2012: Civilized Men on Doomsday

Movie Review
By Raida Muhammad Najeeb
Freelance Writer- Egypt

2012 Movie Poster.

Title: 2012

Writer: Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser

Director: Roland Emmerich

Stars: John Cusack, Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor

Release Date: November 2009

Movies about disasters and world’s end get lots of attention these days.

2012, in specific, attracts lots of attention as it narrates the phases of the world's end, according to existing prophecies.

The Storyline

The movie is based on the Mayans Calendar that predicted the end of life on Earth on December 21, 2012.

Events begin in 2009, with the scene of an American geologist, Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who learns from Satnam, his Indian friend and geologist, about the solar flare bombardment that causes heating up the core of earth, and eventually causing displacement of the Earth's crust.

God—as a Creator—is not mentioned for even once in the whole movie, as if He does not exist in the first place.

The young geologist rushes to the American President Thomas Wilson (Danny Glover ) to tell him about the disaster and the best way they should deal with it. Wilson, during the G8 Summit, made the head of governments aware of the natural disasters that would happen. They all agreed that China is to build the ships that they called "Arks."; the arks are designed to take approximately 400,000 people on their board, and it is agreed upon that these people should be strictly chosen.

Later on, we see American writer, Jackson Curtis (John Cusack), who works as a driver for a Russian businessperson Yuri Karpov. Curtis’s ex-wife, Kate, and kids, Noah and Lilly, live with her boyfriend Gordon, a plastic surgeon and amateur pilot. Jackson tries to strengthen the relationship with his kids, and in order to achieve this goal, he decides to take them camping in Yellowstone.

There in Yellowstone they meet Charlie who tells Jackson about the prophecy of the end of the world according to the Mayan’s Calendar. He also tells him about the ships, which the government is building in secret, and assures him that he has got the map which shows where they are being constructed. Yet, Jackson thinks that Charlie is a lunatic and does not take what he says seriously.

Hours pass and the first symptoms of the disaster become visible; the earth’s crust begins to crack and causes chaos all over the United States. Jackson goes back to Los Angeles, and rents a plane. He collects Gordon and his family to leave Los Angeles. They fly back to Charlie to take the map. Discovering that the arks are in China, Jackson knew that the plane he rented is not qualified to do that long trip, so they went to Las Vegas where they meet Yuri, his girlfriend Tamara, and his sons.

Coincidences happen and Jackson finds out that Yuri is planning to leave to China with a plane that he owns, and they all travelled to China with the help of Gordon who was the co-pilot of that plane.

2012 focuses on the way the “civilized” person looks upon the universe and its Creator.

They all went to China, but only Yuri and his sons were able to pass because they had the tickets to go on the ark’s board, whereas Gordon, Tamara, Jackson and his family joined a Buddhist monk and his grandmother who were also heading to the arks.

Tamara, Gordon, and Yuri died while trying to reach the ark. Although he was promised to be brought to the arks with his family, Satnam and his family also died with a mega tsunami in India. Jackson and his son Noah solve the problem of closing mechanism of the ark's door, and the crew regains control on the ark.

Days pass and the water of the tsunamis flood drew away, data from the satellite shows that Africa has raised to sea level, and the arks sail for the Cape of Good Hope.

On the other hand, the movie presents human beings as if they know it all, and control it all!

Man Equal to God

2012 focuses on the way the “civilized” person looks upon the universe and its Creator. The man is the center of the universe, he has the absolute power to do whatever he wants; and as a result, he stands vis-à-vis in front of God. God—as a Creator—is not mentioned for even once in the whole movie, as if He does not exist in the first place.

Moreover, the person who watches the movie can not but sympathize with the people who are doomed by “the evil” that is caused by God, which means that God, as they see Him, is the source of all the bad tings that happen in the universe.

On the other hand, the movie presents human beings as if they know it all, and control it all! Nature is about to kill all the livings on planet Earth and the man is the one who has to save them and preserve their lives. He builds the arks to challenge the disasters caused by nature, and struggle against the well-known destiny of humanity, and at the very end, he wins.

Religious Symbols

The religious symbols were presented in an interesting way; different figures are presented such as Prophet Noah by using his ark to save the humanity, the Dally Lama, and the Pope.

The ark itself is a biblical term that refers to the ark of Noah that he used to save the believers and the animals because he knew that all the earth would be flooded. The arks that are built in the movie are very much the same as Noah's ark, but of course they were supported with high technology. This technology informs the crews of the arks that the sky is clear, and the dry land is near.

In other scenes, we see the Pope in Rome praying and the Church destroyed on the heads of the people inside it. We also see the Dally Lama who was not able to do anything except for ringing the bell to inform the people of the danger that is coming and the scenes of Buddha’s and the Christ's statues being destroyed by the flood and the earthquakes.

The director declared that he chose not to show the Kaaba destroyed because he was afraid of being killed.

Arabs, the Money Providers

The movie depicts the Arabs as the rich people; yet, they are useless, and they do nothing to face the catastrophes that threaten the earth. Their money was the means through which enabled them to step into the arks that were made for the elite, and without their money, the arks would never have been constructed.

The scene where Helmsley talks to Dr. Wilson and points at an Arabic man entering the ark with veiled women describes how the director of the movie thinks of the Muslims.

Dr. Wilson asks about the means by which people were chosen to come on board of the arks, and she was answered that the experts from all over the world and geneticists chose the people.

Helmsley: “These people were chosen by Geneticists?” His question was in accordance with his finger pointing in disgust and underestimation at an Arab man and the veiled women. Ms. Wilson: “Looks to me their checks is what brought them on board.”

Why Africa?

Africa in 2012 is the chosen land.

I thought a lot about the reason why Africa in specific. Is it because Africa is the only virgin continent that still has almost all of its resources? Or is it due to its Geographical diversity? Could it be because Africa is not the origin of any religion that it does not have any sacred places that relate to any religion?

I also wondered about what will happen when the survivors reach Africa, will they treat the native people the same way the white man treated the Native Americans, or the Red Indians? May be my questions will be answered in part two of this movie.

Related Links:
Muslim Scholars Defy Doomsday Prophecy
Judgment Day in the Qur'an
Armageddon and the End of the World

Add comment

Security code