Why does Roland Emmerich hate the world?
On Friday, the much-advertised gargantuan-FX behemoth 2012 comes out. The film is the latest world-destroying epic from director Roland Emmerich, perhaps best known for his entertaining world-destroying Independence Day, his not-so-entertaining NY-destroying Godzilla ’98 and his decidedly ungood world-destroyed-by-climate-change The Day After Tomorrow.
He also made the passable history-as-a-Mel-Gibson-revenge-melodrama The Patriot and the lame pyramids-built-by-aliens Stargate.
Independence Day, probably Emmerich’s best entertainment, worked on its chosen level of lightweight summer popcorn movie (with the question of just how much the destruction of the world could be portrayed as lightweight being answered, “quite a bit”). The White House and Empire State Building blown up! Awesomely!
Godzilla was a bad movie, with its annoying characters and mindless destruction for the sake of destruction. And The Day After Tomorrow was pretty lame. I just can’t abide the end of that movie, where the characters were RUNNING AWAY FROM LETHALLY COLD AIR, as if you can escape the flow of air by RUNNING TO A DIFFERENT ROOM.
Now comes 2012. I will probably end up seeing it, because THE WORLD GETS DESTROYED ROLAND EMMERICH STYLE, and it might be awesome. And look! It stars the usually great John Cusack! (Although, he’s playing a dad, and not the kind of ironic cynic we loved him for in movies like High Fidelity.) But knowing Emmerich’s penchant for broad disaster-movie characters and cliches, 2012 could very well suck, too. So we’ll see.
But with yet another world-ending movie, I have to wonder what it is about Roland Emmerich. Is he constantly haunted by visions of the end of the world? Is this his outlet? Or does he simply hate the world so much that he wants to destroy it over and over again in his movies? Okay, I don’t think he hates the world. He just sees the world as a fictional playground to stage as much over-the-top mayhem and destruction as possible. PG-13 mayhem, of course.
Must be a fun job. Then again, maybe not. Overseeing a project that consists of producing two hours of digital effects shots must be awfully tedious.