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The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
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Review Date: May 26, 2004
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: Roland Emmerich, Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Producers: Roland Emmerich, Mark Gordon
Actors:
Dennis Quaid
Jake Gyllenhaal
Emmy Rossum
Plot:
Something's up with the world's weather. Hail storms in Japan, snow in New Delhi and monsoon tornadoes in Hollywood. The only person who knows the score is the character played by Dennis Quaid, whose son is stuck in New York City as the tidal wave of the millennium is about to hit. Houston...yeah, we've got big, BIG problems, dude!!
Critique:
Like most summer movies, I think you're likely to get out what you put into this film, since it basically delivers in all of the standard elements that we've come to expect from both "event" and "Emmerich" films and that's plenty of over-the-top special effect-laden disasters, plenty of characters for whom you're not likely to buy a "Sorry, you're dead" card upon their demise and plenty of mindless, cheesy, frivolous entertainment value. One thing I really liked about this film was its extremely effective set-up, which lasts about an hour or so, and develops in it both the basic characters with whom we are going to spend time, the elements required to build the suspense to come and obviously...the superb special effects featuring cities like Los Angeles and New York being decimated by ravaging climactic anomalies. One of the many reasons that I love watching movies so much is because a decent percentage of films are created as "popcorn fare"-motion pictures created solely for the purposes of allowing the viewer to travel into a whole other realm for a couple of hours, pretend that they're actually engaged in that world and feel somewhat liberated and entertained by it all. I felt that way during this film, which despite an admittedly less exciting second half (where do you go after a spectacular tidal wave washes through downtown Manhattan halfway through a movie?), still managed to keep me somewhat engaged all the way through the end. In fact, even before seeing this film, I wondered what the heck they could do in the story once the initial mayhem of the disasters had taken place, and expecting something a lot less interesting, wasn't horribly let down by the film's focus on the search/rescue thereafter (although I could have done without the whole "wolves" thing)

That said, it's still a letdown and ultimately ends on a whimper, especially when you consider the awesome mayhem that comes before it. Like most Emmerich flicks, we also get the typical over-use of characters (you don't need to include someone from every minority group in every one of your movies), the crappy dialogue from time to time, the unbelievable circumstances, the fuckin' dog (!!), the forced attempt to slip a "message" into the movie (if I wanted a lesson on the environment, I'd join Greenpeace) and the superfluous attempts at emotion (Sela Ward and her hospital kid) Some of the stuff was also included for the obvious sake of "exposition" to the audience, like when one of the characters turns to Gyllenhaal and says "It's been raining like this for three days straight"-dude, you've been with him for the past three days...I think he already knows that! (Aaaaah, but the audience doesn't...I get it now) Like most event flicks, if you really want to pick this one apart, it's easy to do, but c'mon man...there's a tidal wave washing over New York City...lighten up, it's just a movie! My personal favorite is Quaid's character braving the fuckin' snowstorm of the millennium by wearing a yellow parka, mittens and sleeping in a tent. Makes sense to me! All in all, I can't say that I was ever really bored during this film, enjoyed most of the actors, specifically Quaid who was a nice anchor and Gyllenhaal, who felt like a good "fit" and really loved the CGI stuff, all of which came off really well. I've also become an instant fan of newcomer Emmy Rossum, who lit up the screen with her pretty smile and glowing cheeks. She played Sean Penn's daughter in MYSTIC RIVER.

Note: To anyone who's ever caught in a situation close to this one in real life: listen to the dude who says his dad's a "paleoclimatologist" instead of the library security guard when it comes to matters about the weather. Just FYI.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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3:04PM on 07/17/2008

FYI

Straight up loved this movie.....It wasn't a library security guard, it was a police officer.
Straight up loved this movie.....It wasn't a library security guard, it was a police officer.
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7:21PM on 01/10/2006

My Favorite Disaster Flick

I really do love disaster films. To me they captivate what could happen, but not really happen. Plus, they always contain a high amount of entertainment and fun for years to come. Director Roland Emerich(Independence Day) made this film about 70% realistic and 30% fake. It's true that global warming can cause ice glaciers to melt, which can cause a disruption in the oceans current. This distruption causes the weather to do very very strange things. Like tornadoes in L.A.. I conclude that
I really do love disaster films. To me they captivate what could happen, but not really happen. Plus, they always contain a high amount of entertainment and fun for years to come. Director Roland Emerich(Independence Day) made this film about 70% realistic and 30% fake. It's true that global warming can cause ice glaciers to melt, which can cause a disruption in the oceans current. This distruption causes the weather to do very very strange things. Like tornadoes in L.A.. I conclude that The Day After Tomorrow is not original, but it's not that weak either.
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11:01AM on 12/30/2005
This movie didn't blow me away; it was good, but not great. A flick about Mother Nature going medieval on the northern hemisphere could be a great suspense movie; but instead the filmmakers went for a more political viewpoint on how the population is screwing up the environment and how nobody seems to give a damn.

I have to give credit to the special FX though; it was really cool watching NY get tidal waved and snowed in. Tornadoes through downtown LA was cool as well; and since the effects
This movie didn't blow me away; it was good, but not great. A flick about Mother Nature going medieval on the northern hemisphere could be a great suspense movie; but instead the filmmakers went for a more political viewpoint on how the population is screwing up the environment and how nobody seems to give a damn.

I have to give credit to the special FX though; it was really cool watching NY get tidal waved and snowed in. Tornadoes through downtown LA was cool as well; and since the effects were part of the story, it didn't get in the way of the plot or flow of the flick(like Van Helsing). But why do the wolves digitally? That just ruined it for me. What?, were the real ones holding out for more money? The Hulk I can understand why they CG'd it, but not real life creatures as simple as wolves.

And who would've thought that "freezing" would make for a good chase scene?

The performances by the cast were decent enough; I'm a fan of Dennis Quaid's and he didn't deliver a great performance, but it worked. Sela Ward is hot . . . I liked Jake Gyllenhaal's character as the quiet and shy guy. The fact that he carried on conversations that involved Emmy Rossum without saying a word was impressive. Just facial expressions and head nods were enough to get through the scene successfully. And he did his part in the action and (semi-)suspenseful scenes as well. Rossum was a looker too. I did like the way the movie showed how the carnage was affecting different characters in different parts of the world.

There were several funny parts to the movie, that had mostly to do with the politics of the movie. Burning books, the President being somewhat of a nitwit, and irony involving the Mexico-U.S. border. But again, it seemed like this movie was more about politics and bitching on how the world is not caring about the environment and the fact that the government doesn't care too much either. Just when the movie got entertaining, that crap got thrown back into the mix.

That was the biggest problem I had with the movie: the whole political aspect of it. From the Pres. being a moron, to the VP apologizing at the end, it was just too much. The performances were good, the effects were great and made for an interesting story.
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