Day After Tomorrow

3 out of 10


89 Minutes of Illogical Environmentalist Scaremongering Claptrap

The "Big Apple" certainly seems to be the popular place for disasters to be spending their Summer vacation this year, with "Spiderman 2" and his foes, the next Ice Age of "Day After Tomorrow" and, of course... the Olsen sisters of "New York Minute" all turning up in the city. This time around, with Communism long since dead, Saddam Hussein up before the War Crimes courts and the Aliens, now so commonly seem we half expect to find them ahead of us in the checkout queue at Loblaws, it's left to that age old bogeyman of the weather to carry the torch of evildom to united the devisive USA against a common enemy.

I remember clearly having "Docky Brown", my geography teacher at school, giving me a finger-wagging warning that if I dared suggest that Ice Ages could hit in anything less that generations that the public examination board would instantly utterly fail me. Well, I did, and they did. Yet, ironically, recent research on delicate waterlilies, fossilized in bloom, suggests that the dinosaurs died out in well under 6 weeks by being blast frozen, with computer generated models indicating a sudden plunge to MINUS 30 CENTIGRADE as the noonday temperature at the equator. In "Day After Tomorrow", however, there is not even the slightest pebble, let alone clumsy asteroid the size of Texas doing the dirty on mankind and setting off hypercanes to trash this fair planet of ours. Instead, no really major dymano for the spectacular destruction by weather extremes of the first half of the film is suggested apart form the old tedious "pollution of mankind", leaving the responsibility for the future destruction of Tokyo in the hands of those who made my wonky muffler, namely the enigineers of Toyota, made in ....Tokyo. (Guess what goes around, comes around!) Indeed, with the scheduling in the end credits of Dr Michael Molitor as the SOLE scientific advisor, without so much as an assistant from the studio, is clear testimony as to it intended as well as its actual non-existant link to reality.

No-one could say rightfully say that this flick is not spectacular, with the Statue of Liberty variously flooded, drowned under a tidal wave and frozen waist-deep in ice in scenes reminiscent of the original "Planet of the Apes' movie, yet after a start, filled with catastrophies that are a superb showcase for Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic, the film follows closely the track of "Tornado" with a storyline as weak as a draught of beer from a dive bar in Disneyland. With no idea what to do after all the special effects, director and writer, Roland Emmerich has Dr Hall (Dennis Quaid), the scientist who you know is the hero, because no-one listens to him, racing across an icy wasteland in laughably poor remake of "Vertical Limit", but with even less logic, realism or thrills to rescue his son, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, giving the world's most unconvincing performance as a teenager in love.

Backed by a couple a lightweight cheap laughs, the last hour really drones on as the popularist environmentalist message is tediously hammered home with all the featherweight grace of a glacier. And just in case anyone still doesn't get it because they are as crassy stupid as the American Vice President, they wheel him out onto an enema of a broadcast to confess how wrong he was, what great guys the Third World are and how we should us less petrol and care about the mufflers on our Toyotas, leaving the only surprise about the ending why no-one in the audience vomited.

The promotional stuff asks, "Where will you be?" Answer: At home watching a decent movie on video...if you've got any sense!

You've seen it all long before yesterday

Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett