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The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

There are certain tropes (or movie cliches) that we expect to find in a disaster movie. A lone voice crying out in the wilderness while politicians walk away unperturbed - check. The Statue of Liberty glaring accusingly at the human race which stuffed up again - check. Wild animals escaping - check.

The Day After Tomorrow has it all, and then some, as the threat of global warming becomes a full on emergency. It all happens rather quickly perhaps, but director Roland Emmerich has never been noted for subtlety. Let's get this party started!

Dennis Quaid is Jack Hall, the lone voice, a paleoclimatologist who noticed the world falling apart while working in Antarctica. He rushes off to a handy UN conference on climate change in New Delhi and is resoundingly ignored by the US Government. Hall postulates that humankind has maybe 100 years to come up with a solution. However, he is wrong, because the end of the world as we know it starts much sooner - the day after tomorrow in fact.

It's easy to spoof this movie in a review, but actually, it is very entertaining and well acted. Quaid is no Bruce Willis, but he is an appealing hero, and with Sela Ward as his doctor wife, has no trouble getting the viewer on side. Ward is particularly effective, worrying about her son (Gyllenhall) but still committed to taking care of her most touching patient, a little boy suffering from cancer.

The scenes in New York Library during the big freeze are excellent, with survivors dithering over which books to burn to keep warm - Nietzsche or tax laws? I didn't understand why they weren't burning the furniture though. Ian Holm, as professor Rapson, a climate researcher, is good as always, and it's nice to see Phantom of the Opera star Emmy Rossum again.

It doesn't clarify the global warming issue though - is the earth heating up, or is a new ice age starting? Go figure.

I paid for this DVD with my own funds.


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