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.
In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.
As Paleoclimatologist named Jack Hall is in Antartica, he discovers that a huge ice sheet has sheared off. But what he does not know is that this event will trigger a massive climate shift that will affect the world population. Meanwhile, his son Sam is with friends in New York to attend an event. There they discover that it has been raining non-stop for the past 3 days, and after a series of weather-related disasters begin to occur over the world, everybody realizes the world is entering a new Ice Age and the world population begins trying to evacuate to the warmer climates of the south. Jack makes a daring attempt to rescue his son and his friends who are stuck in New York and who have managed to survive not only a massive wave but also freezing cold temperatures that could possibly kill them. Written by
Utterly routine blockbuster, loosely based on scientific predictions of disastrous climate changes due to global warming, in which the Gulf Stream is essentially 'shut off', triggering a series of freak weather conditions (giant hailstones in Japan, tornadoes in Los Angeles, tidal waves in New York, etc.) which culminate in a new Ice Age. Dennis Quaid is the obsessive climatologist who struggles to convince sceptical authorities of the impending catastrophe, and who is forced to rescue his son (Jake Gyllenhaal) after the boy becomes stranded in Manhattan following torrential floods and the subsequent Big Freeze. Industrial Light & Magic unleashes a wealth of attention-grabbing visual effects during the film's impressive opening stretch, effectively sidelining the crudely drawn characters and half-baked melodramatics, but the superficial script (by Jeffrey Nachmanoff and director Roland Emmerich) fails to sustain the initial momentum, and the second half becomes bogged down in Quaid's ho-hum rescue mission.
To be fair, the movie DOES contain a number of awe-inspiring sequences (the massive wave which rises from the ocean to engulf New York; the view from space as three colossal storms circle the entire northern hemisphere of the earth; a trawler floating serenely down a flooded Fifth Avenue), and a couple of satirical jabs are surprisingly potent (most notably, the mass exodus of American citizens INTO Mexico!), but the movie amounts to little more than smoke and mirrors, all flash and no substance.
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