In an analysis of the film 2012, describe the environmental problem(s) presented in the movie. Does it propose any solutions that can be applied to the real world? 

Quick answer:

In the film 2012, the environmental problem that is presented is nothing less than the end of the world. Given the film is a work of fiction and inspired by an ancient Mayan prediction, the film is more interested in presenting thrills than offering up any viable solution or critique of environmental policy. It is best viewed as a cautionary tale and a plea to pay more attention to the crisis of climate change.

Expert Answers

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2012 is a 2009 film directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Emmerich with Harald Kloser. The title refers to a Mayan prediction about the end of the world, which is the main plot of the film. The clear environmental problem that the film presents is the destruction of Earth, caused by the unexpected realignment of the planets. Given the somewhat far-fetched premise, the film, even though it does have scientists as characters, does not present anything resembling a solution and, outside of the film, even the greatest minds do not know how to prevent our world's collapse.

The film is, perhaps, best looked at in conjunction with another Emmerich film, 2004's The Day After Tomorrow, which, while also unrealistic, is more engaged with the environmental theme, namely that of climate change/global warming. Both films can be seen as warnings of the environmental crisis facing our world, although neither are all that interested in the political implications.

Another way of looking at the filmswhich offer up a myriad of expensive, special-effects-driven scenes of destructionis in light of the current COVID-19 shutdown. Both films deal with how normal people react in a time of great crisis, just as we are all dealing with a great crisis. Can films serve to comfort in a time of crisis and can either of the films even be seen as prophetic? Rather than look at their technical or visual merits, it would worth considering their cultural commentary and impact.

I would recommend using the books The World Without Us and The Sixth Extinction to supplement your review.

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