November 13, 2009, - 2:50 pm
When director Roland Emmerich made “2012,” in theaters today, he destroyed several Christian religious sites and edifices and several symbols of American freedom. And the atheist, religion-hating Emmerich wanted to do the same with the Kaaba, the Islamic building containing a rock, worshipped by Muslims on the hajj in Mecca, but the cowardly, hypocritical moviemaker didn’t want a fatwa on his head.
So, while the movie shows the destruction of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as the fall of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio De Janeiro, the White House, and much else, we’re not shown the fall of any Islamic sites. In fact, the only reference to Muslims is a scene showing them praying at the Kaaba for the earth to be saved (as well as a keffiyeh-encrusted and presumably Muslim Arab king who buys his family tickets to their “salvation”).
Emmerich said that he got approached by people who wanted their landmarks destroyed, such as the 101 Tower in Taipei, the world’s tallest building.
But Emmerich was thinking of something even more explosive: the Kaaba, the cube-shaped building at the heart of Mecca, the focus of prayers and the Islamic pilgrimage called the Hajj; it is one of Islam’s holiest sites.
“Well, I wanted to do that, I have to admit,” Emmerich says. “But my co-writer Harald said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right. … We have to all … in the Western world … think about this. You can actually … let … Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have … a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is. So it’s just something which I kind of didn’t [think] was [an] important element, anyway, in the film, so I kind of left it out.”
Aside from that Islamopandering, the movie has other problems. It has a ton of special effects and action, but a lot of heavy-handed moralizing and preachiness. The message that we must treat everyone equally rings hollow, in the face of Emmerich’s inequality in whom he shows being destroyed based on his co-writer’s fears.
And the special effects, while many, are very obvious in their computer generation and don’t seem realistic. A stretch limo miraculously beats an earthquake destroying everything on the road in its path and escapes falling highways, buildings, etc.
The heroic, sacrificing Black American President, played by far-lefty Danny Glover, can only be a proxy for Barack Obama, since it’s 2011, and last time I checked Barack Obama’s term ends at the beginning of 2013. Somehow, I doubt President Obama–with his larger than life ego–would give up his ticket to be saved, as President Glover-Obama does. And the movie isn’t shy about being politically correct and playing the race card, since every single Black character–and there are many–is as morally White as the driven snow, whereas some of the White people, including the sleazy White House Chief of Staff, are murderers. Oh, and did I mention that the only part of earth that survives is Africa, and that that’s where we return to restart civilization?
Then, there’s the story. I liked its Noah’s Ark parable–the earth is being destroyed and animals of each species (plus artwork) are being saved for the future. But the rest of it, we’ve seen before. The earth’s crust is quickly disintegrating, faster than world leaders who knew about it thought it would. They’ve already been preparing, building giant ships in the tunnels of China to save a select few people willing to pay $1 billion a ticket. In the meantime, those who’ve discovered what’s going on and who want to expose it are quietly assassinated. In the meantime, a failed author, divorced father, and limo driver (John Cusack) discovers what’s going on and struggles to save his kids, his ex-wife, and her new husband (a plastic surgeon who performs breast implants).
While the movie never comes out and says the earth’s crust is disintegrating because “we failed to be green” or take care of the environment–the usual BS of the global warming left–the message is obvious if unspoken. The posters for the flick say, “We Were Warned.” Uh, no thanks, for the climate change BS.
A Black scientist is the hero of the story because he discovers the earth’s disintegration and also because he objects to the distribution of spots on the spaceships to those who are wealthy and/or dignitaries. The other heroes are the President’s daughter, who supports him, and the President, himself, who bravely goes down with the American people as Washington is destroyed.
The only character I really liked in this movie was, surprisingly, played by Woody Harrelson, of whom I’m normally not a fan. He plays a crazy Art-Bell-style radio host who predicts the world’s destruction and knows about the assassinations, as well as the location of the spaceships that will save a select few. He’s the only character in the movie that’s believable and rings true. Plus, he’s funny.
While the movie is entertaining overall and heart-pounding at points, it is what it is: a movie that’s really more about crazy special effects and action than tight storyline. And on that level, it’s okay, even with the incredible pandering to Islam by leaving out the Kaaba’s destruction. Still I could have done without the moralizing and the annoying kids. Any action movie that makes an issue of a seven-year-old daughter who wets her pants has a few screws loose.
HALF A REAGAN
Tags: 2012, Danny Glover, fatwa, Islam, John Cusack, Kaaba, Mecca, Movie Reviews, Muslim, Muslims, Obama, PC, Politically Correct, race card, Roland Emmerich, Woody Harrelson