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053: The Day After Tomorrow feat. Jodi

Maximilian Rivera March 28, 2017
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By Max Rivera | @MaxRiveraFilm

Premise: A paleoclimatologist must make a daring trek across America to reach his son, who is trapped in the cross-hairs of a sudden international storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45%

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You hear it all the time — climate change is going to ruin our world. But what does that mean? How will it play out? Will it look anything like the 2004 smash hit by Roland Emmerich, The Day After Tomorrow?

With a good disaster film, you’re gripping the edge of your seat, wincing at the mayhem rolling across the screen, all while rooting for at least one of these characters to survive. But is The Day After Tomorrow a good film? With all things considered, it’s a popcorn flick with some cool visuals, but it isn’t going to ever be more than that.

Let’s look at what works alright in this film — there is good mayhem, the actors are ones we know and like, and it’s an easy enough premise — the weather has gone to shit and a father needs to save his son.
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It could be compelling, but Emmerich squanders that potential on stupid execution instead. From the get go, we do have some of the more electrifying moments in a disaster film. Something has gone wrong and we don’t know what that means for us yet.

By the time we find out what is happening to our world, it is too late.

The real problem with this film is that the plot is too dumb on a science level, as well as on the personal level. NASA found the climate science laughable, while the film focused on an A-plot about Jake Gyllenhaal’s teenage love life. Meanwhile, Dennis Quaid treks through a winter a horrorland to save his son from impending doom — and that becomes the background noise.

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We’re joined by a special guest this week — Jodi, my wife and an avid fan of disaster films. The three of us discuss what makes a good disaster picture, as well as some of our favorite ones out there. As always, we bite into the plot and try to make sense of it.

As an exercise in futility, we even go around discussing what COULD have made this picture better. Like starting with the awesome premise of the United States of America being frozen and we are now the immigrants moving into foreign countries. What a place to leap off of!
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In case you missed it, we’re running March Movie Madness. Check it out and vote before it’s too late! 

Max is a marketing copywriter by day, filmmaker and screenwriter by night. He resides in Charlotte, NC, and loves his dogs, watching movies, building LEGO sets, and eating food. Lots of food.You can find Max at his personal website and twitter.