So last night I watched The Day After Tomorrow and I’m pissed. I want to know who’s going to give back the two hours of my f’ing life that I wasted watching this giant hunk of crap… gawd, what a horrible movie.
Too many plot lines… pick one and stick with it already! Here’s what’s going on in the film: Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) struggles with being a bad father and a bad husband. Lucy Hall’s (Sela Ward) attempt to save the little cancer kid, Peter. Jack trying to rescue his son, Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal). Same trying to woo Laura, played by Emmy Rossum, with another prep school prick getting in the way, but then conceding to him OUT OF NO WHERE (who the fuck does THIS happen to?). Laura cutting her leg and getting sick, and the resulting attempt to get antibiotics for her off a Russian ship. The conflict between Jack and the U.S. Government. Some weather scientists trapped in Scotland, with one of them with a wife and child he’s worried about… and on and on and on…
Oh… and by the way, this movie is actually about a new ice age coming over the earth. Couldn’t you tell from the above?
The best acting in the movie comes from Jake Gyllenhaal and the special effects in the movie. The weather itself is technically the best character and I felt the most connection with it. Lord knows that Quaid and Ward weren’t given shit in the terms of a script to work with. The scene where Jack Hall announces his theory to the NOAA is one of the corniest scenes I’ve seen in a while. If MST3K comes back in another 20 years, this film – and particularly that scene – is ripe for the picking.
With all of that being said, the core idea of the movie – the "plot" if you will – is an interesting one. Throw away the scientific probability of it all (funny how many sci-fi films require you to ignore the true nature of the the "sci" part isn’t, it?), and what you have is an intriguing concept: what happens if we have a cataclysmic shift in our environment (or anything else that leaves the entire northern hemisphere inhabitable… nuclear war, pollution, etc.) and everyone needs to move to the middle to southern parts of the world where most of the "third-world nations" are? Do we become part of the third world? Do we modernize it? Do they even let us in after all the debt that they owe us and all the times we’ve ignored their revolutions, civil wars, political coups, and genocides? Or do they give us a big "F-U" and turn us away? I think that is the most interesting part of this film – when the government decides to evacuate the southern part of the United States (a decision that made in the film in a totally ludicrously scene that makes it seem like they just decided to go to McDonald’s for lunch…), and Mexico closes its borders to the U.S. until they forgive all debts.
The geo-political impact of massive evacuations from developed countries into third world ones is a really interesting concept, but apparently one that none of the scriptwriters could possibly deal with.
As a result, the movie ends without any closure at all… I guess we are left to think that things will just be hunky-dory…
In my opinion, more time should have been spent on showing the effects of the storm throughout the world and emphasizing the global effects of the change in climates. This was something that the movie Independence Day did very well, showing landmarks from around the world getting attacked. It’s a bit of cliche at this point, but it does help to make an impact. The writers should have simply gotten rid of all the silly subplots and focused more on the struggle of scientists trying to communicate the impending changes, and how governments respond to them. Then the whole geo-political impact could have come into play, and a story line of a family trying to escape the storm into safety of a third-world country and the impact on those countries of a massive immigration would have been a lot more captivating than this crap. It could have still been a big summer blockbuster CGI-effect movie, but with a lot more depth and more interesting.