Despite amazing visuals, Tomorrow blows mostly hot air

Thursday, June 03, 2004

There are several sequences in The Day After Tomorrow that are among the years best, yet somehow even two amazing storms cant save the film from mediocrity. Despite its impressive visual displays in hour one, the film quickly falters in the second half thanks in part to a bland cast stuck in some very silly subplots.The Day After Tomorrow is the tale of an outbreak of freakish weather occurrences caused from global warming tornadoes in Los Angeles, tidal waves in New York and large hail throughout the world.Climatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) soon discovers the storms are linked as part of the early stages of a new ice age. At first, the government is skeptical of his findings, but eventually realizes Earth is in the midst of a major natural makeover.Writer/director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, Godzilla) would seem to be the ideal choice for a film about a catastrophic series of natural disasters and for a while, it appears as if the director is going to pull it off.The scenes in which tornadoes rip through Los Angeles are riveting and among the best action sequences Ive seen this year. Even the storms in New York are impressive, although not nearly as memorable as the tornadoes.But once the two major storms end and the snow and cold weather set in, the film shifts into a subplot about Halls attempt to save his son (Jake Gyllenhaal), who is trapped in a library in New York. Its at this point The Day After Tomorrow fades into a standard action flick with stock characters. Emmerich even opts to give Gyllenhaal a love interest (Emmy Rossum from Mystic River) to try and inject some life into hour two, but that feels forced and only enhances the fact that theres not much left once the storms have subsided and that Emmerich may have painted himself into a corner.This is enhanced in the rather abrupt finale, which leaves more questions than answers.If only Emmerich could have figured out a way to keep hour ones momentum going, then The Day After Tomorrow could have joined Shrek 2 as a blockbuster worth the buzz. Instead, it falls into the same category as Troy and Van Helsing a big-budget miss that will be long forgotten by the time the summer movie season draws to a close.Dollar Dud of the WeekOkay, so this spot is usually reserved for the best bargain of the week, but theres nothing dandy about The Whole 10 Yards (F). Instead, its a textbook case of what happens when a moderately successful film gets stretched into an unnecessary sequel.The film picks up with Jimmy the Tulip (Bruce Willis) living a quiet life with his new wife, Jill (Amanda Peet), ready to leave behind his previous life as a mob hitman.Things are complicated when Oz (Matthew Perry), the dentist who helped Jimmy start his new life, shows up demanding help after Tulips childhood rival (Kevin Pollak) kidnaps Ozs wife (Natasha Henstridge).Ill admit I was a fan of the first film, which included a breakout performance by Peet. This time the situations are forced, the punchlines are flat and the actors are more like caricatures instead of actual characters.It all adds up to a film that gives Soul Plane a run for its money as the worst film of the year. The Whole 10 Yards opens Friday at the Plaza 6, where all movies are $1. Sportswriter/movie reviewer Micheal Compton, who has a 2,000-gallon stockpile of Mountain Dew Code Red in case of a global weather disaster, can be reached for comment by e-mailing  Daily News ·813 College St. ·PO Box 90012 ·Bowling Green, KY ·42102 ·270-781-1700 


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