When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.
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 weeks, 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
The breath appearing out of the actors' mouths in the cold scenes was all put in afterwards with CGI. This proved a more practical way of doing it, rather than freezing the set. See more »
At the end, the helicopters have to have come from the most southern states, as the others have been evacuated. However, none of the helicopters would have had sufficient range to fly to New York and back without refueling. See more »
Where do I start? I could write several pages of continuity errors, insanities, stupidities, inaccuracies and basic logic failures, but a review should never strive to be as boring as its subject matter.
Let's cut to the chase. I can not recommend this film. If you've read any of my reviews of poor films, you may remember that I reserve the rating of 1 for big-ticket Hollywood films that do more harm than good. Although I have fairly rated DAT with a 3, I should mention that it very nearly got a 1.
Why can't I recommend this?
1. Great deal of scientific misinformation. (I teach geology at a university, I am not making this up)
2.Lacklustre screenplay showcasing special effects and a poorly developed family drama motif.
3. Not very interesting characters. Nothing wrong with the performances. Quaid is particularly good, but Jake G is terribly miscast. Characters are clichés - Quaid is a martyr good guy scientist/overworked dad who is on the verge of losing his family. Gylenhaal is a gifted lovesick nerd who outsmarts his teachers. Sela Ward is the not-very understanding but well intentioned mom. Ken Welsh is an idiotic conservative politician who doesn't seem to be able to distinguish science from political debate.
4. Absurd general premise (one day special delivery Heisenburg event) coupled with cliché characters (above) and under-developed emotional reactions.
You don't even need to see the trailers to know what to expect from this movie. Quaid plays a scientist who is desperately trying to get the USA's political machine to understand global warming one week, and a father trying to rescue his son and a handful of survivors from a megastorm which is ushering in the destruction of the developed world in the Northern Hemisphere in the next week. Though Quaid is convincing, the rest of the cast joins the special effects in failing to make this believable. Not their fault. Nothing could be done!
I am a sci fi fan and have no objection to fantasy. What I have problems with is science fantasy that pretends its something else. People are already terribly under-educated with the real practical and globally important issues that science contends with. We don't need Hollywood confusing matters even more.
Blaming this mess on Roland Emmerich seems a bit over-simplified. He does some interesting stuff with cinematography and story telling (The Patriot), even in this film. I am not really sure where this film derailed for me. But with the elements discussed above, it's hard to imagine it doing otherwise.
The film sports some pretty interesting special effects. If you're seeing it to watch New York get partially glaciated and to watch Dennis Quaid give a passable performance, then you have an excuse. Enjoy!
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