THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW (5/28/2004)
Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum
My Rating: 6/10
Rotten Tomatometer: 44%
PLOT: Jack Hall, paleo-climatologist (Quaid), must make a daring trek from Washington, D.C. to New York City, to reach his son (Gyllenhaal), trapped in the cross-hairs of a sudden global storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age.
WHY IT’S HERE:
MAJOR guilty pleasure. Cliched, trite, overstated, overacted, melodramatic…all hallmarks of disaster movies since time immemorial, from “The Poseidon Adventure” to “Independence Day.” The key is to create awe-inspiring visuals to counteract the cockamamie plot device, and what makes this movie a guilty pleasure is those visuals. It also doesn’t hurt that my favorite sub-genre of sci-fi is anything taking place in a post-apocalyptic landscape, and while this doesn’t TECHNICALLY qualify, it satisfies my occasional urge to watch big budget, apocalyptic VFX tear up the screen and, in this case, New York City and Los Angeles. You can tell there are MAJOR chunks torn out of this movie to bring the running time down to 2 hours, and as a result, we get compressed timelines where we are suddenly informed, “We haven’t eaten decent food in days,” and I’m like, “When did DAYS pass?” But when I’m watching this movie, I just let it slide, because those storms are pretty freaking impressive. And I do like the tidal wave down the NYC streets.
(P.S. …another weird fact about this movie is that the significance of the title is never explained…it’s like making a movie about alien visitors and calling it “Black Magic Woman” or something…)