The End of the World As We Know It: 2012 Director Keeps It…Real?

The End of the World As We Know It: 2012 Director Keeps It…Real?

Nov 13, 2009

Run for the hills! That gigantic Velveeta tsunami heading your way is director Roland Emmerich’s 2012, a movie that puts the disaster in disaster movies. Very loosely based on an ancient Mayan doomsday prophecy, 2012 drags an ensemble cast (John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Danny Glover, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, and Oliver Platt) around the world and their reputations through the mud as a virtual Earth endures cataclysmic CG disasters. What kind, you ask? Cracks in the ground seem to chase characters, people outrun explosions and major monuments crumble, but never once does it feel tangible, exciting or scary. What you have instead is a cast struggling to react to a blue screen of video game-like special effects while pausing for awkward, ill-timed sentimental interludes as the world comes down around them for a butt-challenging 158 minutes. If you’re the undemanding type that enjoys this sort of thing, then the following news should interest you. During a promotional interview for 2012, Emmerich was asked whether any scenes were left on the cutting-room floor for the 2012 DVD and Blu-ray. The German-born director said there was “not much” except for an alternate ending that was deemed—get this—“too unrealistic.” In a movie where a marble-mouthed Danny Glover is president and CG giraffes and elephants are airlifted to giant arks in the Himalayas, that is really saying something. Although the movie opens in theaters today and won’t arrive on disc for some time, it's reassuring to know that one day we’ll be able to see this alternate ending that could have undermined this utterly plausible end-of-the-world epic.

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