I usually have no problem with patrotic movies from Thailand. They are alway patriotic in a humble way, and always try to learn the audience that no one is perfect and that every human being is worth something. So is not the case with Tsunami 2022, a slightly (not even that really) futuristic movie about the threat of a huge tsunami threatening Bangkok in the year 2022.
We follow a bunch of stereotypes: a young man who are afraid of the water after his parents died in the tsunami 2004, an old scientist that lost his son in that tsunami, the heroic and stoic prime minister, the evil politician that wants to take his place, the son of the evil politician who's even more evil and are rebuilding a small island to a giant casino and bla bla bla. And yes, there is a lot of female characters to, but they are so badly written that it's hard to tell one from another. Of course the heroes believes that a giant tsunami will hit Thailand, but the evil ones dosen't believe them. Until it happens in the last half hour.
As a disaster movie it's nothing new, and the concept with a futuristic Bangkok falls flat. The only thing showing it's a futuristic city is an enormous golden Buddah-statue standing in the water outside the city, which in the end results in of the silliest scenes in the movie. But I can stand stereotypes, if they are written with some kinda love and maybe self-distance. Here there's just stereotypes. The prime minister is so heroic and GOOD that it's absurd. There's absolutely nothing wrong with him, and in the end he alone saves 20-30 kids from a sinking schoolbus! And when he floats away, he get caught in the golden Buddhas hand and together they float up to the surface, the Buddha on two legs and with the sunshine coming through the clouds! Yeah, there's no doubt that he's Buddha reborn. On the other side we have the EVIL EVIL EVIL capitalistic politician who also happens to be GAY with a taste for toyboys, and there's no doubt here that he's gay is a part of his evilness. To take the other characters serious is also hard, because one of them, a hunky native fisherman, have a tribal tatoo that's being washed away everytime he get's near water and the old scientist has the biggest and most fakest beard I've seen for many years. Small things, but because the movie is so serious this just dosen't fit in.
But the main thing is the disaster, yeah? It's quite a big disaster. Bangkok get's drowned by the huge tsunami, trains and cars are flying everywhere, buildings break and people get flushed away - the boring thing is that they obviously didn't have so much money (or the lack of technology) to make it realistic. I have nothing against computer animation, I love it, but here it looks very crappy. There's a few shots during the big finale that looks fine and gives some credibility to the disaster, but the rest is mediocre. This is a movie only for disaster-freaks like myself.
It's been a Tidal Wave-time for asian disaster movies. First we had 252: Signal of Life from Japan in 2008, Haenudae from South Korea and Super Typhoon from China. All big, fat disaster flicks with a lot of hype and money behind them. I will review them all, but for now Tsunami 2022 was the worst. So I hope I have three better movies ahead of me. Wish me luck.