If there is anyone more set on the destruction of New York than Osama bin
Laden, it’d be director Roland Emmerich.
In Independence Day he had huge flying saucers
blow up the Empire State building, and in Godzilla
an oversized mutant lizard stomped Manhattan. In his latest film, The
Day After Tomorrow he subjects the Big Apple to a new Ice Age as
enormous tidal waves flood the city and then freezes over. I actually felt
quite sorry for the people I know whom lives in that city, even though one
of them is a sadistic film rep who sends me terrible movies such as
Vampire Junction and
Psycho Santa to review!
Just what is it with Emmerich’s vendetta towards New York? Was he mugged
in Central Park once? Did a cabbie drive him around in circles and then
overcharged him (as one did with me and my wife when we visited Istanbul)?
Anyway, in The Day After Tomorrow New Yorkers need not feel alone
as the entire Northern hemisphere is subjected to freakish destructive
weather as the polar ice caps melt because of global warming and
paradoxically result in temperatures dropping to sub-Arctic levels.
"The Day After Tomorrow is better than one would
expect . . ."
A climatologist played by the ever dependable Dennis (Innerspace,
Frequency) Quaid tries to warn the U.S.
government in the guise of a vice president that is a dead ringer for Dick
Cheney about the impending environmental doom. It
is obviously a Republican government we’re dealing with here because his
warnings are ignored. (Strangely enough though the President resembles Al
Gore!) Then the caps start melting at a phenomenal rate and we’re soon
dealing with The End Of The World As We Know It as Americans flee across
the border to Mexico (oh, the delicious irony!) to escape the catastrophe.
Magnanimously the Mexican president allows all the Yankees to enter. I
guess he has a poor grasp of history and have forgotten everything from
the Texas land grab to NAFTA to be so nice to the gringos. (Or maybe it
had something to do with the American President promising to cancel all
Anyway, our climatologist hero’s son (Jake Gyllenhaal, who was excellent
in the brilliant Donnie Darko) is stuck in
the New York public library and a lot of the film is concerned with his
efforts to rescue him.
Global warming is of course a real issue (as opposed to alien invasions
and meteors hitting the Earth, the chances of which are infinitesimally
small). Unfortunately its causes are never truly addressed in this movie
(those damn polluting SUVs I tell ya!) but hey, this is a popcorn muncher
and Coke-slurping movie after all. The events in the movie are also
compressed into the space of a few weeks instead of the several hundred
years the process will probably take and thus impossible. (But then it’d
be a very long movie.) In the meantime we can safely and snugly keep on
driving those SUVs knowing that our grandchildren and their children would
have to deal with the consequences one day.
has been made about The Day After Tomorrow being left-wing, but I
don’t understand how the whole issue could be ideological. We all like
fresh air regardless of political persuasion, don't we?)
The Day After Tomorrow repeats all the usual disaster movie clichés
we’ve come to see again in recent years in movies such as Twister,
Armageddon, Deep Impact
and The Core.
Fortunately director Emmerich manages to largely avoid the idiocies so
abundant in his previous movies. Sure, there are some dumb contrived
moments and some schmaltzy breathers in between the action that’d make you
fidgety, but ultimately the movie is Emmerich’s best since
StarGate. I know that isn’t saying much, but
The Day After Tomorrow is better than one would expect. The pace is
quick, the clouds aren’t Apple Mac compatible and the cast is able even
though Jake Gyllenhaal looks a bit too old to be still at school (just how
old is he?).