Dennis Quaid …. Jack Hall
Jake Gyllenhaal …. Sam Hall
Emmy Rossum …. Laura Chapman
Dash Mihok …. Jason Evans
Jay O. Sanders …. Frank Harris
Sela Ward …. Dr. Lucy Hall
Austin Nichols …. J.D.
Arjay Smith …. Brian Parks
This movie takes a big-budget, special-effects-filled look at what the world would look like if the greenhouse effect and global warming continued at such levels that they resulted in worldwide catastrophe and disaster, including multiple hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tidal waves, floods and the beginning of the next Ice Age. At the center of the story is a paleoclimatologist (a scientist who studies the ways weather patterns changed in the past), Professor Adrian Hall (Quaid), who tries to save the world from the effects of global warming while also trying to get to his son, Sam (Gyllenhaal), who was in New York City as part of a scholastic competition, when the city was overwhelmed by the chilling beginnings of the new Ice Age. In addition to all of the other challenges Dr. Hall faces, he’s also going against the flow as humanity races south to warmer climes, and he’s nearly the only one going north…
Posters and images of New York City flooded with water and then frozen have grabbed the attention of a lot of people and attracted them to “The Day After Tomorrow”. After all the scientific work and warnings about global warming, here is a film that tackles the subject and has the potential to be a great movie with a new subject giving it a head start. Sadly, however, instead of capitalizing on that they managed to turn the movie into a typical disaster flick which is not even on the same level as the average disaster movies we’ve seen.
The main problem with this movie, besides the horrible science, is that it wasn’t thought out in the least bit. They just wanted to do a movie with global warming; they went and made a few characters and put a very weak and predictable scenario to barley link the characters together for it to count as a story/movie. Even with bad science, movies like Armageddon managed to be entertaining because there is a story, even though it’s not the best, to it and a general focus that gets resolved by the end of the film.
Even if we consider the story to be reasonable and decent, the movie has some of the worst lines I’ve seen in a big-budget film. It also tries too hard to force an issue on the audiance. There is a relationship between Sam and a girl he likes and they try to force the audiance into knowing “they are in love”, by putting her in various situations and having him “save” her. If you don’t get it the first time, they do it again, and yet again once more.
There was a report a few days ago about Jake Gyllenhaal refusing to say some of the lines that were given to him and rewriting some of it himself. I certainly can see where he’s coming from because, even with the rewriting, sometimes you just laugh out loud at some of the stuff that was said which wasn’t meant to be funny. I didn’t like the actors’ performances in this film, but they had bad material so that’s understandable. I was pleasantly surprised by Emmy Rossum but I’m not too sure it was her performance that pleased me.
What drove me to see this film was the graphics involved. Still, even the graphics were disappointing. They were good but I thought there should’ve been more destruction and more impressive graphics since the movie was delayed a whole year just for that. The best sequences were of New York City flooding and the water going on top of the statue of liberty then the freezing was pretty cool too. I also liked the aftermath of the destruction in L.A. although it’s beyond stupidity for a reporter to keep reporting while a twister is near.
“The Day After Tomorrow” has a weak script, weaker plot, good concept, decent graphics and is entertaining for the most part whether it’s on purpose or not is another story. If you’re looking for entertainment, you will enjoy it but wait for DVD and don’t waste your money.
Runtime: 124 min.
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for intense situations of peril.
“The Day After Tomorrow” opened nationwide Friday May, 28, 2004.