The Day After Tomorrow
2004  - Action, Disaster


Review by Donner

20th Century Fox Presents
The Day After Tomorrow

Where will you be?

Reviewed 5.30.04

Directed by Roland Emmerich

Story by Roland Emmerich

Screenplay by Roland Emmerich & Jeffrey Nachmanoff

Starring Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaale, and Ian Holm

Rated PG-13 for intense situations of peril

Fun Fact: Roland Emmerich, out of his own pocket, paid $200,000 to make the production 'carbon-neutral' - the first of it's kind in Hollywood - all carbon dioxide emitted by the production is offset by the planting of trees, and investments in renewable energy.

The guy who blessed cinemas with the opus maximi, Independence Day and Godzilla, bring us the terrifying tale of what will happen if George W. Bush is reelected... The Day After Tomorrow!

It seems that we, being the stupid short-sighted humans that we are, have made the planet so hot thanks to global warming that the North Atlantic Current, a current essential to temperature stabilization across the globe, is about to shift and cause a new Ice Age that will wipe out everyone north of Texas.  However, instead of surly mammoths, cool cats, and loveable sloths... this will not be a fun Ice Age.  Instead, this is the kind of Ice Age that will flood you and then freeze you instantly.

Of course, the world leaders and and the Vice President of the United States... who, come to think of it, looks - and acts - a whole heck of a lot like Dick Cheney, blow off the warnings and continue to belch greenhouse gases into the air fooling with Mother Nature.

...and we all know that it's not nice to fool with Mother Nature.

Soon, Los Angeles is ripped apart by tornadoes, New York City is flooded, and super-cold air from the upper atmosphere crashes to Earth turning everyone in Scotland into Scotcicles.  The Ice Age has come and there's nothing left to do but to survive and head South.

Welcome to The Day After Tomorrow, the doomsday spectacle from a man known for rather crappy doomsday spectacles.  In this movie, as I said, set during the dawn of a new Ice Age, Dennis Quaid plays a climatologist who has to make it to a flooded and frozen New York to save his son, Jake Gyllenhaale.

The Day After Tomorrow has elicited a love/hate reaction from me.  I loved the first half of the movie... I mean, honestly, from a special effects and action standpoint, it's spectacular.  Watching tornadoes chew through LA... seeing flying billboards nail unsuspecting reporters... seeing hail the size of cantaloupes rain down on people as they try and run and get out of the way... watching a wall of water crash up against the side of the Statue of Liberty and then sweep through NYC...  watching people freeze instantly... That's fun disaster movie stuff and, I don't know about you, but it's my cup of tea!

However, the second half of the movie devolves into the age-old survival clichés, boring dialogue, and character scenes that don't advance the plot or explain the characters of anyone.

First half good... second half bad!

Like I said, though... this is a helluva fun movie to watch on the big screen.  The special effects - with the notable exception of some embarrassingly bad CGI wolves - are top rate and epic and the action is consistent and exciting. I can't say the same for the second half of the movie in which the action pretty much grinds to a halt and the writers and director pretty much seem to loose interest in their own story.  Still, if the first half of the movie is "A" grade quality and the second half is "C" grade quality, let's just meet in the middle and say, hey... it's a decent movie.  I'd recommend it, but only if you like disaster movies.  Otherwise, wait for DVD when you can rewind and watch the storm of the millennium over and over and over again.


Special Effects


Replay Factor