Movie Review (The Day After Tomorrow)

1092 words - 4 pages

The day after tomorrowRemember, if you will, if you want to, the 1996 blockbuster "Independence Day", starring Will Smith and Bill Pullman as tough guys battling intergalactic space aliens hell-bent on destroying earth for no apparent reason other than the satisfaction of superiority. Now, re-imagine that entertaining, highly implausible film without the Fresh Prince, Bill Pullman, and all of those aliens, but instead with Dennis Quaid as the hero, and snow blizzards as the enemy, and throw in the same level of apocalyptic insanity cut with a big helping of American cheese and you'll get "The Day After Tomorrow", an awesome, ungodly, laughable, and exciting disaster epic that plays with the globe like it's one big etch-a-sketch, with unpredictable weather patterns as the two white knobs. It is a film so huge in its ambitions, and so terribly overwrought in its murky sentimentalism, that anything less than the complete annihilation of the Northern United States, and an impossible subplot of a father searching for an abandoned, hopelessly imperiled son, would be too domesticated; it lives on sweeping strokes of risk and pig-headedness, and dies on its inability to stick it through, not unlike Will Smith and his alien friends, to the end of its long, windswept, frostbitten journey. Afterwards, you'll be happy to see the sun again."The Day After Tomorrow" is a popcorn flick in every sense of the phrase. It boasts a recognizable cast, a strict formula (fashioned a bit on '70's B-pictures like "The Towering Inferno"), a big budget, state-of-the-art computer effects, a proven director (Roland Emmerich, also of "Independence Day"), and lots and lots of destruction, with little intelligence to level it off. If you were to see one movie this summer, and eschew all other forms of cinematic art, than you'd have wildly mixed feelings about the power of Hollywood. One the one hand, you'd be tickled, even titillated to see how men working behind computers can simulate the destruction of the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles with a fake tornado, but, at that, you'd be horrified just the same to think that in this post 9/11 society, the obliteration (albeit fiction) of architectural landmarks, all for the sake of your entertainment dollar, could conceivably pass as savvy, and sane filmmaking. But it does, we've come to expect it by now, and to be honest, the sight of New York City covered in 50 feet of ice, frozen to its very apple core, is pretty darn cool, and I mean that with no sarcasm, or pun intended.Dennis Quaid stars as Jack Hall, a paleoclimatelogist (a what?), who researches weather patterns of decades past. His most recent thesis, based on the "cyclonic system" of the ice age, is that, with global warming getting out of control, pumping fresh water from the ice caps into the salty oceans, an imbalance could trigger a catastrophic weather event. Though that wouldn't be for 80-90 years, not now, not in 2004, before a Presidential election; no way,...

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