Movie Review: The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2004 movie starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Synopsis: Paleoclimatologist Jack Hall tries to warn the United States government about an impending storm that will cause the next ice age in a matter of days. However, by the time they are willing to listen to him, it's already too late and he must trek through a newly-frozen land in an effort to save his son in New York City.

Who's In It?


I don't watch that many disaster movies in general. However, there are a few that I do seem to end up watching whenever I have an opportunity to do so (regardless of how many times they are on TV) and this one falls into that category. 

In fact, I ended up watching this movie for yet another time (more than I can count) last night while waiting for my kids to have dinner, settle down and get ready for bed. And, once again, I found I enjoyed watching it.

I think the thing I find I like about this movie is it is exactly what I think a disaster movie should be. The plot isn't overly complicated. The heroes have just enough depth to make you care about them. And, most importantly, it isn't one of those movies that have 90 minutes of build up and only 20 minutes of actual action.

The other thing I like about this film is it manages to keep a realistic human element. Not everyone pulls together to fight for the same cause. Instead, the various characters have differing opinions, may (or may not) go separate ways and either accept what is happening or spend the movie complaining about it. Those are little things that keep films interesting and more movies should do that.

My only real complaint about this movie is the way it sort of lessens the Dr. Lucy Hall (Ward) character by not really giving her enough screen time to have any real impact. This was a little disappointing for me because she was actually a very well-written character. She was a concerned mother who wanted nothing more than to be reunited with her son (Gyllenhaal). But, she also wasn't afraid to sacrifice her own life to provide comfort to one of her patients. It's not as though the movie wasn't as interesting to watch because she had a limited role. I just think it would have been even better if she had been a bigger part of it.

Final Opinion

This is definitely one of the better disaster movies I've watched, mostly because it is a film that doesn't make me wait for the action to start. And, it is a movie I would recommend as a result of that.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 11/11/2016, StevenHelmer
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