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The Day After Tomorrow

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Judy Thorburn

The Day After Tomorrow

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

The Day After Tomorrow

If you think that extraterrestrial aliens in the 1996 summer blockbuster, Independence Day, were an enormous threat to our planet’s existence, wait to you see what’s in store The Day After Tomorrow.  Those monsters from outer space have nothing on good old Mother Nature when it comes to wrecking havoc on our world.  She’s going to get even if we continue to mess with her, and the aftermath will be devastating.

Roland Emmerich is the same filmmaker behind both movies, and he knows just how to exploit mankind’s fears in epic proportions. That’s what he does best. As producer, writer and director, he’s banking that this eco-disaster themed movie is just what 2004’s summer audiences are hungry for. Just don’t expect much in the way of a good script.  The main focus is on the spectacular visual effects, and to put a scare into the collective consciousness as to the potential future that awaits us all if we don’t do something soon to stop global warming.

The talented CGI artists create some realistic and frightening images of disaster that can occur when sudden changes of weather occur around the world. Too bad the fantastic visuals aren’t matched with an equally good story.  There are several subplots involving characters stuck in a no-good or doomed situation, but we don’t get to know much about them.  I guess every disaster movie has to have its victims, whether we care about them or not. And, of course there must be a brave soul or two added to the formula, someone who sacrifices their life for the good of others.  But, enough about clichés.

The story centers on climatologist Professor Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), who knows something bad is brewing when an ice shelf the size of Rhode Island breaks off during a scientific research expedition in Antartica.  A call to colleague and friend, Professor Rhapson (Ian Holm) stationed in Scotland only confirms his theory.  Global warming has reached the danger zone resulting in climate shifts of cataclysmic proportions.  These sudden changes in weather conditions are about to sweep the globe creating deadly atmospheric disturbances unlike anything that has happened on earth in the last 10,000 years (according to Jack). What this means is the beginning of a new Ice Age.  So, Jack aware of the impending horrific scenario, attempts to warn the White House, but has trouble convincing the Vice President, (Kenneth Walsh), who more than resembles Dick Cheney, to evacuate cities before it’s too late and millions freeze to death.  In the meantime, Tokyo has experienced violent storms with hail the size of grapefruit, Los Angeles is swept up in a rage of tornadoes demolishing the Hollywood sign, and massive tidal waves are about to engulf much of New York before turning it into a city of ice.

In perfect movie timing, Jack’s smart teenage son, Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal) has just traveled to Manhattan for a scholastic competition and to be near pretty classmate, Laura (Emmy Rossum). When massive floods and plummeting temperatures hit the Big Apple, Sam, friends and some local residents barely make it inside the New York Public Library for shelter. The building soon becomes a trap, allowing the plot to shift to dear Daddy’s mission to save his son, even if it means traveling a long and dangerous journey from D.C. by foot in the snow and storms, accompanied by his two very loyal assistants Jason (Dash Mihok) and Frank (Jay O. Sanders).  I can’t decide whether this trek is very improbable, ridiculous or both. Yet, it’s no surprise that he manages to get there. But, that’s not before Sam and buddies must contend with a pack of hungry (computer generated) wolves that escaped from the zoo.

If that isn’t enough drama, there’s Jack’s physician wife, Lucy (Sela Ward) who, although worried about husband and son, is determined to stay at the bedside of her very young cancer stricken patient, who apparently has been abandoned by his parents.

As depressing as it seems, there are situations and dialogue that are quite humorous and get some laughs.  For instance, when half of the country is forced to flee to Mexico to seek refuge it is ironically amusing to see how the tables are turned. Americans now are the illegal immigrants and our new President (the V.P. takes over when clueless President Perry King is killed when his motorcade is caught in a sudden freeze) must admit he was wrong and agree to ignore the Mexican debt so that Mexico doesn’t close its border.  There are also obvious political jabs at the Bush administration and its refusal to ratify the pro environmental Kyoto Treaty.  At least we know where the filmmaker stands. The message comes through clear.

Like I stated, the spectacular special effects are tops, to rate it high on the disaster movies scale.  You surely get your money’s worth for that.  But, it can’t match the overall excitement of Emmerich’s last blockbuster spectacle.  That was Independence Day and this is The Day After Tomorrow.

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