The culture warriors must have been too worked up over Adam Lambert's on-air gay kiss to have noticed, but "2012" had one of the nastiest theological subtexts I've seen in a long time. (Spoilers ahead.)
Now, don't get me wrong. This is a fun movie. It's far from perfect as disaster movies go, but there's still some great images in there that will stick with you for a while. In particular, the airborne view of Santa Monica slipping into the ocean was a nice one.
But it seemed like the director or writers had an axe to grind with God. There was no more quick and sure way to die in the film than to pause for a moment of prayer. Italians gather in front of the Vatican to pray and are immediately struck down by a massive earthquake. A Buddhist lama prays in a temple high atop the Himalayas and is hit by a tsunami. The president pauses for a moment of prayer and is hit by a quake and then a tsunami carrying an aircraft carrier.
Along these lines was the perversion of the Noah's Ark tale. The original story, of course, is a warning about not taking God seriously. Everyone mocks Noah while he's building his ark, but then by the time they realize he was right, it's too late. In this film, the governments of the world are building arks without telling anyone. The people who drown aren't particularly wicked or irreverent, while the people who are saved are the undeserving wealthy -- Russian mobsters, Saudi princes, etc.
Most disaster films are pretty straightfoward morality tales. I'm just not sure what version of morality was guiding this one.
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