Monday, June 07, 2004

A Comic Book Guy moment

I saw the movie The Day After Tomorrow this weekend. While it wasn’t the worst disaster movie I’ve ever seen, I just never got caught up in the momentum of the story. This allowed me to see all of the many, many problems with the plot. The special effects were very good – I’ll give them credit for that. Loved the ship sailing up 5th Avenue. The 80 feet of snow or whatever looked cool. But here’s what Hollywood has to learn…you need writers! You really do! Here, in no particular order, are a few of the problems I have with this movie:

1. People are holed up in the NewYork Public Library. All of New York has seriously flooded (ship sailing up 5th Ave, remember?) and then frozen solid and a freak blizzard is raging outside. So when Jake Gyllenhall tries to keep people from following the cop outside by telling them that they will freeze to death very quickly, why doesn’t anyone listen? He’s making sense, and yet the only people who stay with him are his friends, two librarians, and a homeless guy and his dog. Are we all really supposed to be that stupid?
1a. When the people who leave the library start freezing to death, they are still in New York City! It’s not like they all keeled over at once. Why don’t they go inside one of the many buildings that are all around them and try to get warm and wait out the storm?

2. The guys at the weather station in Scotland. Everyone says they are going to die when their generator runs out. Why is that, exactly? The folks at the New York Public Library don’t have one. There’s a whole of stuff they could be setting on fire for warmth.
2a. Then, the guys in Scotland break out the 12 year old whiskey because they know the end is near, and their toasts are “To England, to mankind, and to Manchester United?” I don’t think so. Maybe Man United. No way on the other two.

3. Dennis Quaid and two other guys head out to try to rescue the people in New York. They’re climatologists and they are the only ones who truly understand the storm, so they pack up a pick-up truck and head north. A pick-up truck? Wouldn’t a snowmobile make more sense?
3a. Naturally, they have to abandon the pick-up truck around Philadelphia. As they head north on foot, the somehow end up walking across the glass roof of a mall. They just wandered off the highway onto the roof of a building? Possible, but it seems like a stretch. I just think they could have come up with some more creative obstacles for the climatologists to run into.

4. The wolves. They show all these animals at the zoo going nuts before the storm hits. This actually makes sense, because animals are supposed to be able to tell about that sort of thing. But, somehow the wolves escape from the zoo and turn up later as villains. So, what, the approaching storm gave the wolves super zoo-escaping powers? What about the rest of the animals? If it was so easy for the wolves to get out, why didn’t the polar bears bust out of this half-assed zoo and frolic in the snow?

5. What was the point of the plotline about the mom (Sela Ward) getting stuck in the hospital with the little boy who had cancer? Nothing happened. She sat around looking sadly at the falling snow and at the little boy whose tumor was so bad that he can’t see. And then the ambulance guys showed up.

6. The president and vice-president are clearly supposed to be Bush and Cheney. Evil, environment hating vice-president who looks like he eats small children. Younger, confused president who doesn’t know how to deal with a crisis. Got it. So, when the big storm hits and they are evacuating everyone, the president stays in the White House until everyone else is gone, and then the motorcade doesn’t make it? First of all, no way would George W EVER put someone else’s safety before his. EVER. Second of all, this is the president. They aren’t going to have the best Artic trained military guys and all of the top of the line equipment ready to get him out? No, they’re just going to chuck him in a limo and head out into the snow. And why don’t they show the motorcade going over a cliff or whatever? That would be more exciting than the falling through the roof scene.
6b. Cheney would NEVER have a change of heart at the end of the movie and admit he was wrong. A heart attack, maybe. But not a change of heart.

And I’m not even talking about the science part of it. I don’t actually know if the science behind this movie is even remotely valid. My guess would be probably not. But I’m willing to suspend my disbelief for an hour and a half. Just don’t treat me like an idiot.

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