The Day After Tomorrow
Rental With Snacks
While it may seem crazy (and credibility-shaking) for me to admit
that I had much more fun watching this movie than I did watching
Shrek 2, bear with me while I explain. Obviously, this is a bang up
Memorial Day action film, and as such it deserves to be viewed and
enjoyed on its own merits, to wit: does it go bang, and do we care?
Yes, indeedly it does go bang; the only fault I have with the
bangmaking is that they blew too many moneyshots with the ad
campaign. Ah well. As for caring, well, by action movie standards,
it was just fine.
I saw this film with people who were more scientifically picky than
I, and while the general consensus was that while no way would these
disasters snowball so rapidly, the actual effects were pretty cool
(with pretty OK science) and the cautionary message was an important
one. As with any sensible action movie, the complex Discovery
Channel bits are downplayed in favor of quick glossing of the general
facts for public consumption and comprehension. The movie then
instead relies on crazy, sensational, and non-scientific disasters to
further the plot! Unacceptable! Ooh, but look, how cool. (Claps
politely) Each set piece is good, clean apocalyptic fun, and that's
what I paid to see.
Oh sure, tornadoes don't climb canyons, and yeah, the flash freezing
is a bit suspect. Why, oh why did they cut out what was clearly
going to be the coolest sequence in the film? (Not to give it away,
but let's just say, "Mr. Vice President, I have good news and bad
The theme is of course "global warming is bad" since that's the
inciting sin that brings about this eco-armageddon, but a subtler
(and more rewarding) undercurrent is the condemnation of
anti-intellectualism. "What? Book-larnin' as action hero! In a
summer movie?" Ah, so grasshopper. Anyone with brain and a heart is
rewarded here, and courage as well - but the movie's romance is with
staying informed and being conscientious. Hevane help us but I hope
it sinks in.
The other thing this movie does is (unwittingly or not) evoke all the
great disaster movies all at once, which is a feat writer/director
Roland Emmerich can be proud of. Twister, Titanic, Earthquake, The
Stand, 28 Days Later, The Poseidon Adventure, The Thing, Alive,
Cliffhanger, even a dash of Vanilla Sky, for flavor. This becomes a
fun game of either "Peg the Homage" or "Name that Knockoff" if you're
of a mind to play it.
Weaknesses? There are quite a few of course. Well, what's happening
in the rest of the United States? Or the other ravaged countries
(ravaged, of course, by US consumption)? The eastern seaboard gets
all the glory. Significantly, what ending can we possibly hope for?
It's not an acute sickness, global warming. It's a cumulative,
chronic problem. Sure, we can try to svave Jake Gyllenhaal today,
but then what? Eventually, the Gutenberg Bible will also succumb,
and then where will we be?
The effects are very well done, the people don't insult you by
talking, and the movie theatre is air conditioned. It's win-win.
These reviews (c) 2004 Karina Montgomery. Please feel free to
forward but credit the reviewer in the text. Thanks. You can
check out previous reviews at:
http://www.cinerina.com and http://ofcs.rottentomatoes.com - the
Online Film Critics Society
http://www.hsbr.net/reviews/karina/listing.hsbr - Hollywood Stock
Exchange Brokerage Resource
========== X-RAMR-ID: 38036 X-Language: en X-RT-ReviewID: 1289864 X-RT-TitleID: 1132625 X-RT-SourceID: 755 X-RT-AuthorID: 3661 X-RT-RatingText: 3.5/5
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