After years of increases in the greenhouse effect, havoc is wreaked globally in the form of catastrophic hurricanes, tornadoes, tidal waves, floods and the beginning of a new Ice Age. Paleoclimatologist, Jack Hall tries to warn the world while also shepherding to safety his son, trapped in New York after the city is overwhelmed by the start of the new big freeze.
It threatened and promised to be a politically (wooly) mammoth disaster picture. Jack Hall is certain that another ice age is imminent due to the effects of global warming, but the government just will not listen to him. Sure enough the climate changes and the world is at threat from perilous frozen weather, worse still for Jack is that his son is trapped in New York City! Roland Emmerich was the perfect choice to direct this particular piece. There is no denying that he has no little panache when it comes to destroying and blowing things up, think Independence Day, Stargate, Universal Soldier and Godzilla. What runs true through an Emmerich picture is that he is great on the CGI money shots and knows how to whet an appetite for destruction. Sadly, what is also true is that his second halves rarely deliver on their promise, so shall it be with The Day After Tomorrow. Even allowing for the expected mawkishness that comes with disaster/survival pictures, this picture relies too much on its contrivances, thus completely losing sight of its eco-conscious heart, something that I'm sure the politically aware Emmerich set out to deliver at the start. Packing his picture with solid and professional performers (led by the always watchable Dennis Quaid as Jack Hall), Emmerich is all too aware that his money shots are what the popcorn masses have chiefly paid to see. Tornados, floods and the subsequent freeze are all excellent moments in the piece, but now, some years later the film has to be called out for being the shallow showcase that it is, in fact the CGI looks unintentionally artificial. It's a missed opportunity to make a blockbuster with an intelligent heart, and sadly Emmerich, either through boredom or ignorance? failed to seal the deal and craft one of the better genre entries. Just about average for the destruction sequences, but very little else to recommend here I'm afraid. 5/10