The Day After Tomorrow (2004)


The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American science-fiction disaster film that depicts the catastrophic effects of global warming in a series of extreme weather events that usher in global cooling which leads to a new ice age. It did well at the box office, grossing $542,771,772 internationally. Domestically, it is the sixth highest grossing movie not to be #1 in the US box office (behind My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Alvin and the Chipmunks and its sequel, Sherlock Holmes, and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs), but worldwide, it is third behind only Ice Age 3 and Casino Royale. The movie was filmed in Montreal, and is the highest grossing Hollywood film in history to be filmed in Canada (if adjusted for inflation). The Day After Tomorrow premiered in Mexico City on May 17, 2004 and was released worldwide from May 26 to May 28 except in South Korea and Japan, where it was released June 4 and June 5, respectively. The film was originally planned for release in summer 2003. The film made $110,000,000 in DVD sales, bringing its total film gross to $654,771,772.


Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) is a paleoclimatologist on an expedition in Antarctica with colleagues, Frank (Jay O. Sanders) and Jason (Dash Mihok). They are drilling for ice core samples on the Larsen Ice Shelf for the NOAA when the shelf breaks off and Jack almost falls to his death. Later in New Delhi, Jack presents his findings on global warming at a United Nations conference, where diplomats and Vice President of the United States Raymond Becker (Kenneth Welsh) are unconvinced by Jack's findings. However, Professor Terry Rapson (Ian Holm) of the Hedland Climate Research Centre in Scotland believes in Jack's theories. Several buoys in the North Atlantic simultaneously show a massive drop in the ocean temperature, and Rapson concludes that melting polar ice is disrupting the North Atlantic current. He contacts Jack, whose paleoclimatological weather model shows how climate changes caused the first Ice Age, and can predict what will happen. Jack thought the events would take hundreds or thousands of years, but his team, along with NASA's meteorologist Janet Tokada (Tamlyn Tomita) build a forecast model with their combined data. Across the world, violent weather causes mass destruction, including a massive snowstorm in New Delhi, a powerful hailstorm striking Tokyo, Japan, and a series of devastating tornadoes in Los Angeles. President Blake (Perry King), authorizes the FAA to suspend all air traffic due to severe turbulence. At the International Space Station (ISS), three astronauts see a huge storm system spanning the northern hemisphere, delaying their returning home. The situation worsens when the latter develops into three massive hurricane-like superstorms, with their eyes holding super-cooled air that instantly freezes anything it comes in contact with. Jack's theories become reality in seven to ten days time. Meanwhile, Jack's son, Sam, (Jake Gyllenhaal) is in New York City for an academic competition with his friends Brian and Laura (Arjay Smith and Emmy Rossum), where they also befriend a student named J.D. (Austin Nichols). On the flight over, there is severe turbelence, and Sam grabs Laura's hand in fright. During the competition, birds migrating south suddenly fill the sky as animals all over New York become riled up. The weather becomes increasingly violent with intense winds and rains, causing the traffic-jammed Manhattan streets to become flooded knee-deep in a mix of rainwater, saltwater, and sewage. Sam calls his father, promising to be on the next train home, but the subways and Grand Central Terminal are closed due to flooding. As the storm worsens a massive tidal wave hits Manhattan, causing major flooding and killing thousands in the chaos. Sam and his friends seek shelter in the New York Public Library, but not before Laura gets wounded on her submerged leg. While survivors in the northern United States are forced to stay inside due to the cold, the President orders the evacuation of the southern states, causing almost all of the refugees to head to Mexico. Jack and his team set out for Manhattan to find his son. Their truck crashes just past Philadelphia, so the group continues on snowshoes. During the journey, Frank falls through the glass roof of a snow covered shopping mall. As Jason and Jack try to pull Frank up, the glass under them continues to crack. Frank sacrifices himself by cutting the rope and falling to the floor far below. Raymond Becker hears from the Madame Secretary that President Blake's motorcade was caught in one of the superstorms before he could make it to Mexico, so Raymond has been sworn in as the new President. In the library, Sam warns everyone to stay indoors, but few listen. The small group that remains burns books to stay alive and breaks the vending machine for food. Laura is afflicted with blood poisoning due to her cut leg being infected by the hazardous water that flooded the now-frozen streets. So Sam, Brian and J.D. search for penicillin in a derelict Russian cargo ship that drifted inland, and are attacked by starving wolves. The eye of the superstorm begins to pass over the city, instantly freezing everything from the top-down. The three barely get back to the library with the medicine, food and supplies they were able to scavenge. During the deep freeze, Jack and Jason take shelter in an abandoned Wendy's restaurant, then resume their journey after the astronauts confirm the storms dissipation, finally arriving in New York City. They find the library buried in snow, but find Sam's group alive after being rescued by Black Hawk helicopters. President Becker orders search and rescue teams to look for other survivors (having been given hope by the survival of Sam's group) as he does his first address to the nation. As the main characters are evacuated and flown over the city, they see that hundreds of other people also survived. The movie concludes with the astronauts looking down at Earth from the Space Station, showing most of the northern hemisphere covered in ice and snow, and a major reduction in pollution.