Paleoclimatologist Jack Hall informs the government that global warming could eventually alter the Earth’s climate with devastating effect. His prediction is correct, except for the timescale.
And as tornadoes tear-up Los Angeles and tidal waves pummel the Eastern-seaboard Jack’s son becomes trapped in New York. In true Hollywood bravado-style Jack vows to reach his son and ‘rescue’ him, please do try to stifle your laughter at this point.
As is often the way with these films our main characters are a little stereotypical. Dennis Quaid plays the slightly estranged father, eager to regain his son’s trust. Jake Gyllenhall is his troubled but academically gifted son and Emmy Rossum is the fellow-genius-come-beauty-Queen who he falls in love with.
These human subplots are extraneous at best and are no stretch for actors of Quaid and Gyllenhall’s calibre. Both are convincing throughout, as is Rossum.
But it’s no surprise that The Day After Tomorrow adheres to a simple plot where much of the story is progressed through newscasts. Writer/director Ronald Emmerich is simply shrewd enough to do what he does best. He doesn’t tell profound stories about the human condition; he makes Blockbuster films, invariably concerning uber-destruction.
And although the CGI doesn’t quite do Emmerich’s vision justice he still handles the big-budget set-pieces with an admirable ease. Ultimately it’s a fun film with plenty of excitement and just enough emotion to keep viewers interested.
3.5 stars out of 5