2012 is a 2009 science fiction apocalyptic disaster film based loosely on the 2012 phenomenon and directed by Roland Emmerich. The film stars John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, and Woody Harrelson. It was distributed byColumbia Pictures. Filming began in August 2008 in Vancouver.
The film briefly references Mayanism, the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, and the 2012 phenomenon in its portrayal of cataclysmic events unfolding in the year 2012. Due to solar flare bombardment the Earth's core begins heating up at an unprecedented rate. This results in a series of Doomsday event scenarios plunging the world into chaos, such as California falling into the Pacific Ocean, the eruption of the Yellowstone National Park caldera, shifting of the continents by crustal displacement, and Megatsunami impacts along every coast line on the Earth. The film centers around an ensemble cast of characters as they narrowly escape multiple catastrophes in an effort to reach ships in the Himalayas, along with scientists and governments of the world who are attempting to save as many lives as they can before the disasters ensue.
In 2009, American geologist Adrian Helmsley meets his friend, Doctor Satnam Tsurutani, in India. Satnam has discovered that neutrinos from a massive solar flare are acting as microwaves, causing the temperature of the Earth's core to increase rapidly. Adrian informs White House Chief of Staff Carl Anheuser and US President Thomas Wilson that this will instigate a catastrophic chain of natural disasters. At the G8summit in 2010, other heads of state and heads of government are made aware of the situation. They begin a secret project intended to ensure humanity survives, choosing 400,000 people to board a series of gigantic ships to be constructed in the Himalayas. To help fund the venture, additional individuals are allowed to purchase tickets for one billion euros apiece.
In 2012, Jackson Curtis is a writer in Los Angeles who works part-time as a limousine driver for wealthy Russian businessman Yuri Karpov. Jackson's ex-wife Kate and their children Noah and Lily live with her boyfriend, plastic surgeon and amateur pilot Gordon Silberman. Jackson takes Noah and Lily on a camping trip to Yellowstone National Park, where they meet Charlie Frost, a conspiracy theorist living as a hermit and hosting a radio show from the park. Charlie believes a theory that suggests the Mayans predicted the world would come to an end in 2012, and claims he has knowledge of a secret "space ship" project and possesses a map of their location. The family returns home as cracks develop along the San Andreas Fault in California and earthquakes occur in the San Francisco Bay area. After being informed by Yuri's sons that they have tickets for a special ship while he will die, Jackson grows suspicious and rents a plane to rescue his family. He collects his family and Gordon when the Earth's crust displacement begins and they escape Los Angeles as it collapses into the Pacific Ocean.
As millions die in earthquakes worldwide, the group flies to Yellowstone to retrieve Charlie's map. The group narrowly escapes as theYellowstone Caldera erupts. Charlie, who stayed behind to broadcast the eruption, is killed by the blast. Learning the ships are in China, the group lands in Las Vegas, where they meet Yuri, his twin sons, girlfriend Tamara, and pilot Sasha. They join the group and secure an Antonov An-225, fleeing Las Vegas as it is destroyed. The group flies to China, passing Hawaii as it is obliterated. Also bound for the ships aboard Air Force One are Anheuser, Adrian, and First Daughter Laura Wilson. President Wilson remains in Washington D.C. and is killed by a gianttsunami that sends the USS John F. Kennedy crashing into the White House. With the Vice President dead and the Speaker of the Housemissing, Anheuser appoints himself acting president.
Arriving in China in a crash-landing that kills Sasha, Yuri and his sons are taken to the ships, stranding the Curtis family, Gordon, and Tamara, who do not possess tickets. Jackson and the group witness helicopters carrying multiple animals to the ships' location. After leaving the crash site, the group is picked up by Nima, a Buddhist monk. They sneak into an ark through its hydraulics chamber with the help of Nima's brother Tenzin, a welder for the ark project. Meanwhile, Satnam and his family are stranded in India after their airlift fails to arrive. In his last moments, Satnam calls Adrian, informing him that an uncharted tsunami is engulfing India and heading towards the arks. Anheuser orders the arks sealed, trapping thousands outside. Adrian convinces the G8 leaders to let the remaining people board. As the ark's boarding gate is lowered and then raised, Yuri falls to his death getting his two sons aboard, and Gordon and a large power drill fall between the gears. The lodged drill prevents the gate from closing, rendering the ship unable to start its engines. The tsunami begins flooding the ark, setting it adrift. Jackson and Noah free the drill from the closing mechanism. The crew regains control of the ark, preventing a fatal collision with Mount Everest.
When the floodwater from the tsunamis recedes, satellite data shows that Africa rose in relation to sea level, and the Drakensberg mountains inKwaZulu Natal are now the highest on the planet. As three arks set sail for the Cape of Good Hope, Jackson reconciles with his family and Adrian starts a relationship with Laura.
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