‘The Day After Tomorrow’ (2004)

Hey guys, recently I was speaking with Daniel over at Daniels Film Review about the end of the world-type-movies and “The Day After Tomorrow” popped up. Well I decided I should review it, but I didn’t know the next time I would be able to. Well guess what? Over the weekend, my cable had a promo deal with absolutely everything included. That means every single movie channel live and on demand. Guess what was On Demand? “The Day After Tomorrow” So here we go, this one’s for you Daniel.

Way off in Antarctica, Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) and his team of investigators uncover a disastrous problem as the ice beneath their legs begin to separate and break off. This suggested, in a scientific way, that global warming is effecting and disrupting the polar ice caps, which will ultimately create another ice age. All of a sudden terrifying weather patterns emerge out of nowhere, hail the size of bowling balls, multiple tornadoes, tidal waves the size of skyscrapers hit in places all over the world, now imagine all that frozen over.

A majority of the film centers around Jack and his 17 year-old son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal), who is one of those…so smart he’s flunking…types.  Sam is with his crush Laura (Emmy Rossum) and friend Brian (Arjay Smith) in New York. When New York is caved in with water, Sam is stuck in the New York Public Library. His father decides to find him and save him. Obviously, that will prove plenty difficult as the weather worsens and starts to kill people more often and at a quicker pace.

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Let’s state the obvious here, the movie is very visually beautiful. Roland Emmerich really is a master at his craft. Everything about the visuals in this film was begging for a re-release in 3D. It doesn’t take much to realize that this is the most basic and exact definition of man versus nature. It’s more than that though, there were a number of things in this movie that really made it enjoyable. First of all, even if it was or wasn’t, the writing in this movie was able to scientifically explain what was happening around them. It made a lot of sense, at least when you watch it. The idea is also pretty believable.

It plants a pretty frightening idea into your head, which grows and sprouts like any other plant. What actually made this more believable nowadays versus back in 2004 is the image of a flooded New York City. That would pretty much bring back recent memories to anyone that watched this movie now. In a way, that would bring along a whole  new emotional response that Roland would have had no way to predict.

Now we have to talk about the acting. The performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and Emmy Rossum were very clearly not their best. Jake as a shy nerdy teenager isn’t super new, but it really is annoying. Emmy did a little better of a job here, but overall she has done better. In the big picture, so has everyone in the film really, but the rest of the cast did a pretty good job overall. It is one of those instances where they tried to drown out the acting with the visuals. Respectively, the film did a whole lot better than “2012” storywise.

No matter how well I rate this, it will still have terrible reviews. Not everyone enjoys disaster films, and maybe that’s because they miss the point, maybe it’s not. Think about it this way though, no matter how terrible YOU rate it, tell me it wasn’t fun. No, none of the acting was incredible, and most of it was so-so, but the focus really was on the visuals. I agree, however, that no movie should focus on that alone, and I don’t this film did, It did actually have a story, and it was backed up by….what at least sounded like scientifically accurate sources. Global warming is a pretty controversial status as is, and this film did a good job…albeit being a little overdramatic, at exposing the possibilities the threat holds.

So if you enjoy a film for just being…exciting, and one that has a ton of visuals, check this out if you haven’t already, it really does have great visuals. If you want a better story than 2012, check this out. If ever you wanted to challenge critics everywhere on a movie, watch this movie. I really think it was underrated.

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