starring Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum, Dash Mihok
screenplay by Roland Emmerich & Jeffrey Nachmanoff
directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff
by Walter Chaw Roland Emmerich's The Day After Tomorrow completes a trilogy for the German director in which he trashes New York City, revealing either a deep hatred of the United States or a shocking disdain for civil planning. Aliens and a radioactive Japanese iguana the culprits in Independence Day and Godzilla, respectively, Emmerich's cycle of NYC flicks continues the evolution of blame from extra-terrestrial to the whimsical side-effects of military testing to, with The Day After Tomorrow, the Bush Jr. administration. The picture is overtly political, going so far as to offer a Mutt and Jeff duo as his fictional executive branch, while less stridently it presents what is possibly the first semi-literal 9/11 film in its vision of Gotham devastated from without and all warnings ignored, its denizens putting aside differences to survive and its emergency workers heroic and iconic. To compare a modern Ice Age (repeatedly referred to as a permanent shift in climate (was it ever)) to 9/11 is inelegant but, in the long run, perhaps ideologically accurate.