Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc One: Commentary by Roland
Emmerich and producer Mark Gordon;Commentary by co-writer Jeffrey
Nachmanoff, cinematographer Ueli Steiger, editor David Brenner
and production designer Barry Chusid.
Disc Two: Pre-visualisation; Pre-production meeting; Storyboard
gallery; Concept art gallery; Eye of the Storm: Filming The Day
After Tomorrow; Pushing the Envelope: Visual Effects; Scoring;
The Final Mix; Interactive Demo; Deleted scenes (with optional
commentary); The Force of Destiny: The Science and Politics of
THE effects of global warming provide the basis for the ultimate
what if scenario in The Day After Tomorrow, a spectacular,
effects-laden blockbuster, that also serves as a timely cautionary
tale about the stability of our present environment.
Having laid waste to most of the planet with his alien invasion
flick, Independence Day, writer-director, Roland Emmerich, now
turns his attentions to climate change, for another of those jaw-dropping
Hence, the world finds itself on the brink of a new Ice Age,
as level-headed climatologist, Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), dashes
about, trying to prevent the inevitable loss of life, while coming
to the rescue of his estranged son, Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal).
Its badly flawed, of course, and ignores the laws of physics,
but it is also a rollicking roller-coaster ride, packed with all
manner of mayhem, gung-ho heroics and knowingly cheesy dialogue.
Its none too subtle digs at the expense of US environmental policy
have also got a few politicians hot under the collar, for the
way in which key world leaders (most notably in the form of the
US Vice-President) consistently ignore warnings, on the way to
the inevitable catastrophe.
But taken at sheer face value, The Day After Tomorrow succeeds
on just about every level it strives to reach.
There is tremendous fun to be had
in watching the countdown to disaster, as a series of increasingly
severe weather events start to unfold across the globe, including
hail the size of grapefruit battering Tokyo, and tornadoes wreaking
havoc on LA.
By the time the show-stopping tidal wave sweeps all before it,
in New York, and Ian Holm utters the chilling words, save
as many as you can, viewers are likely to be breathless
with excitement, ahead of the anticipated cold snap which follows,
and which subsequently plunges the northern hemisphere into a
new ice age.
The film only tends to lose its way, ironically, when the special
effects stop, and the talking starts, especially when Quaid determines
to walk to New York, from Philadelphia, in a desperate dash
to save his son.
But its also part of the fun, as blockbusters on this scale,
almost inevitably, feel the need to encompass some form of groan-inducing
Yet, in spite of this, The Day After Tomorrow remains better
than most blockbusters of this sort, which is a testament not
only to the quality of the set-pieces, but to the likeability
of its lead actors, with both Quaid and Gyllenhaal capable of
winning over the audience, in spite of such preposterous dialogue.
The scientists and environmental campaigners will, of course,
have a field day picking the logic and events apart, but given
some of the more extreme weather variations we have experienced
over the past couple of years, in real-life, I doubt anyone will
be able to resist casting their eyes skywards, at least for a
couple of moments, after theyve seen it.
Emmerich deserves praise for the way in which he has, at the
very least, got people to think a little harder about global warming,
even if the events in his film unfold at a near-impossible rate,
as well as for having the tongue-in-cheek balls to make some political
This is, at the end of the day, a blockbuster in the finest sense
of the word, which delivers the awe-inspiring spectacle required
from this sort of thing, with an all-too rare ability to provoke
some fun debate afterwards.
It is an exhilarating ride, from start to finish, which looks
certain to go down a storm at the world-wide box office.