Palaeoclimatologist Jack Hall (Quaid) fears that Global Warming is going to result in another ice age though the US government refuse to listen. Hall turns out to be right and the ice-age actually happens at a more rapid rate than actually forecasted.
Disaster movies have always been a political genre of its own. They flourish as they did during the 1970’s when economic times where uncertain and also expose humans misplaced faith in technology and by extension capitalism. The Day After Tomorrow is a project which director Roland Emmerich developed by himself and away from studio interference. It is as much a personal picture as it is a blockbuster and lands a blow against American arrogance, also exposing what a lot of Americans actually believe about climate change.
With The Day After Tomorrow, Emmerich finds a genre which provides a good showcase for destruction and sustains his interest until the end.
During the most compelling moments of the movie, Tornadoes rip through Los Angeles, even taking apart the Hollywood sign, blizzards and hurricanes batter the northern hemisphere and New York City is frozen before being flooded, leaving skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty as modern ice sculptures.
Jack’s son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal) is trapped in New York with his potential girlfriend Laura as well as a group of refugees. They are holed in the library. After kissing his wife goodbye, Jack and a few friends head out to the unfriendly weather, searching for Sam.
Some of what The Day After Tomorrow offers is exciting while other parts of the movie are stupid. Examples of the stupid parts include Sam’s tussle with a pack of Wolves on board the ship in the middle of Manhattan, Lucy’s act of self-sacrifice for a cancer patient but there are moments of elevated adrenaline and impressive visuals which serve as counterbalance.