The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi


The Day After Tomorrow (2004) Poster

Jack Hall, paleoclimatologist, must make a daring trek from Washington, D.C. to New York City to reach his son, trapped in the cross-hairs of a sudden international storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age.

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28 May 2004 | TheMovieMark
I'm gonna head to the bathroom and take a Day After Tomorrow
Do you like a good old-fashioned action-packed Summer movie with a good story and scientific accuracy? Welp, you best keep on looking because you won't find those ingredients in "The Day After Tomorrow."

This is one of those movies where the entertainment value is in how much you can make fun of it. And believe me, Stephanie, Mr. Shade, and I poked fun at the movie for the entire two hours. What else can you do with a movie this ridiculous? I'll admit the special effects are really good. The problem is that they're used up in the first half of the movie. I was expecting a full 2 hours of action and chaos, but they got all that out of the way and the rest of the movie focuses on the characters and their attempts to survive.

How cheesy is this movie? Let me count the ways...

1) Gyllenhaal supposedly fails his math class because on his final exam he only wrote the answers. He did all the work in his head, you see. That's just how much of a genius he is. So he and Quaid determine the teacher just failed him because he's jealous. Um, when I was in school I had to show my work. Sorry to be the bad guy here, but it's easy to see why the teacher might be suspicious. But this is a final exam, so wouldn't this issue have been addressed earlier? Sigh. I thought for sure later in the movie Gyllenhaal was gonna save the world but he was gonna figure it out in his head so the movie wouldn't have to explain to us how he did it. Thankfully, the movie didn't get quite that extreme.

2) This movie leads us to believe that a tornado warning cannot be issued until turning on the news and checking the weather report.

3) You gotta love the overdramatic delivery of dialogue: "Looks like a hurricane." *dramatic pause* "Only hurricanes DON'T FORM OVER LAND!"

4) The temperature supposedly starts to drop 10 degrees per minute. Riiiiiiiight. So within an hour the temperature would be 600 degrees below zero? And as the temperature starts dropping, we see everything freezing. Particularly ridiculous is when Gyllenhaal and his buddies are in a library and we see the floor freezing and chasing after them. They manage to jump in a room and close the door JUST IN TIME! For some reason the door magically shields them from the cold. Whatever.

5) Quaid and his friends are able to survive walking in sub-zero temperatures with little more than parkas and gloves. And they have these tents that apparently have magical warming powers because once in the tents they're able to take off their gloves and hats and not be cold at all!I could go on, but I think you get it. Ohhh, and what was the point of Quaid walking all the way from D.C. to New York just to find his son? He knew his son was holed up in the library, and he didn't show up with a rescue squad or anything to take him home. Oh yeah, he made a promise. Mr. Shade leaned over to me and said, "If I ever promise you that I'll meet you at the movie theater and the whole world freezes over, then don't expect me to be there." Fair enough. It was obviously supposed to add an emotional element to the story, but it did nothing for me. Quaid should've just waited and taken a helicopter to New York after the storm died down. It would've been better than risking his and his partners' lives.

I could write a thesis on the absurdity of the science used in the movie, but I won't bore you. There are plenty of articles by climatologists you can read that state how the events in the movie are impossible, especially a glaciation of this magnitude occurring in three days and catching the ENTIRE WORLD by surprise. Folks, Memphis weathermen interrupt my regularly scheduled programming whenever a drop of rain is registered, so you better believe they'd be on top of this.

Let me just add that this movie is based on the book, "The Coming Global Superstorm" by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber. Strieber wrote another book called "Communion," in which he claims he was told of the Earth's upcoming apocalypse by aliens. If that's who you wanna get your science from then go ahead. I hope you'll excuse me while I point and laugh at you.

I feel sorry for fringe groups who are actually using this movie to tout their political agenda. Saying this is a movie people should watch to prepare for a possible global warming catastrophe is about as legitimate as saying people should watch "Dawn of the Dead" to prepare for what would happen if zombies attacked. I'd say they're on equal ground in regard to scientific accuracy. But I doubt too many moviegoers are gonna take this seriously.

There's so much more to make fun of, but I'm gonna stop myself. I was extremely disappointed in the movie, so there's a good chance you will be also. This is the type of movie that shows a weatherman get hit by a huge billboard during the middle of the storm, and the only emotion it prompts is laughter. You've been warned.

"The Day After Tomorrow" is the kind of movie that might have scared me when I was 6 years old and uneducated. Now I can't help but laugh at the absurdity of it all. But hey, if you like movies with overwrought dialogue, a lame attempt at a love story, a severe lack of tension, no emotional pull (other than laughter), less believability than "Independence Day," and one of the most anticlimactic endings I've ever seen in a Summer blockbuster, then this is the movie for you.

Now if y'all will excuse me, I'm gonna head to the bathroom and take a Day After Tomorrow.

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