The Day After Tomorrow (12A)

Written and Directed by Roland Emmerich
On general release from 28th May 2004

Reviewed by Adam Ford

In very much the same vein as Independence Day and Godzilla, Roland Emmerich brings us yet another disaster/action movie, but this time the thrills and spills are based on what might be a dreadful reality.

When global warming causes Arctic ice caps to melt, the influx of fresh water shuts down the Gulf Stream, and temperature levels take a cataclysmic plunge. All the disaster movie clichés are there. As North America and Europe is plunged into a new ice age, climatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) struggles to warn politicians and reach his teenage son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal) in New York. In turn, Sam is just starting a romance with school friend Laura (Emily Rossum). Meanwhile, a sick child is too ill to leave hospital, a homeless guy just wants to make sure his dog is safe, and humanity is finally coming together to resolve its problems. There are also far too many characters to keep track of, and some of the science has come under fire from people on all sides of the debate. But for all that, The Day After Tomorrow is well worth watching for the breathtaking special effects alone, as nature’s awesome and brutal power is expertly conjured-up on the big screen.

There seems little doubt that a catastrophic change in our climate is underway, and it is vital we begin to understand and prepare our response to the dangers. This film is a great opportunity for young people to introduce themselves to the subject of climate change, and hopefully they will understand it isn’t just another big budget fantasy, but a stark warning of a terrible calamity they may well live to see.