For a German expatriate, Roland Emmerich sure has a knack for making politically charged—and very cheesy—movies that coincide with American election campaigns. In 1996, as alleged draft dodger Bill Clinton ran for a second term against war veteran Bob Dole, Emmerich released Independence Day, in which aliens blow up the White House and the instinctively peace-minded President hops aboard a fighter plane to kick some serious butt. In 2000, when Al Gore and George W. Bush vied for the soul of the nation, Emmerich put out The Patriot, a B-grade revenge movie masquerading as a Revolutionary War epic. And now, as Bush defends his presidency against charges of short-sighted unilateralism, here comes The Day After Tomorrow—yet another disaster movie, but this time one that emphasizes international cooperation, rather than American triumphalism.

Dennis Quaid as Jack Hall

Dennis Quaid as Jack Hall

The film also has something to do with the environment, of course. The story, written by Emmerich and Jeffrey Nachmanoff, concerns a sudden, instant ice age that sweeps over the Northern Hemisphere as a result of global warming, and this freezing of the planet is preceded by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and sundry other catastrophes. The one man who sees it coming, though not quite so soon, is workaholic climatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), who theorizes the Ice Age of 10,000 years ago began very abruptly, and therefore the planet could be in for another flash freeze in the near future. But of course, the government will not heed his warnings. Vice President Becker (Kenneth Welsh) is especially skeptical, and says new environmental measures would be bad for the economy.

But never mind. The debate is cut short when the world's weather turns apocalyptic—snow falls ...

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The Day After Tomorrow
Our Rating
2 Stars - Fair
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for intense situations of peril)
Directed By
Roland Emmerich
Run Time
2 hours 4 minutes
Cast
Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum, Dash Mihok
Theatre Release
May 28, 2004 by 20th Century Fox
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