Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Day After Tomorrow (2004) [PG-13] ****

Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) is a paleoclimatologist, studying prehistoric abrupt climate change. He and his research team members were on the Larson B Ice Shelf in Antarctica when it collapsed in March, 2002, and he believes that the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is causing a global greenhouse effect, and this global warming is accelerating global climate change. When Jack hears from colleague Terry Rapson (Ian Holm), who heads a research center in Scotland, that the North Atlantic Current is cooling rapidly, he theorizes that it is happening because of all the fresh water being dumped into the North Atlantic by the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. And when devastating tornadoes, typhoons and hailstorms begin to be reported worldwide, Jack becomes convinced that a global climate shift is underway.

Jack and his ex-wife, Lucy (Sela Ward) share custody of their brilliant, teenage son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal), who is in New York City, competing on a scholastic team. Trapped in the city by increasingly fierce weather, Sam and his teammates Laura (Emmy Rossum) and Brian (Arjay Smith) have taken refuge with others in the public library. And, when Jack and his research team, including Jason (Dash Mihok) and Frank (Jay O. Sanders) analyze the data coming in from Terry Rapson, they realize that a killer storm is headed straight for New York City, and that it will herald the coming of a new ice age on planet Earth.

Written and directed by Roland EmmerichThe Day After Tomorrow is a big-budget, special-effects-laden, action/sci-fi/thriller that contains these core elements: (1) the Earth and all of humanity are threatened by our own shortsightedness; (2) a single scientist clearly understands the danger, and uses his intelligence, courage and ingenuity to help the government save lives; (3) humankind recognizes the danger in time and acts to prevent its own extinction. The special effects in this film are thrilling, and the acting is uniformly excellent. Regardless of your opinion about the science of global warming, if you enjoy Roland Emmerich's films Independence DayGodzilla and 2012, you'll probably enjoy The Day After Tomorrow. 

Labels: action, adventure, disaster, drama, sci-fi, thriller, tragedy
Internet Movie Database    
Metacritic 48/100    
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=53, viewers=64)     

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