Then again, if we can suspend belief as L.A. collapses under multiple tornados and New York freezes over, what is sub-freezing weather? And so what if all the women are reduced to helpless damsels who need rescuing? The graphics are great. It’s fun to watch a tidal wave crash over the Statue of Liberty and submerge Manhattan (although personally, I would have chosen Toronto or Chicago – haven’t New Yorkers been through enough?). It’s cool to watch buildings being flash-frozen and a barge cruising between skyscrapers. And, I got a good laugh when Americans fled to Mexico but the Mexican president blocked the borders – another political “I told you so.”

In more than one way, this is the ultimate come-uppance movie for big bad Republicans. There’s also a strong nihilistic message about the end of the world, with nothing to do but listen to environmentalists for our salvation. A contradictory postmodern implication centers around faith. A character insists that God is a myth but saves a Guttenberg Bible – but for its literary and historical qualities. Finally, Hall’s character offers yet another equivocal message. In pursuing his career, Hall neglected his family, which led to their divorce. But, it is his work that allows him to save people. So if Hall had worked less, he would never have stumbled upon this discovery. Where is the balance? Emmerich only muddles the question.

I didn’t expect more than a few visual thrills – and I wasn’t disappointed. We need to respect the environment, but this movie will only make people hang onto their SUVs. After all, four-wheel drives can be very handy in the snow.

"The Day After Tomorrow"

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