By Dalton Ross
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:45 AM EDT
Credit: The Day After Tomorrow: Takashi Seida

When I first saw The Day After Tomorrow, I wrote it off as just another mindless disaster flick from the king of such apocalyptic fare, Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, Godzilla). Man, was I wrong! After checking out the bonus features available on the DVD, I now realize that I was all turned around on this thing. Take all the big special-effects shots. See, at first I found that whole scene where a Russian tanker drifts straight into a flooded midtown Manhattan comically ridiculous, but according to producer Mark Gordon on the commentary track, it ”blows people’s mind.” Not only that, but ”it’s what movies are all about.” As opposed to, you know, plot.

Speaking of plot, I originally felt that having Sela Ward stay behind in the killer storm to take care of a cancer-stricken child was nothing more than a cheesy cliché, but Emmerich now tells us that ”this kid was terrific,” and that ”Sela Ward in general” did ”an amazing job.” Hey, he would know — he’s the director!

But I guess my main problem was that I didn’t see how Dennis Quaid could make a 100-mile hike in a blizzard, most of it while wearing snowshoes, just to find son Jake Gyllenhaal in New York City. The entire concept seemed pretty darn silly, but how can this be if Emmerich says that while watching the big father-son reunion scene ”we all had, like, tears in our eyes”? Answer: It can’t. And I can’t believe I actually considered giving this genius piece of filmmaking a C.

The Day After Tomorrow

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 122 minutes
  • Roland Emmerich