The Day After Tomorrow

By Mark Ramsey | 2004/05/31

According to writer/director Roland Emmerich, “We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.”

Roland specializes in Towering Infernos of mediocrity; spectacular clichés like the annihilation of national landmarks surrounded by characters so thinly drawn they make Fred Flintstone look like Friedrich Nietzsche-stone. Roland wrote this screenplay with one hand tied behind his back and the other tapping out dialogue on his Speak ‘N Spell.

dayaftertomorrow_flood.jpgNormally I don’t expect much from a movie named for a date, especially a date well past the one that movie will be remembered, but The Day After Tomorrow fulfilled every low expectation I had and then some.

I wish I could fast-forward to the good parts but nothing moves that fast and no part is that good.

What if a new ice age is coming, this movie asks, and if so, can I leave the cooler at home when I go tailgating?

“We’re on the verge of a major climatic shift,” warns Dennis Quaid, “like the one that transformed my ex-wife Meg Ryan from America’s Sweetheart into America’s Collagen-Lips.”

It seems that global warming has pushed our planet’s self-regulating environment over the edge and, coincidentally, Winona Ryder’s pharmaceutically-regulated career along with it.

Thanks to our penchant for colossal SUV’s the icecaps and all life therein are destined to disappear. Then again extinguishing penguins is a small price to pay to compensate for a small penis.

A wall of water washes down Broadway. Had this happened just a few years earlier, we’d know if Cats could swim. At least Manhattan won’t need a good street-cleaning for a thousand years.

The sky turns black, tornadoes pound L.A., snow drifts and temperatures drop to hundreds of degrees below zero.

As a result, the population of the entire southern U.S. is ordered to relocate to Mexico, “And please stop at all the malls on your way,” asked the President.

Should we remain or evacuate? It’s a choice to stay where you can’t go outside or go where you can’t drink the water.

dayaftertomorrow_ice.jpg“There’s a lot you’ll enjoy in Mexico,” said the President. “Plenty of Mexican food that’s almost as good as the stuff back home, black market pharmaceuticals galore, and donkey shows for those of you who love the circus!”

As for our friends to the north in Canada, “They’re quite screwed,” said the President. “Think of it as Mother Nature’s ‘thank you’ for William Shatner.”

Dennis Quaid’s son is Jake Gyllenhaal, and Jake has gone from Donnie Darko to Donnie Cold-o and Darko. There may be a gap in the Arctic ice sheet, but damn it, there’s a gap between father and son!

The Day After Tomorrow is a “human story” by a writer/director who wouldn’t know a human if one squeegeed the windshield on his black Escalade.

What was Jake thinking when he took this job? Said he, “This movie is the most disturbing experience I’ve had since I saw my sister Maggie naked in Secretary – and fully clothed in Mona Lisa Smile.”

“If we don’t act now, it’s going to be too late,” cautions Dennis. “But if we start acting now we’re gonna need somebody to write us some characters.”

Sela Ward is Dennis’s wife, and she would be with him right now except somebody’s got to stay with an abandoned cancer kid, and Karen Black, Carol Lynley, Red Buttons, and Elvis had already left the building.

Can we learn from our mistakes?

Not if our name is Roland Emmerich.

“And remember, my friends,” says Roland, “future events such as these will affect you in the future.”

Photos Copyright ©2004 20th Century Fox


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