If it's crap ... We'll tell you
People who are familiar with bad low-budget films are probably familiar with The Asylum. The Asylum is a film studio mostly known for making bad rip-offs of currently popular films. Such examples include The Terminators, Transmorphers, and most recently, Almighty Thor. However, they are also known for making equally bad non-rip-off films like Titanic II, Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, and the subject of this review, 2012: Doomsday.
To say this film is bad would simply be stating the obvious. However, this film has a major trick up its sleeve: not only is it a bad apocalyptic film, but it is also a bad Christian film. (You read that correctly; and, to make matters worse, there’s no indication of this anywhere in the synopsis or the trailer. Sneaky bastards.) How can one tell it’s a Christian film? In the opening scene, two excavators go inside a cave and find a giant golden crucifix on the innermost wall. Then, the rest of the film proceeds to hammer the viewer with messages about the realness of God and the importance of faith.
One of the biggest flaws this film has is in its story: it doesn’t seem to know which doomsday event is actually happening. On one hand, it’s suggested that it’s the rapture as described in the Bible, considering a couple of characters suddenly vanish at one point. On another hand, it’s said to be the apocalypse as foretold by the Mayan calendar; in fact, the entire story revolves around the central characters journeying to a Mayan temple to stop the apocalypse. (How do they know to do this? Because they feel it’s God’s calling, going back to the Christian theme.) On yet another hand, a more scientific explanation is crowbarred in involving the rotation of the earth slowing down, as well as a final speech about “acknowledging the power of the universe”. (I have no idea what that has to do with this apocalypse, but whatever.)
As far as everything else is concerned, The Asylum doesn’t disappoint with its lack of quality: the actors don’t so much act as they read off of nearby flashcards usually with vacant expressions on their faces, and when they do try to act, it’s painful to watch. Also, the special effects are terrible; there’s one particularly laughable scene involving a drive through a sudden hailstorm, and it looks as if a crowd of people was hurling baseballs at the car from behind the camera.
Despite all the criticisms, there are some good things to be said about this film. First, not only is it a merciful 83 minutes long, but it somehow manages to go by fairly quickly. Second, despite the amount of storylines and the confusion regarding which doomsday this film is addressing, the story is pretty easy to follow and not as convoluted as some other sci-fi films I’ve watched recently (like The Last Sentinel, a film so convoluted and nonsensical that it’s borderline surreal). As a result, I myself can’t help but be merciful towards it; it’s bad, but it’s not god-awful.
RATING: 2 out of 5