Main cast: Dennis Quaid (Jack Hall), Jake Gyllenhaal (Sam Hall), Emmy Rossum (Laura Chapman), Dash Mihok (Jason Evans), Jay O Sanders (Frank Harris), Ian Holm (Professor Terry Rapson), and Sela Ward (Dr Lucy Hall)
Director: Roland Emmerich
Dante’s Peak, Volcano, Deep Impact, The Day after Tomorrow – seen one expensive but dumb disaster flick, seen ’em all. Roland Emmerich, who also writes the script, once more destroys New York as well as the rest of the world – except Canada, I think, since there’s no mention of that country – but keeps the tired and overused formula intact despite all the death and destruction he cheerfully puts in his story.
The global disaster? Check. The world is in danger of being flooded thanks to global warming. See the letters of the Hollywood sign flying all over the place? Cool. All those religious fundamentalists cursing Hollywood for destroying morals everywhere would be encouraged to crank up the CFCs.
The researcher hero whom nobody believes in? Check. Meet Jack Hall. He’s been trying to tell everybody that global warming is bad, but does anybody listen? Noooo.
The gentle wife. Meet Dr Lucy Hall. She’ll be trying to save cancer patients while the rest of the world is becoming a giant swimming pool. There’s always time for a sappy Hallmark movie even when the world is coming to an end.
The kid and his girlfriend in distress – Sam Hall and Laura Chapman. They are trapped with a bunch of people in a library in New York. It is up to Jack to save them. There are also some hungry wolves on the prowl. Don’t ask.
The immortal dog. He’ll never die. But there has to be one scene where everybody tries to save the dog. So what if everybody dies in Tokyo? Frigging Japanese. The dog, however, is a different story. Save the doggy!
The idiot leader and the cunning guy that manipulates him. The President of the USA and his Vice President fit the bill perfectly. No, I’m not talking about George W Bush and his VP, in case you’re wondering. Although I won’t disagree with you if you would like to wonder anyway. As usual, despite the threat of impending disaster, they are more worried about their source of income.
The obligatory America O America scene. Oh, the poor Statue of Liberty! Sniff.
The nauseating “We are Americans, we are brave!” rally speech? Yup, it’s there. And here’s my airbag if you need one.
Bonus braindead points given for Jack wading, running, jumping, and stumbling all the way to New York to save Sam and company, only to then radio a helicopter to come in and save them. Don’t ask me why he doesn’t just take a helicopter in the first place.
All I can say is, when people finally have enough of Roland Emmerich and run him down south, I hope Mexico shuts the border and forces him to wade through the Rio Grande like those idiot people do in this movie. Still, the sight of half the world covered in ice is really nifty. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at skiing.