The Day After Tomorrow | 2004 | Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal

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.

Dennis Quaid as Jack Hall
Jake Gyllenhaal as Sam Hall
Emmy Rossum as Laura Chapman
Dash Mihok as Jason Evans
Jay O. Sanders as Frank Harris
Sela Ward as Dr. Lucy Hall
Austin Nichols as J.D.
Arjay Smith as Brian Parks
Tamlyn Tomita as Janet Tokada
Sasha Roiz as Parker
Ian Holm as Terry Rapson
Richard McMillan as Dennis
Nassim Sharara as Saudi Delegate
Carl Alacchi as Venezuelan Delegate
Kenneth Welsh as Vice President Becker
Michel ‘Gish’ Abou-Samah as Saudi Translator
Kenneth Moskow as Bob
Glenn Plummer as Luther
Adrian Lester as Simon
Nestor Serrano as Gomez
John Maclaren as Veteran Scientist
Richard Zeman as Flight Director
Perry King as President Blake
Mimi Kuzyk as Secretary of State
Vitali Makarov as Yuri, Russian Astronaut
Russell Yuen as Hideki, Japanese Astronaut
Christopher Britton as Vorsteen
Christian Tessier as Aaron
Rick Hoffman as NY Businessman on Bus
Alan Fawcett as Commander Daniels
Sheila McCarthy as Judith
Amy Sloan as Elsa
Karen Glave as Maria
Joe Cobden as Zack
Caroline Keenan as Tina

Director: Roland Emmerich
Script: Roland Emmerich, Jeffrey Nachmanoff

USA | 124 minutes | 2004


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