Mini-Review Monday: The Day After Tomorrow

The Day After TomorrowRelease: May 26, 2004

Story: Radical weather changes cause monsoon like rains, horrible wind storms and tornadoes, and other extreme weather events all over the planet. A new ice age arrives, covering the northern half of the world. A cast of characters led by the Hall family – Professor Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), his son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal), and his wife Dr. Lucy (Sela Ward) – must survive the horrible conditions. Things aren’t made easy for them with Sam stuck in flooded and then frozen over New York City with a friend and a love interest, Jack trekking through the cold to get his son, and Lucy evacuating a hospital.

Thoughts: This movie is empty. It’s packed with special effects, but they aren’t filling or satisfying in any way. I suppose New York frozen over looks good on a technical level. There aren’t any thrills or interesting characters to see amongst the spectacular effects. The fact that it’s a Roland Emmerich film might’ve tipped you off that the characters are rather cliches or boring. But at least a movie like Independence Day (1996) had some exciting action to hold my attention. The Day After Tomorrow has a lot of rain, some tornadoes, freezing temperatures, and nothing to make them worth centering a movie around. People spend most of the time in doors talking about stuff I don’t care about or traveling to another place to talk about things I don’t care about. Since the characters weren’t worth snot, their conversations weren’t much either. Don’t get me started on the environmental messages, which are admirable but shallow and told like they were coming from a fifth grader’s class presentation. The Day After Tomorrow is unsatisfying and you’ll walk away feeling like you didn’t even watch a movie but a black void for two hours.

2 thoughts on “Mini-Review Monday: The Day After Tomorrow

  1. To be honest, I quite enjoyed this one. Yes, it’s crap (it’s a Roland Emmerich movie, after all), but I really enjoy the effects — some of which, in a way, serve as a narrative device — and some of the characters aren’t so shallow: Quaid and Holm manage to flesh out the stereotypes. I guess that for me it’s a (very minor) guilty pleasure, so rationality doesn’t really enter into it!

    • Holm is good. I’d forgotten about him. The effects are nice, I’ll give you that. I remember watching this when it first came out and enjoying it, but this watch I just left it feeling empty and unfulfilled. I totally get it being a guilty pleasure. If I ever watch it again, I might feel that way about it.

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