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The Day After Tomorrow

A 2008 movie directed by Roland Emmerich

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A Chilling Mess.

  • May 27, 2004
Pros: None

Cons: Bad acting, story, and lines.

The Bottom Line: A complete and utter disaster.

In the new film “The Day After Tomorrow” a bitter chill will envelope the audience as they realize that they have just spent money to watch one of the worst films in history. This is the reaction that many unsuspecting theatergoers are going to have this Memorial Day weekend as they watch the latest disaster film from Writer/Director/Producer Roland Emerich.

Emerich who along with Dean Devlin created such box office phenoms as “Stargate” and” Independence Day” before coming back to earth with the colossal dud “Godzilla”. has crafted a film so utterly devoid of entertainment value it is as barren as the post storm urban landscapes portrayed in the film.

The so called story centers around a dramatic change in the earths weather system brought on by global warming due to industrialism run amuck. Workaholic scientist Jack Hall (Dennis Quiad) has been predicting that catastrophic weather changes are coming but his pleas fall on deaf ears especially those of the Vice President who is more concerned with economic advancement than on climate stability.

Jack is estranged from his son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal), as his father seems to have plenty of time to speak to people the world over but has had little time for him and his mother Lucy (Sela Ward), which has lead to a divorce. Sam is heading to New York for a conference and soon becomes trapped in the public library when severe flooding and blizzard conditions arrive.

Jack decides that he will brave the elements and trek to New York to rescue his son fueled by guilt over not being there for his son in the past. While it is a nice sentiment, the journey is filled with so many gigantic pauses in credibility and logic that it strains any sort of credibility. My favorite was the weather that is so cold that it can freeze gas lines in a rescue helicopter, but yet does not affect the gas lines at a local fast food location that is buried in snow and caked in a wall of ice. There were also the nice moments of people grasping and holding frozen items in sub zero climates without gloved hands when it was obvious that frostbite aside, they would have stuck to the item in question, especially when this fact was established in an earlier scene. I also liked the pack of escaped zoo wolves that somehow managed to survive the temperatures that flash froze everyone exposed to them and now stalk an abandoned ship as Sam and his friends desperately search for supplies.

The scenes of Tornados ravaging Los Angeles and severe flooding and snow in New York are visually impressive, but the characters are so bland that you do not care at all if they live or die. Gyllenhaal is so bland all he does is mug with a blank devoid look and seems incapable of registering any emotion or enthusiasm for his part. Quaid is not much better as it seems like he is delivering his lines in his sleep. You can not blame him as the lines are so bad, that the audience was laughing at them during the scenes of crisis that were supposed to have the audience on the edge.

This film is so bad that people were leaving their seats during some of the so-called dramatic sequences some not to return at all. Who can blame them, as I have seen more tension and drama at a knitting demonstration then in the two-hour mess that was this movie. It is a shame as the message of the film is a good one but it is lost amongst the bland characters and painful dialogue. Here is hoping that the day following this films brings better movies, “Spider-Man 2” where are you when we need you most?

2 stars out of 5

Gareth Von Kallenbach


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More The Day After Tomorrow (2004 m... reviews
review by . November 11, 2009
One of the best and most powerful disaster films I'v e seen in years...
It's got a  great idea and mind blowing visual effects  but Roland Emmerich's "The Day After Tomorrow" falls  flat  mainly due  to  it 's poorly constructed script, underdeveloped characters, scientific inaccuracies and poor acting. But amazingly this film works due to it's special effects  are on such a grand and amazing scale that it works  even if it's plot is  ridiculous             "The Day After …
review by . November 17, 2008
The focus of this latest disaster flick is X-treme weather gone wrong.     Instead of aliens or mutant monsters, we have:     1. Some mean weather systems trashing the planet with tornados, typhoons, tidal waves, hurricanes, sub zero temperatures and flash freezing.     2. A screenplay attacking the ears with some terrible dialogue.     3. An implausable plot cruelly stretching the credibilty.     This …
review by . March 14, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Thought-provoking tale about the cataclysmic weather events that take place on planet earth as a result of global climate changes. Dennis Quaid stars as a climatologist who knows his stuff...and based upon information received from his colleagues around the globe, determines that the massive storms and temperature changes that the world has been experiencing is ushering in another ice age. Predictably, he battles with US politicians in an effort to save as many as his countrymen as possible--finally …
review by . October 24, 2004
Pros: Good balance between special effects and human interaction, serious good action.     Cons: Some cliche's!      The Bottom Line: In the final analysis The Day After Tomorrow is thankfully just fiction, but it will make you think, about what we are doing to our planet.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot. By now if you have not heard of the growing global warm phenomenon, you are either a hermit, …
review by . September 24, 2004
Roland Emmerich has done it again. He's found another way of destroying major cities on the big screen. This time around, it isn't a giant lizard or aliens, though. This time, it's Big Momma Nature. I caught this one in the cinema, and I'm sure that it has a better payoff there than on the TV. It's still worth a look though.     The premise of the story is a little wild, but all in all this is just another disaster flick. There's no moral to this story(unless you're a tree-hugger …
review by . September 18, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
The Day after Tomorrow was made, apparently, for one reason: To wow the audience with its special effects and for a few moments make us feel like we are also dodging tidal waves and tornadoes. In that way, for me, it succeeded.      You can't approach effects vehicles the same way as hardcore drama's that are filled with the do's and do not's of life. You have to step back and ask: Do I care enough about these characters to worry whether they make it or not? I felt …
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #37
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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With THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, director Roland Emmerich (INDEPENDENCE DAY, GODZILLA) trades evil aliens and radioactive lizards in for some seriously bad weather. When a radical change in the temperature of the world's oceans causes deadly storms and sets a new Ice Age in motion, climatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) must race from Washington D.C. to save his son, Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal), in the subzero climes of New York City. Elsewhere, tornadoes and hail menace the globe, leading to international disasters on an extraordinary level. 
Emmerich, who has proven to be a master of big-budget cinematic destruction on numerous occasions, aims to outdo himself with THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. Here entire cities are ripped apart, flooded, and/or frozen, adding up to one of the biggest disaster movies ever filmed. Although astonishingly rendered special effects rule the movie, adept actors such as Quaid and Gyllenhaal (along with Sela Ward, Ian Holm, Emmy Rossum, and others) turn in solid performances that h...
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