Once I saw The Day After Tomorrow over two months ago, my first order of business was to forget everything about it, and with any luck, that I had ever even seen it. This happens a lot when a movie’s credits begin to roll and I realize that videotaping myself banging my head in a toilet seat for an hour and a half would have been more productive, as it would leave me with video footage more interesting than the film. (This always happens when the credits begin “Directed by Roland Emmerich”. He was, of course, partially responsible for Matthew Broderick’s Godzilla among other things.)
Yet, reviewing a film now I barely remember is probably one of the least desirable positions to be in as a columnist. The only one worse is not having seen the movie at all, but that hasn’t stopped me before. The two things I do recall from Tomorrow are the storms that freeze people instantaneously and the devil wolves (pictured left). Hey, that actually sounds pretty good. Combine those with the fact the video game based on the movie apparently requires the player to shimmy through a sewer to avoid floating mushrooms (pictured right), and you have, what I believe, a fantastic combination that should prevent any movie from totally sucking: immobilizing ice storms, hell hounds, and magical toadstools. In fact, I had to wonder if my initial negative impressions were completely off base and I should rent the movie again. Instead, I just read some other reviews so I could kind of justufy writing my own.
It seems that the plot revolves around a global eco-disaster that kills half the world’s population, yet solely focuses on the journey of one workaholic dad to rescue his son. Judging by the narrative contrivances frequently mentioned by near every critic, concentrating the story on several of the stupidest and oblivious humans alive at the expense of the billions who deserved to live but were killed by monster tornados was not a smart choice. Other phrases repeatedly thrown about by professional critics were “monumentally inept”, “thick and stupid”, “dumb and flat”, and “exceptionally stupid.” I could find no mention at all of magical toadstools, leaving me to conclude the video game makers took some artistic license in the big screen-to-gameboy adaptation.
On a scale of environmental tragedy, where hurricanes are a 1 and melted polar caps are a 10, I would probably give The Day After Tomorrow the rating of an oil spill if I really remembered it, the numerical equivalent of a 2.