Enjoy this Monday with Mildred!
The Day After Tomorrow
*SPOILER ALERT – MAYBE* – [There are a few spoilers later in this review, but I don’t think it’ll ruin your movie watching experience. -MP :)]
As you may already suspect, knowing that I am a big time zombie fan, I am also a big fan of apocalypse movies in general. There aren’t very many of these for some reason, and most of them have been made by one director. Still, I’ve been a fan of the genre since watching Roger Corman’s 1955 Day the World Ended one afternoon fifty years ago on a faded black and white tv on a kitchen chair set up in a corner of my grandmother’s haunted house. (And for a real treat some time, check his filmography on IMDb – it’s long enough for a winter scarf.) It’s possible the setting in which I watched it had something to do with my burgeoning fascination with people put into the most harsh situation, but mostly it just made me wonder what would I do, and how does it compare to the stupid crap Hollywood thinks we would do? (What can be worse than the end of the world? What comes after! Bwahahaha!)
By my estimation Roland Emmerich has made most of Hollywood’s apocalypse films, and they have a lot in common with each other. There is a stalwart father who fights his way through the end of the world to be with his son, flocks of blackbirds make for the hills at the first hint of trouble, science is used just long enough to posit an interesting scenario and then tossed like a used napkin, and something REALLY LARGE rolls over people. (For a fun drinking game, watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs for Emmerich nods.) Day After Tomorrow doesn’t quite roll anything large, but it’s got everything else.
One of my top twenty favorite actors, Dennis Quaid, plays the hard-faced scientist who goes off (after saving the world with a song and dance number called “I Told You So, I Told You So”) to save his son, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, after he’s trapped in New York City at the beginning of The Mother Of All Polar Vortexes. It’s so cold helicopters drop from the sky. Japanese businessmen are iced. Old Glory stops in mid snap. After a nice character/scenario buildup, it moves right along from one disaster to another, off-ing people in all manner of fun ways. Then it challenges a group of really smart kids to stay alive under the most dire circumstances. This is all a great romp of course, but the reason I enjoy Day After Tomorrow so much is it’s so DUMB. It’s got everything I love in an apocalypse film packed in tightly together AND raging Hollywood stupidity.
My favorite Oh My God This Is STUPIT moment is when the son, trying to escape ravening wolves, climbs out onto a metal ledge in sub-sub zero weather, decides he can’t climb with gloves and rips them off with his teeth. It just (hahahahahaha!)… Even for Hollywood it was too much. Obviously, they’ve never had a cold snap out there in citrus land.
Unfortunately, this is followed by a few seconds of So Dumb Even I Can’t Stand It, when the kids throw a half ton of unopened books on a fire to make it bigger. Anyone who has ever gone camping knows this is the quickest way to kill a fire. If not for that bit – only a few seconds long – this would be my favorite apocalypse film ever.
For a light bit of goofy ending of the world, watch this one. Maybe someday someone will excise the book burning scene, like they did with Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Edit, and this will be my all-time favorite apocalypse movie.
CFR In Addition: I loathe this movie. I loathe the dialogue, the stupid characters, the pompous BS spewed forth by the characters, the pseudo science, and most importantly I LOATHE THE BOOK BURNING!I
Ok, ok, the movie poster is cool. That’s it.
- The Day After Tomorrow – IMDB
- Rotten Tomatoes: The Day After Tomorrow
- Roland Emmerich
- Roger Corman
- Jake Gyllenhaal