The Day After Tomorrow rating 
2/5 The Day After Tomorrow

Director Roland Emmerich
Writer Roland Emmerich
Stars Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum, Ian Holm, Sela Ward
Certificate 12A
Running time 124 minutes
Country US
Year 2004
Associated shops

Reviewed by Mostic

Such has been the huge pre-publicity behind this futuristic disaster movie, it would be hard to ignore its credentials. Brought to the screen by the team that made Independence Day and with a similar large scale budget, The Day After Tomorrow, or to give it its full tagline : "Where will you be, the day after tomorrow ?' - bland, or what?! - this two hour eco-drama is like one of those tabloid scare stories, where they try to suggest the end of the world is nigh, because of a supposed influx of some new kind of giant bug.

The world isn't going to end, but sadly the movie begins. Despite its pretence at looking like the real deal, don't be fooled, this is one of the laziest disaster movies, because it makes no effort to come up with an intelligent storyline.

Trouble begins with dark clouds looming, naturally. We're told that due to global warming, the polar ice cap is melting, which causes a change in the Atlantic currents, and suddenly the world's getting decidedly frosty.

A half hearted attempt is made to suggest this is a world wide problem - shots of snow in Delhi, more of RAF helicopters, out to rescue the Royals, stranded at Balmoral - when actually it's about America - cut to truly great scenes of New York being submerged in water.

Roland Emmerich's take on the onset of an ice age gives us only a contrived tension - you know instantly who's going to get off with whom and who will survive. This is manufactured heroism, politics for simpletons, an ice age that strikes buildings rather like the Martian ships did in Independence Day, people making obvious right/wrong decisions, and, of course, there's a cute dog, owned by a tramp, with whom we spend scene after scene, keeping in touch, as if, in such a catastrophic situation, anyone cares.

As with Independence Day, the problem comes, the problem goes. It's like a neatly wrapped disaster flick that has no basis in reality - scientists have already poo-poohed the probability of causal effects happening like they do here - and its interesting how the writers completely ignore the secondary disaster (flooding) and let the credits roll, rather than take on too much death and gloom.

It's manufactured pap, right down to Dennis Quaid, as an climatologist, who walks over 100 miles in the snow to save his son (Jake Gyllenhaal - wasted here). If you're really that curious to see what might happen in an ice age, pay your money and take your chance, but don't expect anything in terms of acting, writing, plotline or genuine emotion.

The lights are on, but no one's home.

Printer-friendly version