Disaster

THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW

Film Four · Disaster · 22 Jun 2010 · by: Film 4

Roland Emmerich's blockbuster stars Dennis Quaid as climatologist Jack Hall; a lone voice predicting that global warming will lead to a new ice age. He is ridiculed for his views, but his fears swiftly become true when a dramatic temperature rise in the Antarctic causes the world's weather to go mad, with tornadoes devastating Los Angeles, Britain literally flash-frozen and New York first inundated by floods and then overwhelmed by a killing cold snap. A few survivors, including Jack's son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal), take refuge in a library and Jack sets out on a desperate mission to save them.

The action-packed film (which won a BAFTA for its stunning special effects) does compress and dramatise the basic science of global warming but is based largely on fact. Emmerich gets to destroy New York for the third time (his two previous attempts being Godzilla and Independence Day ), and the sub-plot of Jack's expedition across frozen wastes to save his son and Sam's girlfriend Laura Chapman (Emmy Rossum) from death maintains the tension. Emmerich cast Kenneth Welsh as the Vice-President who ridicules Hall's theories and any physical resemblance to Dick Cheney is entirely intentional. But at least the making of the film didn't damage the planet - Emmerich paid $200,000 to make The Day after Tomorrow Hollywood's first carbon-neutral film.

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