It’s the end of the world! (Except in Africa)

I not-so-recently watched the blockbuster movie 2012 (spoilers ahead), 2012: Supernova and 10 or so minutes of 2012: Doomsday. They were all exceptionally bad movies.

I watched Supernova precisely because it was lousy. In one scene, the panel of eminent scientists (an American, a Chinese and a Russian— it sounds like the beginning of a  joke) were making last-minute calculations as they awaited to get on the Space Shuttle. They were going to save the world with calculations done by hand on paper. Someone hand them a slide rule, for goodness’ sake! They proceed to enter the Shuttle dressed in apparel resembling overalls and motorcycle helmets. The entire film was an insult to intelligence.

To watch 2012, you similarly have to suspend your disbelief. Numerous times the characters outran (on foot, in cars and planes) the earth crumbling beneath them. But the part that had me laughing loudest was the end. The survivors sail to Africa, whose landmass had been spared all the flooding and falling into bottomless chasms that had affected the rest of the world (its surface area had even grown!). Never mind that there may just be people living there, our bunch of billionaires are going to start afresh on the continent.

I’m not sure which I prefer: the end-of-the-world flicks that totally ignore Africa (all of them), or this one which is ridiculously patronising.

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