movies are supposed to be big, dumb and exciting, like dating
a steroid-addled crackhead with an eating disorder. I'm not a
fan of the big and dumb, but it's the way summer movies are supposed
to be. What's surprising to me is how incredibly dumb this year's
blockbusters are so far. I thought Van Helsing was bottoming
out as far as treating an audience like braindead farts who wouldn't
know a plot if it hit us in the nuts. But this The Day After
Tomorrow plumbs deeper, like Johnny Long in Candy Bottoms'
self-directed Journey to the Bottom of my Ass. The result
is the same, too: go deep and come out covered in shit and guts.
Day After Tomorrow even has a plot is an obligatory nod to
what director/writer Roland Emmerich must feel is a quaint old
tradition of story-telling in movies. He can't possibly give a
shit about it, or else it'd be a lot better. What he really loves
is weather porn--hot three-way hurricane confluences, tight, wet
teen tsunamis, rock-hard shafts of ice thrusting through virgin
soil, and nasty scientists in lab coats talking dirty about climatic
changes. The story is like the third arm grafted onto some Nazi
during a bizarre Third Reich medical experiment; it just flops
around uselessly. (Yeah, I know that one's a bit of a stretch,
but I like the image.)
What a lousy
piece of shit.
is a NOAA scientist who predicts that global warming could trigger
a new ice age. He tries to make his case to a very Dick Cheney-esque
Vice President whose response is something like "We can burn all
the oil we want. You science boys are assholes. Blah, blah, blah,
look at me, I'm an obnoxiously oversimplified parody of the real
Vice-President." This is a major political criticism handled as
ham-fistedly as the dick of a masturbating butcher. It's he kind
of shit that makes a liberal like myself embarrassed by how God
damn obnoxious and simplistic other liberals can be. Right after
Quaid's warning, he and another scientist (the slumming Ian Holm)
discover the ice age really is coming. Not in a 100 years or even
ten, but this fucking week.
the weather kicks in. The entire northern hemisphere gets wet,
shaken and generally aroused. Girl-on-girl tornadoes and orgies
of snow destroy Los Angeles and submerge New York City. The Hollywood
sign gets obliterated, skyscrapers freeze and shatter and oil
tankers float down Fifth Avenue. It's an impressive display of
special effects if you're into storms, easily enough to thaw the
most uptight weather girl's cold front and start her to diddling
her doppler radar.
to have been interested in real science up to a point. Then he
got a hell of a lot more interested in what his special effects
crew could do, regardless of whether it made any sense. There
are literally cold fronts chasing people down streets, and tsunamis
chasing people too. Somehow neither catch the movies heros (but
get everyone else) when they jump through an open window. It's
sorof sickening to see someone pretend they know about science,
only to use it as an excuse to make up fantastical, exaggerated
bullshit that will only scare simple-minded hillbillies. The movie
portays massive destruction, killing billions of people worldwide
and leaving billions more homeless.
it really fucking hard to give a rat's ass about the handful of
dullards that Emmerich spends the second half of the movie telling
us about. After The Day After Tomorrow blows its money
shot, we're stuck watching Quaid, Jake Gyllenhall (as a teenager
too old for the high school in "Beverly Hills 90210") and other
nameless hacks mope, slog around in snow and fret over whether
they'll fall in love against the background of cataclysm. Most
moronic of all, Quaid's character walks through 60-foot snow drifts
from Washington, DC to New York City (I shit you not) in a couple
of days simply to see how his son is doing in a city where supposedly
everyone has died. He has no plan of what to do once he gets there.
I mean, when you walk into a frozen city full of millions dead
with nothing but a tent, what the fuck do you think you can add?
What makes you think you're so fucking special? Maybe he figured
his son was so damn stupid that he needed to be there to keep
him from eating bricks. Whatever, this journey is the emotional
core of the movie and it doesn't make a Goddamn lick of sense.
neither does the whole bit about fierce wolves chasing Gylenhall
around a Russian tanker while he's looking for medication. This
isn't a dream sequence; it's just an example of how fucking desperate
this movie is for anything remotely interesting to show us once
the storm dissipates.
minor and completely undeveloped characters enter and leave after
half-baked attempts to get us to give a fuck. Seriously, I'm sure
most of the people frozen under the snowdrifts would have been
more interesting than these jackasses. And that's after they froze.
uses this pile of shit to promote a political agenda about global
warming and fossil fuels (what you wanna bet the asshole has a
Hummer?). I've got nothing against making a political point. But
a fucking lousy movie full of absurd contrivances ain't the way
to do it. You want to entertain us? Do that. You want us to support
your beliefs about global warming? Well, then give us facts instead
of illogical, hysterical bullshit. This should not be the basis
of a national debate as Emmerich and his marketers would love.
The movie also wants us to despise Dick Cheney. I hate Dick Cheney;
I bet his wife and his dog hate him but stick around because he's
got a fucking awesome bomb shelter. But a true and worthwhile
hatred has to be rooted in facts and reality. That's how I establish
my hatred for almost everything. If you have to lie to make people
hate the same things you do, you're either an asshole or too fucking
lazy to collect the facts you need. This movie's too lazy.
Another bad fucking movie that treats the audience like stupid
infants that will swallow anything spoonfed to us, and we'll be
grateful for it. Lesbian porn has better characters and plots
than weather porn. One Finger for The Day After Tomorrow.
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