Rating: 3/4 (I cannot resist a good natural catastrophe blockbuster!)
The Day After Tomorrow could not have aired on TV at a better time! In the movie, a series of strange climate changes are being seen all over the Northern Hemisphere. Tornadoes rip through Los Angeles and a hailstorm blasts Tokyo. Jack (Dennis Quaid), a paleoclimatologist working for the NOAA, predicts that these are but the initial stages of a coming second Ice Age for the planet! He bases this on the observation that the Gulf Stream has gotten colder by 13° due to an increased melting of the ice at the poles. Once the delicate balance between salt water and fresh water (brought by melting ice) is lost, the planet could see an accelerated climate change. The president and vice-president dismiss his claims.
They are made to eat their words when 3 superstorms form over Earth covering the entire Northern Hemisphere. Jack now predicts that the entire North region could be frozen in mere days due to the storms. He calls his son Sam who is in NYC and asks him to stay inside until the storm has passed. Sam (Jake Gyllenhall) is in NYC with his geeky friends to attend an academic competition. His love interest Laura (Emmy Rossum) is also with him. They soon witness the Atlantic Ocean well up into NYC flooding it. They take refuge in the New York Public Library. Soon, the superstorm over North America intensifies bringing with it heavy snowing. Heeding his dad’s words, Sam convinces his friends to stay inside while the others decide to walk out. Jack’s predictions come true as the superstorm brings more intense cold which turns the Northern Hemisphere into an Antarctica. Sam and his friends burn the books of the library to keep warm and survive until help arrives.
I love movies with natural catastrophes (Twister being one of my all time favorites) and I liked this one as well. The Day After Tomorrow is loosely based on the book The Coming Global Superstorm. Though the science of the movie may be a little farfetched, the natural catastrophes of the recent year are a grim reminder of what is coming. It was also fun to watch Americans run over the Mexican border to flee from the storm. The movie is filled with little satires and ironies that make it interesting. Dennis and Jake are good. Emmy is oh oh oh so cute! The effects are great, making a frozen NYC convincing.