The Day After Tomorrow is a nonsensical mess
It’s official: sturm und drang director Roland Emmerich thinks American moviegoers are morons. This headspace is exemplified late in this throwback disaster flick as paternalistic paleoclimatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid, especially amusing trying to wrap his tongue around his own character’s occupation) and his trusty assistant trudge through arctic-like conditions from flash-frozen D.C. en route to extradite Jack’s kid (a mopey Jake Gerferferferrer-something, prone to making cow-eyes at the girl he loves, but cannot cop his Jones to) from an equally chilly Big Apple, following their GPS to somehow arrive at the freeze-dried Statue of Liberty from the Atlantic side. Dur. And I’ll admit, I was disappointed when Quaid didn’t fall to his knees at this point and scream, “You maniacs. You froze it up…damn you, god-damn you all to hell!”
It’s a bad sign when the opening credits are boring. It’s an even worse sign when a character says, “Where are the wolves?” and you nod and mutter, “Oh, about 40 minutes of plot device more.” It’s even, even worse when you find yourself mouthing dialogue a moment before some unfortunate is compelled to verbalize it. You can viably feel the pain of the actors tottering desperately at the precipice of poseur-auteur Emmerich’s ESL dialogue.
CGI wolves? Why CGI the damned wolves? Hell, spray paint gray some German Shepherds. And speaking of dogs, a bunch of budding rocket scientists spend more than a week starving to death in an ice-encased library, but no one even broaches the subject of eating that annoying dog that barks at anything that doesn’t even move. Especially since I got the vibe that they were thinking as they contemplated amputating the infected limb of a colleague, “Hm…that’ll make good eatin’ for a few days.”
For that matter, do any of these Einsteins go, “Say, there’s a Russian freighter parked out front…equipped with kitchen, infirmary, and a furnace. Shouldn’t we quit burning these books and move on over?”
Nope. Damn, I checked my brain at the door, but it kept tracking me down.
The science used by the filmmakers here is more Art Bell than Isaac Newton, but then what do you expect from a movie that offers a character of a mind-staggering genius whose bookshelves are lined only with back issues of National Geographic?
The theory here is, buy a ticket to Mean Girls, and then every half hour duck over to see 10 minutes of kinda cool mayhem, then duck back. Rinse, repeat as necessary.