The Day After Tomorrow

| June 1, 2004

Loved the special effects. Loved the action. Sit in the back half of the theater to get a good view. The effects will not be as dramatic on DVD. My wife liked it more than I did.
OK, now that we have the basics out of the way, we can discuss the latest blockbuster effects flick from Roland Emmerich, the man who brought you Godzilla, Independence Day, 8 Legged Freaks, and Stargate. This means that effects will be the star, there will be a loose plot full of holes to tie them all together and if you can give up your sense of logic and you will like the movie a lot.
It is current time and the sea currents which warm our planet are no longer doing what they are supposed to do. Dennis Quaid plays a climatologist (paleogeologist, actually, I think) who has been studying such things and tells a conference that this is going to change our planet in a couple of decades. Little does he know that it is actually happening at the very moment of the conference. We see rain storms with baseball sized hail in Japan as the hors d’oerve, and a tornado storm that wipes out downtown Los Angeles as the salad course. The main course will take place in New York as one of three continent sized storms hits the eastern seaboard. These storms are shaped like hurricanes except that instead of warm winds, they are pulling super cold air down from the troposphere that can drop the temperature 10 degrees per second.
Quaid’s son, a chip off the old brilliant block (Jake Gyllenhall from The Good Girl and Moonlight Mile), is stuck in New York burning books in the NY Public Library to stay warm and Quaid (The Alamo, The Big Easy) decides to go rescue him. I see. Big storm. Coldest in a billion years and YOU are going to make it through in your Dodge Pickup truck. Will he make it? Stay tuned.
The Day After Tomorrow is populated with the normal two dimensional characters: The fellow scientist (Ian Holm who played Bilbo Baggins in LOTR) from another country, the sort of believing boss, the son’s love interest (Emmy Rossum from Mystic River), and, of course, the stupid Republican politician (Kenneth Welsh from Miracle) who has to apologize at the end for being a big prick. This one is a not too veiled spoof of Dick Cheney so it gave me a good chuckle several times. Oh and don’t forget the Still Loving But It Just Was Not Working Out Ex-Wife who is played by Sela Ward who I had plenty of when I saw Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. No, you are not going to get any stellar performances here, but they do need actors to say things between effects so they are a necessary evil for Emmerich to play with.
If you miss this one in the theater, bring the DVD over to whatever friend owns the biggest screen you can see it on and pop up plenty of popcorn because as popcorn movies go, this is certainly a good one. If I was going to make a comparison it is not as good as Armageddon when it comes to Earth Threatening movies but it is worth the $1.99.

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