The Day After Tomorrow review by The Grim Ringler

When I had seen that this movie was happening, I have to admit, I coulda cared less. Oh, a big and exciting disaster movie. Goody. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the brand of Hollywood blockbuster director Roland Emmerich has majored in – loud, bombastic, and just this side of fantastical. And I dig it. Hell, I’ll admit to liking the American Godzilla (it’s Godzilla kids, get over it, yeah, he’s different, the movie is silly, but it’s a fun flick, and nothing more, like the originals). But I cannot say that I was excited, in any way for Day After Tomorrow. Now, sure, I wanted to see it, just to see the earth get killed, but beyond that, little interest. I went tonight to see a cheapie show and I’ll be damned if this isn’t a genuine good movie. Now, this is still a bombastic, loud, silly disaster movie, but it’s good one. And as far as science fantasy films – a term I hereby coin – it’s top of the pops.

A rash of sudden and deadly storms begin hitting the earth at an ever increasing rate, each more terrible than the last, and the worst being a series of tornadoes which devastate Los Angeles. A paleo-climatologist, having seen the pattern that these storms are following in his research of an ancient ice age, tries to warn the Powers That Be that if this isn’t acted upon, if much of America isn’t abandoned and the people sheltered, the loss of life could be catastrophic. Naturally they don’t listen, and worse turns to worst. What had been a series of bad storms quickly becomes a dangerous climate change due to the melting of the polar ice caps and suddenly the northern hemisphere is turned into a Winter Wonderland. New York is flood with a tidal wave, which then freezes and those left alive are soon lessened as the worst this cataclysm has to offer appears in the form of hurricane-like areas form across the northern part of the world, the eyes of those areas becoming so cold that anything in them freezes solid instantly. As the world reels at the horror of the quickly changing weather, the lives of several survivors become intertwined as they hope for survival, pray for help, and wonder if there will be a tomorrow.

At its heart, this is a science fantasy film and don’t let anyone tell you different. Can this happen? To a degree, sure, but as far as science knows, not this quickly, and to this degree. Now, let’s face it though, what science doesn’t know is pretty massive, so you never can tell what might happen some day. But odds are, not so much. So what you have here, at its heart, is a cautionary tale that really is quite gripping and which does strike home. Mankind really does live in a fantasyland where we think that we can do whatever we wish to the planet and everything will be fine. Species die off, holes appear in the ozone layer, and nothing seems to faze us. Go us. And yes, the film preaches, though to be honest, it doesn’t get as bad as I had though. And no, this is no Actor’s Studio film, but the actors do well and while the script isn’t gold, it works. The whole movie works, oddly enough. Especially the special effects (go fig, a summer movie with neat special effects), which truly put a chill in you as you watch all that Man has created fall beneath the devastation of nature, which we have seen before, but never like this. And I have to say that it’s good to see Mr. Emmerich growing as a storyteller – I didn’t see any obvious stereotypes and the melodrama was underplayed…very nicely done sir, nicely done indeed. And it’s hard to fault the film for standing true to the idea of self-sacrifice to save others and the notions of friendship.

But no, this I not a great film. This is a popcorn movie, and the story reflects that. As do many logical leaps (the ice storm can freeze everything, yet cannot get through closed DOORS? Huh?), but me, I bought it. I knew what this movie was, I accepted it as such, and I went along for the ride. The sound is great, the direction is well done, and the story is gripping, and for a summer film, that’s about all you can ask for these days. A fun, if dark film, and one I would recommend, especially if you can see it cheap or have a good sound system and can get the DVD when it comes out as this is a fun sound film.


7 out of 10 Jackasses
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