The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 4:04 PM | Posted in


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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 4.5/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 7/10

THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW (2004) - Roland Emmerich

The Earth's current is depended on the balance of salt and fresh water. As a possibility, melting polar ice can disrupt currents, creating several different results of weather. Of course, this environmental concept is Hollywood-ized by the disaster movie director Roland Emmerich, in the 2004 film The Day After Tomorrow.

The film depicts catastrophic effects of global warming in a series of extreme weather events that lead to a new ice age. It follows Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), a paleoclimatologist who goes on a hazardous journey to rescue his son (Jake Gyllenhaal), who is sheltered in the New York Public Library after a storm surge and flood engulf Manhattan.

The Day After Tomorrow is the first Jake Gyllenhaal film that I have seen, and believe me, even this kind of movie can show how much of a good actor he is. It may not be Oscar-worthy, but it is easy to tell that Gyllenhaal has put all his strength and efforts into portraying a determined survivor in the heap of the New York flood. As for Dennis Quaid, this film shows less. It is more of a showcase towards the younger members of the cast. On that subject, The Day After Tomorrow is also the first Emmy Rossum film I have seen, and I knew that she will rise up in the industry. Portraying the love interest of Jake's character in the film, Rossum went on to become a music artist and appeared in several other films and TV shows. There are a lot more lovable characters within the cast, just too much to count. They range from librarian to student.

As for the characters on the government side of the story, there are a few complications. In this critic's opinion, the President is mis-cast. Either mis-cast or not fleshed out enough. In a way, he is not even needed in this film and has less character value than even the President in Emmerich's earlier work Independence Day. Concerning the vice president in the film, he bears an exceedingly strong resemblance to our current vice president at the time, Dick Cheney. If one gnaws through the ice, The Day After Tomorrow does have some political undertones, expressing the negativities of the government regarding the environment, especially scoffing at Cheney. Though not well-received on this matter, Roland Emmerich did confirm that he purposely casted an actor who looked like the vice president and intentionally portrayed the government the way it is based on the environmental policies during the presidency of George W. Bush. According to USA Today, the White House did not respond to requests for comment on the film.

For a disaster movie, The Day After Tomorrow comes forth as one of the more "possible" ones. Global warming creating a whole wave of disasters? At least it is far more believable than a group of astronauts attempting to blow up an asteroid before it collides with Earth. At least it is far more believable than a group of scientists traveling to the Earth's core to detonate it and restart the planet's outer core revolution.

The most important thing one must know about The Day After Tomorrow is that its plot truly asks us to suspend disbelief. It is extremely exaggerated in its field of global warming at its most catastrophic, and the idea of ice storms "chasing" a cast of characters is pure Hollywood scrap. However, every actor, no matter how minor, plays his/her part seriously, and with the help of dazzling visual effects and good use of sets and environments, there are certain aspects of the film where the disasters feel real. It is a guilty pleasure movie, a movie where one simply buys popcorn, "oohs and ahs" over the visual effects, and have a great time watching things get wrecked. I have personally seen The Day After Tomorrow more than ten times and I still get the same entertainment value out of it. It has the same philosophy as Independence Day. Is it a cinematic work of memorable status? No. Is it going to win any Oscars for screenplay or directing or acting? Of course not. Is it going to make any money? You bet it is.

In conclusion, The Day After Tomorrow is a satisfying feature, one of the best disaster movies made from Hollywood. It may be ridiculous, but like all guilty pleasure movies, it is ridiculous entertainment. From the words of Roger Ebert, "The special effects are on such an awesome scale that the movie works despite its cornball plotting." To agree with Ebert, the film never intended to have masterful plotting nor exquisite craft in its creation. It is simply made to stir and stimulate excitement, and for a film that is only made for that one purpose, The Day After Tomorrow has created quite an enormous impact.


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