Any movie with a title like The Day
After Tomorrow is just asking for confusion.
"Did you see that new movie?"
"The Day After Tomorrow"
"I said WHICH, not WHEN!"
"I told you which."
"Which? When? When do you want to see it?"
"And which movie should we see?"
"The Day After Tomorrow."
...and hilarity and confusion ensues. You may as well get
Abbott and Costello, go listen to "Yesterday", and make a day out of it.
On the other hand, if you actually have to watch The Day After
Tomorrow, whether it's today, tomorrow, yesterday, or ever, you may
want to think twice.
The movie is written and directed by Roland Emmerich. You may
remember him from such films as Stargate, Independence Day, The
Patriot (the one with Mel Gibson, not the one with Steven Segal),
and Universal Soldier. In fact, the trailers for the film
all mention "from the producer of Independence Day." What
they should say, however, is "from the makers of Godzilla"
because Roland Emmerich is also the driving force behind that giant
steaming pile of lizard dung, and The Day After Tomorrow is a lot
closer to Godzilla than it is to Independence Day.
Let's start with the good stuff. It's a disaster movie.
It's a blockbuster. It's got tons of special effects. You
get to see wanton destruction (as opposed to won ton destruction, such
as seen in Dim Sum Nightmare). There's the whole
And, let's not forget that Dennis Quaid stars in the film.
There's him, and...Sela Ward. And...Jake Gyllenhaal. Not
only that, there's Emmy Rossum, Ian Holm, Jay O. Sanders, Austin
Nichols, and Dash Mihok. Who names a kid "Dash"? Did he come
sprinting out at birth? Were all the other cool punctuation names
taken? "This is Dash and his brothers Apostrophe, Ampersand, and
Parentheses. You've already met his sister Tilde and his Uncle
Okay, so the movie isn't loaded with big name stars. That's
okay. It's about the action, right?
The Masked Reviewer won't give away anything about the
film...fortunately, there's not much to give away. It's about
Global Warming. A paleoclimatologist (is there such a thing?
Someone who studies ancient weather patterns? What kind of job is
that? How much work do those guys get?) discovers that due to
human neglect, Earth is going to have another ice age in the next 100 to
1000 years. It turns out that his calculations were a bit off, and
the entire ice age hits in 72 hours. Wow. Those ice ages can
really sneak up on you, can't they?
The movie features all kinds of natural disasters. There are
tidal waves, giant cantaloupe-sized hail stones, mega-tornadoes (they
make the ones in Twister look puny and pathetic), and freezing
cold. Freezing cold? What's so terrifying about that.
Did the Masked Reviewer mention that it's really cold? They
say that the temperature drops to 150 degrees below zero. That's
cold. Seems kind of unlikely, though they give an explanation of
how it could happen. And what could be scarier than that kind of
cold? Perhaps...running out of toothpaste? C'mon! The
big threat isn't a giant fire-breathing nuclear lizard or a billion
aliens attacking with advanced technology, it's ... nippiness. Put
on a sweater! There are scenes where a cold front moves in
and...people run away from it. Ice crystals form on
walls as they run down the hallway to escape it. Oooh...here comes
the frost! Look out!
The writing for this flick is way stupid. You don't have to
understand a lot about science to realize that the filmmakers know
nothing about science. In interviews, the filmmakers like to talk
about all the science they used in this movie. Imagine someone
collecting a bunch of science, then writing a movie that ignores all of
it. The Cat in the Hat has better science going for it.
In fact, environmentalists will probably choke on their tofu when they
see this...it's so bad and so far off that it may actually hurt their
cause. People may begin to think of global warming as the same
kind of threat as, say, ALIEN INVASION.
There's a lot of preachiness in the movie too. The US
government officials are shown as ignorant blowhards who are only
thinking about the economy rather than this impending doom.
Scientists are ignored. And, 72 hours later, the scientists are
proven right. What do they do then? They say I told you
so. There's a lot of that. Are scientists really that
Here's another problem with the movie...it's an effects movie.
The "money shots" are the destruction of L.A. and Manhattan. The
trouble is, we've seen both cities destroyed by computer graphics many
times. Roland Emmerich destroyed Manhattan with a giant alien
death beam in Independence Day, and then destroyed Manhattan with
a giant lizard in Godzilla and now he's using a tidal wave.
Why does Roland Emmerich hate Manhattan? Was his car towed away
there? Did they lose his bags at Laguardia? Not only are the
big destruction scenes lacking, but they use too many computer effects.
There are some wolves in the movie. They are created with computer
graphics. Have you seen any animal in a movie that's entirely
computer generated that looks like a real animal? The Masked
Reviewer hasn't. It looks like a computer generated animal.
For some reason, people still say "Wow, those effects are great!" If
those effects are great, you don't know they're effects. No one
thinks they're seeing real wolves. They're nice looking computer
generated wolves, but how scary is a computer generated wolf? They
also used computer generated effects to create condensation forming when
people exhaled to show that it's cold. The trouble is, it didn't
look right. It looked close, but not right. So, something
that you might barely notice on a subconscious level becomes something
you are aware of as being wrong. Breath doesn't look like that.
Couldn't they have just shot the actors in a refrigerated room? Oh
no, that'd be cold. Do it digitally. Well, that's exciting.
There's a homeless character in the movie. He has a dog.
Will the dog survive? The Masked Reviewer won't spoil anything for
you. But, the homeless guy does turn out to be very helpful.
See, he lived on the streets, so he knows all these survival tricks that
come in handy when IT'S 150 DEGREES BELOW ZERO OUTSIDE.
He's persecuted in the beginning of the film, but his wisdom turns out
to be invaluable. That's nice.
At one point, the President of the United States addresses the nation
in a time of crisis...on the Weather Channel. The Weather Channel?
Why is the President on the Weather Channel? More astute viewers
of the film may realize that the only stations shown in the movie are
all owned by Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox. The movie was produced
by 20th Century Fox. Hmmm...coincidence?
So, this big storm wipes out the world. Necessity requires a
massive evacuation at one point. People north of a certain line
have to move. What about Canada? They're screwed. No
one mentions Canada. So, Canada haters may find something to like
about this movie.
Oh, it's not a good movie. The acting is barely noticeable,
it's one effect after another. It's supposed to be a natural
phenomenon, but a space monster would've been more convincing.
Perhaps they shouldn't have tried to make it sound like this is
something that could really happen...like The Core. Just
make it up and don't pretend it's real. Don't lecture us.
The bigger problem is that the effects aren't spectacular enough to
carry the movie. You've seen better disaster movies in The
Perfect Storm, Volcano, Twister, Independence Day, Towering Inferno...the
list goes on. In fact, it's hard to think of a worse disaster
film. And sadly, while it teeters on the edge of being so bad that
it's actually funny and campy, it never quite makes it. It does
have a few intentionally funny moments, but there are a lot more
unintentionally funny moments.
The moral, of course, is RECYCLE OR DIE!
Expectation from the Title: The sequel to the sequel to the
sequel of Yesterday.
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):
It's an excellent way to visually illustrate the age old adage that you
should never leave home without a warm hat.
The Pros: It's a great source of bad science to make fun of,
there are special effects galore if you like that kind of thing.
The Cons: It's less believable than fiction, pretending to be
based on science. Running from frost. Digital wolves.