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Friday, May 21 12:00 AM ET

Trailer Review: The Day After Tomorrow

By Brian Briggs


Trailer Quicktime

Dennis Quaid
Jake Gyllenhaal

Director Roland Emmerich
Official Site Link
US Opening

May 28, 2004

Rated PG-13
Genre Action, Sci-Fi
Trailer Clichés "From the director of..."
Explosions 2
Weapons Tidal waves, hail, flying debris, cars, wolf, gravity.
Voiceover No
"In a world where..."

"Changed the face of our planet."

Spoilage Factor 45%
Geek Factor 25% (Pseudoscience, CGI)
See Trailer? Yes
See Movie? Maybe

Natural disaster movies are usually the topic of cheesy, made-for-TV movies (10.5, Flood!) or cheesy made-for-theater movies (Twister), but usually limit themselves to one natural disaster a movie. What happens when every natural disaster imaginable is thrown into one movie? The Day After Tomorrow.

If you close your eyes when this trailer starts, you feel transported back to last November for The Return of the King trailer. I expected Legolas to tell us the eye of the storm is moving. Instead, we learn that a storm that only happens once every 10,000 years starts to wreak havoc around the globe.

Blizzards in Bombay, floods in Manhattan, tornadoes in Los Angeles, giant hail in Peking, dense fog in Lisbon and a rank odor in Columbus threaten to end civilization, as we know it.

For the rest of the trailer there are no words spoken, just action snippets and special effects shots. The special effects overshadow the stars. Only brief glimpses of Jake Gyllenhaal and Dennis Quaid are seen. The lack of dialog is ominous. Either the producers want to keep the great dialog secret so they can surprise the audience with it, or it is so bad they could not find even one good line to put in the trailer. Given Hollywood's record on revelations in trailers, I will assume the latter.

Crashing libertyThe special effects are amazing. Every seagull in North America fleeing the shore, the concrete canyons of Manhattan being filled with water, waves crashing against the Statue of Liberty all left an impression. I can only hope there are more to be found in the full movie. Unfortunately, the last shot of New York City was too obviously fake to be effective.

For those who grew up in the 1980s, this is not a sequel to the nuclear holocaust mini-series "The Day After." Nuclear holocaust films are so Cold War. The working title for the sequel to The Day After Tomorrow is entitled The Day After the Day After Tomorrow Which Would Make It Wednesday.

From the few shots of people we are already shown one of the cliché character which will occupy this film; the noble bus driver who sacrifices himself to save his passengers. Despite the predictability this trailer portends, the movie could be worth watching. However, it needs more than just good special effects (are you listening George Lucas?)

City floodConclusion on Trailer: Much eye candy to marvel at. Little information on stories or characters. It only does a fair job of making me want to see the movie, but it is fun enough to look at that makes it worth a download.

Conclusion on Movie: Special effects can carry a two-minute trailer, but they have trouble sustaining an entire movie. The lack of any dialog or characters has me worried. I would not mind seeing these effects on the big screen, but I am worried that is all I would see.

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