The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
Running time: 124 minutes (2 hours, 4 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense situations of peril
DIRECTOR: Roland Emmerich
WRITERS: Jeffrey Nachmanoff and Roland Emmerich; from a story by Roland Emmerich
PRODUCERS: Roland Emmerich and Mark Gordon
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ueli Steiger (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: David Brenner
COMPOSERS: Harald Kloser and Thomas Wanker
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum, Dash Mihok, Jay O. Sanders, Sela Ward, Austin Nichols, Arjay Smith, Tamlyn Tomita, Ian Holm, Kenneth Welsh, and Perry King
The subject of this movie review is The Day After Tomorrow, the 2004 science fiction and environmental disaster film from director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day). Released by 20th Century Fox, the film is an ensemble drama about people trying to survive a new ice age brought upon by abrupt global warming. The character that is the main focus is a climatologist who is determined to save his son who is trapped in a frozen New York City.
A crack paleoclimatologist, Professor Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), discovers that the Ice Age is coming back with a vengeance in director Roland Emmerich’s hip retro cool disaster film, The Day After Tomorrow. Mixing such controversial concepts as the green house effect, global warming, and modern super SFX, the film is truly the movie as roller coaster ride.
After this new Ice Age hits the northern hemisphere with almost unimaginable fury, especially New York City, Hall begins a dangerous track across the frozen face of the northeastern U.S. to reach his son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal), who is trapped in NYC with a group of fellow students. Meanwhile, the freak weather is tearing half the planet apart.
Although many critics and detractors will cry over the film’s allegedly implausible concept, the important question is always, “Is it good.” Hell, yeah, it’s good. It’s a big, old giant tub of popcorn movie fun. The Day After Tomorrow is also a finely constructed drama and thriller with that just right touch of melodrama that stays one notch below over the top, which is just enough to pull at the old heartstrings. It’s exciting. It’s thrilling. It’s a damn good time at the movies.
Roland Emmerich reaffirms what his film Independence Day hinted – he’s a great movie director. Emmerich does the same thing Martin Scorcese and Steven Spielberg do with a “serious” drama – make the ordinary extraordinary. When it comes to a fun film, The Day After Tomorrow is a keeper.
8 of 10
2005 BAFTA Awards: 1 win: “Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects” (Karen E. Goulekas, Neil Corbould, Greg Strause, and Remo Balcells)
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