Roland Emmerich blew up the White House in Independence Day, stomped around New York City in Godzilla, and created a modern-day ice age in The Day After Tomorrow, so it's fitting he would co-write/direct an epic adventure about a global cataclysm. 2012 is essentially a planetary snuff film as the Earth is bombarded by a new type of solar radiation that cooks the planet's core—think of the Earth being stuffed into a microwave.

Surprisingly, the script is quite entertaining and even touching, but Emmerich couldn't resist the urge to create a CGI-infested action flick that causes more laughter than tension. Regardless, it looks and sounds fantastic with an amazingly detailed 1080p/AVC encode and bombastic DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack.

Something is pulling us apart

  • Chapter 5, 0:36:18
  • Detail, surround envelopment, frequency response
  • As Gordon (Thomas McCarthy) and Kate (Amanda Peet) are grocery shopping, notice the amazing detail in the various items on the shelf. For some reason, I'm craving Rice Krispies and Cheez-Its.
  • As the ground separates, it feels as if the chasm is moving through the room because of the intense bass and enveloping soundfield. Having lived through the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, this is the most realistic portrayal of seismic activity I've ever experienced from a film—very creepy.

The worst is over—not!

  • Chapter 6, 00:44:50
  • Frequency response, surround envelopment
  • Up to this point, the film had me hooked with its building tension, surprisingly well-done character development, and interesting premise. Well, from this point on, check your brain at the door because once the Governator proclaims the worst is over, all hell breaks loose. Prepare for an all-out aural assault from every speaker in the room.

Once the Earth begins to succumb to the effects of the cosmic rays, the film descends into a demo showpiece for nearly two hours. Heck, pick any chapter from 7 through 16 and within seconds you'll be immersed in intense yet completely unbelievable action—but it's one hell of a ride!

Release Date: March 2, 2010
Studio: Sony

Movie: 7/10
Picture: 9/10
Sound: 10/10