifice, compassion, a few references to faith, and a positive line quoting the first line of Psalm 23.
There is no truth, however, in people who use the Mayan calendar to predict the end of the world. The end of our world is actually described at the end of the Book of Revelation, which says that Jesus Christ will return to Earth to judge all the living and all the dead and to create a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1), where God “will wipe every tear from [our] eyes” and “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Rev. 21:4). This is something we can all believe.
2012 is full of special effects and lots of disaster. The movie does an excellent job creating real chaos, but it sometimes seems too contrived and clichéd. The cast does a good job, however, evoking real emotion, desperation, and a sense of urgency. Though it makes some strong moral points and contains some Christian, redemptive moments, 2012 doesn’t offer much spiritually speaking. It does destroy two Christian monuments, but, of course, no Muslim ones. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for children due to this problem, some intense moments, and too much foul language.