With THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, director Roland Emmerich (INDEPENDENCE DAY, GODZILLA) trades evil aliens and radioactive lizards in for some seriously bad weather. When a radical change in the temperature of the world's oceans causes deadly storms and sets a new Ice Age in motion, climatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) must race from Washington D.C. to save his son, Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal), in the subzero climes of New York City. Elsewhere, tornadoes and hail menace the globe, leading to international disasters on an extraordinary level.
Emmerich, who has proven to be a master of big-budget cinematic destruction on numerous occasions, aims to outdo himself with THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. Here entire cities are ripped apart, flooded, and/or frozen, adding up to one of the biggest disaster movies ever filmed. Although astonishingly rendered special effects rule the movie, adept actors such as Quaid and Gyllenhaal (along with Sela Ward, Ian Holm, Emmy Rossum, and others) turn in solid performances that help to balance out the meteorological mayhem. Surprisingly, Emmerich also uses the film as a vehicle for clever moments of social and political commentary, making THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW admirably smarter and considerably more entertaining than typical Hollywood blockbusters.