2012: Is the World Ever Going to End?

Posted: April 3, 2012 by John C. Kwasny, Ph.D. in Action, Drama, Thriller
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I recently figured out that the best way to have your film shown every single week during the year on the cable movie channels is to name it something like…2012. So, if you didn’t have the chance see 2012 when it was released in 2009, you’ll have plenty of opportunities this year–that is, until the world ends on December 21st (according to the Mayan doomsday calendar). I took the time to view it a few weeks ago (158 minutes I’d like to get back again), since it only makes sense to watch it this year.

First spoiler alert! In 2012 the world doesn’t really end…just the world “as we know it.” That was one of the biggest disappointments for me! I mean, if you’re going to make a movie referencing the Mayan doomsday calendar, then the world better totally end, right? But, to be fair, many Mayan scholars believe that this calendar doesn’t predict the true end of the world, but merely a transition from one “world age” to another. So maybe this film is believable after all.

Without spoiling it much more for you, 2012 has all the things we look for in a blockbuster movie. Big stars. A governmental and wealthy people conspiracy (probably all Republicans). Solar flares causing core global warming. California falling into the ocean (no offense meant to my California friends). Great special effects. Some really bad acting. Buddhist monks. Russian mafia. Class warfare. And of course, the end of the world as we know it!

The director of 2012, Roland Emmerich, is no stranger to apocalyptic disaster movies. He directed one of my favorite cheesy movies, Independence Day; the New York destroying movie, Godzilla; as well as the very disappointing The Day after Tomorrow. Emmerich has obviously figured out that people are naturally fascinated with the apocalypse–whether it comes by way of aliens, a monster, global warming, a meteor, or some other natural disaster. We also enjoy seeing entire cities and maybe even countries destroyed by someone or something, while rooting for the few chosen survivors. And the best part is figuring out which famous actor is NOT going to make it in the end.

Okay, back to the movie–and more SPOILERS. 2012 is rife with several political and religious statements that I’ll just briefly touch on. The crisis is kept a secret from the world in a one-world government sort of conspiracy. The wealthy put up the money for the deliverance “arks,” keeping the poor out. The arks are built in the Himalayas with the help of the very peaceful Buddhist monks. The African-American President of the United States chooses not to be saved, but rather to die with the rest of the “unlucky” American people. When the flood finally subsides, the continents end up shifting into one mega-continent in the shape of–no, not America–Africa. I’ll let you discuss these various propaganda statements amongst yourselves.

As you can guess, the one most obvious Biblical analogy in the film is the building of the multiple ARKS. There are significant differences with Noah’s singular ark, though. Noah was called and chosen by God to build the ark. Leaders of the G8 countries built thes 2012 arks, choosing only the powerful and wealthy to inhabit them. Noah’s ark was built in public to proclaim judgment on the wicked. These arks were built in secret, to keep “innocent” people away. No one sneaked on to Noah’s ark, while the hero and his family in 2012 made it past the guards into an ark. The LORD God closed Noah and his family safely into the real ark, while one of the doors of these modern arks jams, requiring human sacrifice to bring the people to safety. So while it’s awfully nice of this writers and producers of 2012 to reference the true ark story, it becomes useless when you delete the main character (not Noah, God!).

Finally, it is essential to recognize the true deficiency of 2012, as well as most movies of the apocalyptic genre: A Christ-less end of the world. In most apocalyptic movies, it is humans who either destroy the world and/or have to save it–and themselves. In the true story of the end of the world, it will be God who brings it all to an end, according to His plan. And, it will be Jesus Christ who will save and deliver His people on the last day. While this real story is too simple and narrow-minded in comparison to 2012, it is the only one that offers hope for the world. Our world WILL end one day–as those who love and worship Jesus enjoy a new heaven and new earth!

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