Saturday, May 29, 2004

"The Day After Tomorrow"

Does It Bite?

A Munkebite Review

Not much to spit at here. But I am an avid disaster movie buff and as disaster movies go, The Day After Tomorrow. wasn't really all that bad...... as a disaster movie. Yeah, they took creative license to accomplish in an hour-and-a-half what could climatologically only take place in five years, if even that quickly. And who wants to sit in the theater for five years?

Has some cheese in it and some far-fetched meteorology (which was why I went), but what the hey. It's post 9/11 and NYC can now be destroyed again. It did come close to OD'ing on the cringe meter tho. The angst-slapped Gyllenhaal juxtaposed to the cuddly-cute, big-eyed Emmy Rossum and their mutual love attentions weren't even superficially believable. The dramatic close-angles of an emoting Dennis Quaid and the soap-opera-ish croc-tears of Sela Ward were almost as strained as the super-cold tropospheric cold pouring over what's left of Manhattan.

The real star was the special FX. (Repeat that to yourself over and over when you go see it). After suffering through some tawdry tarnada anomalies (even for Hollywood) with Twister in '92 and having viewed the real thing on several dozen personal videos, (other people's, not mine, Spen)- several dozen times-, it was refreshing to see the FX wizardry as gargantuan funnels plunder Hollywood. And I was watching it closely....I know how these things churn and burn. They were the closest I have seen yet to the real thing (excepting size and number in proximity). At least on first viewing.

The cheese contained was the tired political slant woven throughout concerning global warming. Heard it before....been there, done that.....and before the syrupy sap of the environmentalism hardened irrevocably, we were doused with another dose of disaster FX, (thank you, movie). The CG animated wolves left a bit to be desired however. Apart from the V.P. Cheney-look-alike dopey Vice President; the heroic Al Gore-ish-looking Prez who seems to "get it;" the shameless plugs for Fox News and the Weather Channel (but you HAVE to have TWC).......the rest of the movie is stomach-able, with a mildly humorous irony regarding Mexico from the German-born Emmerich, who brought us The Patriot and Independence Day.

Stunningly, the movie is just an hour-and-a-half long, and that in the age of blockbuster 2 hour plus action flicks. There were numerous sub-plots, almost too numerous to satifactorily do justice.

This ought to be the first year that a tornado gets an Oscar nod.

2 Out Of 5 Bites