Posts Tagged ‘post-apocalyptic film’

Aeon Flux (2005)

06/07/2011 2 comments

In 1991, Korean American animator Peter Chung came up with an avant-garde animated series called Aeon Flux, featuring trippy imagery, surreal anatomy, and a gleeful shredding of many sci fi action conventions. It premiered as six-part short film on MTV’s Liquid Television, and went on to spawn two more seasons, until in 2005 the decision was made to make a live-action movie based on it.


Aeon Flux is a sci fi action film directed by Karyn Kusama, based on the Aeon Flux animated series. It stars Charlize Theron, Sophie Okonedo, Marton Csokas, Jonny Lee Miller, Frances McDormand, and Amelia Warner.

After a virus in the year 2011 wiped out 99% of the Earth’s population, all the survivors live in the walled city of Bregna, ruled by a congress of scientists headed by one Trevor Goodchild. While Bregna is utopic on its surface, people are disappearing, and everyone is plagued by nightmares. Aeon Flux, a member of an underground rebel group known as the Monicans, returns home from a mission to take out a surveillance station, only to find that her sister Una has been killed, mistaken for a Monican. Aeon is sent on another mission to assassinate Goodchild, but what she discovers will shake her perceptions of Bregna and the world she thought she knew…

I remember watching Aeon Flux on MTV during the 90’s, and while it was often surreal and trippy, it was engaging and easy to follow (even the original series of shorts, which had no dialogue). It quickly established a virus-ridden future with Aeon on one side of the battle and her nemesis Trevor Goodchild on the other. Later series threw some complexity into the mix by making them lovers as well as rivals, but it still worked. How did the movie do? Well… On the bright side, this movie is very nice to look at. Bregna is a beautiful, geometric city-state, the fashions are almost as weird as those in the original cartoons, and the technology is eye-popping and organic. While a live-action movie can’t quite capture the full spectrum of weird anatomy featured in the animation (for obvious reasons), the execution of Silandra’s hand-feet was seamless and well-done. The plot is fairly action-packed, with twists and turns that will keep you guessing even if you’re intimately familiar with the original.

Unfortunately, this last bit is mainly due to the fact that the movie is almost completely divorced from the animated series, plot-wise. If you approach this movie hoping to see Charlize Theron in the bondage gear, thigh-high boots, and ram-horn hair of the original, you are going to be sorely disappointed. The only apparent nods the movie gives the original is the deadly virus and making Aeon and Trevor lovers (from a previous lifetime, but still). Aside from this, the story just makes no damn sense once you start looking at the details. The original was trippy, but at least it didn’t confuse cloning with reincarnation, it made sense within the logic of its setting, and it had the common decency not to be so… generic. In the end, even though this movie bears the title Aeon Flux, I am left wondering if Peter Chung was anywhere near this movie when it was made.

In the end, I am left with the impression that whoever was responsible for this movie owes Peter Chung a sincere apology. They took an innovative, ground-breaking animated series and made a pretty but confusing and overall bland live-action movie out of it. Avoid this one.


9 (2009)

It is inevitable that humanity will eventually die out. Depending on your level of optimism, some theories of human extinction may be more inevitable than others. Relatively recently, scientists have started wondering about what legacy humans will leave behind on planet Earth when we, as a species, go to our final reward. What, if anything, will be left behind to carry on our work?

9 is a computer animated science fantasy film directed by Shane Acker, based on Acker’s short film of the same title. It stars the voices of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau, and Christopher Plummer.

It is wartime. An unnamed Scientist is charged with building an artificially intelligent device called the Fabrication Machine, which will build other machines to wage war against a dictator’s enemies. Sometime later, we see that this was apparently a spectacularly bad idea, as humanity has subsequently been wiped out, their mighty civilization in ruins. However, life remains… sort of. Nine small homunculus-like ragdolls called Stitchpunks remain in this barren landscape, created for a purpose that they do not yet know. One of these, 9, was the last to be created before the Scientist died, and he finds himself in a terrifying world where remaining war machines hunt the Stitchpunks as the Stitchpunks try to find safety and a purpose. They are inquisitive and industrious, able to improvise any number of weapons and devices from the odds and ends they find around them, but this soon gets 9 in trouble when he accidentally reactivates the Fabrication Machine, which commences hunting the ‘punks in earnest. 9 believes their only hope is to fight back, but the spiritual leader 1 believes that survival will only come by running away and hiding… and 1 is willing to make sacrifices to ensue his ideal society. Before long, they ‘punks start running out of places to hide, and soon they must face this new horror, or risk their own annihilation.

This is a beautifully rendered movie. Due to the relative scale (the Stitchpunks are only about six inches tall), the debris left over by the apocalypse forms a new landscape for them to explore – a sandbox for the little MacGyvers to build what they need out of what is left behind. The nine main characters are surprisingly unique for burlap ragdolls, and I was amazed at how expressive and distinguishable their faces were, considering they were basically a couple of lenses (or, in the case of 5, a single lens) with a slit for a mouth. In addition to distinct appearances, each Stitchpunk also has a unique personality, easily avoiding the pitfall of making them little carbon copies of one another by making them embody aspects of the Scientist who made them. The war machines are also innovative and terrifying, from the Fabrication Machine (which reminded me vaguely of GlaDOS from Portal) to the Seamstress (who looked like Sid from Toy Story had allied with the Other Mother from Coraline to make a Stitchpunk hunting monster). The world inhabited by the stitchpunks is huge and beautiful and frightening, and a delight to watch.

Unfortunately, in actual substance the world of 9 falls short. It is light on explanations and thin on plot, and while an unexplained world like this can make the exploration of its mysteries a delight, here it was a bit frustrating. I didn’t get the feeling that the Stitchpunks learned anything about what happened to the world, and while they made progress against the War Machines and maybe helped nudge the world back to life (if inadvertantly), I had no real feeling of progress. Like little robots, the Stitchpunks are only following their programming, which appears to be compiling information and rebuilding the world any way they can. What plot there is doesn’t seem to quite stretch to cover the 79-minute running time, making the bulk of the film feel like mostly padding.

While 9 is beautifully detailed and demonstrates a Stitchpunk’s-eye view of a post-apocalyptic world, ultimately it falls short in terms of plot and feels like it could have been so much more. Worth a rent for the visuals alone, but other than that don’t look too hard for a complex story.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

05/20/2011 1 comment

What do you get when you cross a Steven Spielberg movie with a Stanley Kubrick movie? What do you get when you update Pinocchio to a futuristic setting? What do you get when you combine all of these together into a single movie? You get this.

A. I. Artificial Intelligence is a sci fi drama film directed, produced, and co-written by Steven Spielberg, based on the short story “Super-Toys Last All Summer Long” by Brian Aldiss. It stars Haley Joel Osment, Frances O’Connor, Jude Law, Sam Robards, and William Hurt, with a brief camero by Robin Williams.

It is the near future. With the melting of the polar ice caps, coastal cities have been flooded, forcing people inland. With the reduction in available resources, a new class of robots is invented, capable of emulating human emotions – but their creator has something more in mind for artificial humans. Professor Hobby has created a prototype child robot that is capable of feeling true love, like that felt by a child for its parent, rather than merely emulating the appropriate behaviors. His company, Cybertronics, tests the child robot, named David, on a pair of their employees, the Swintons, whose biological son Martin is sick with an unidentified disease and currently in cryogenic suspension. Monica Swinton is initially afraid of this robot child, but she soon warms to him after activating the imprinting protocol, causing him to irreversibly feel love for his “mother”. Things get awkward later on, though, when a cure is found for Martin’s illness and he is able to come home. A sibling rivalry erupts as the two vie for Monica’s love, with David not understanding what is upsetting their parents so much. Things come to a head at Martin’s birthday party by the pool, nearly resulting in Martin’s drowning, and the decision is made to send David back to Cybertronics to be destroyed. Monica has grown to love David, though, and can’t bear the thought of him being destroyed like a common robot, so she abandons him in the woods, instructing him to do whatever he can to escape. From here, David teams up with Gigolo Joe, a lover-mecha on the run after being accused of murder, and embarks on a journey to find his place in this world, to explore the meaning of love, and to find a way to finally earn his mother’s love by becoming a real boy.

Spielberg is one of the great geniuses of filmmaking, as was Kubrick before his death. It makes sense that Kubrick would have asked Spielberg to helm this movie, and for the most part the two style combined well. This vision of the future is melancholy, by turns heartwarming and heartbreaking as we see the lengths to which mankind will go to maintain their humanity – on the one hand, they fill out their dwindling population with robots created in their own image to act as everything from executive assistants to prostitutes, but at the same time the humans seem to fear their uncannily-perfect creations, exemplified by the Flesh Fair, a sort of demolition derby involving outdated or castoff mechas, attended by those who fear being replaced by their mechanical counterparts. A common recurring theme throughout the movie is the nature of love, explored from the respective points of view of David, the child mecha, and Gigolo Joe, a prostitute mecha. In Joe’s mind, humans are imperfect, but he is programmed to make them feel beautiful. In David’s mind, he himself is imperfect, programmed to love unconditionally but apparently rejected for being artificial. The robot effects are excellent, nudging you into the uncanny valley from the human side as the mechas look too perfect to be real when intact, and entirely too human when malfunctioning or in pieces. In fact, Kubrick had sat on this project for about twenty years because he felt that CG effects would be needed to bring his childlike hero to life.

Now for the shortcomings. First off, while a child robot that will love you forever seems like a great idea, in fact it’s a terrible idea, because you’re stuck with this little entity that will be ten years old and dependent on you forever. Whether or not David’s mass production (and that off his distaff counterpart Darla) ultimately led to the downfall of civilization is left unclear, which brings me to my next complaint: the ending. The last half hour felt tacked on for the sake of giving David at least half a happy ending, and just dragged on and on and on like an ex that just won’t let things go, and just made the movie too damn long. Many have proposed suitable moments where the movie could have ended, albeit tragically, and given that this was originally a Kubrick film this could have fit just fine. Seriously – the epilogue takes place 2000 years later. And it keeps going. And going. And going… Making the end product feel just too damn long.

If you’re looking for a futuristic Pinocchio tale with all the trappings and you’re feeling patient enough to sit through your happy ending, give A. I. Artificial Intelligence a shot. Spielberg and Kubrick’s diverse styles largely combine well to offer an ultimately tragic glance at a dwindling future, even if it could have used a bit more trimming at the end.

28 Days Later (2002)

After waking from a long nap, there is always that feeling of disorientation as you try to get your bearings. This is especially difficult if things have changed drastically since you went to sleep. Meet Jim. He’s been in a coma for 28 days. In that time, the world has ended.

28 Days Later is a zombie horror film directed by Danny Boyle and written by Alex Garland. It stars Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, and Christopher Eccleston.

When a group of British animal liberation activists break into a lab to free some monkeys being used in medical research, they are warned that the monkeys are infected with a “rage virus” in the hopes of curing aggressive tendencies in humans. They don’t listen, and of course once they free one of the monkeys, one of the activists gets bitten, and hilarity ensues. Fast forward to 28 days later. Jim, a bicycle courier, awakens from a coma to discover that apparently London is completely devoid of human life, in one of the eeriest sequences in the whole movie. Then he discovers that, no, London is not abandoned – it’s populated by rage zombies. Yay. Fortunately the merry chase that ensues ends with Jim being rescued by a pair of uninfected survivors, Selena and Mark, who fill him in: the rage zombies are not dead, just really, really pissed off, and they try to kill anyone who isn’t infected. Trouble is, the rage virus spreads through bodily fluids, so a bite on even a bit of slobber getting in the wrong spot means that in a matter of seconds you’re one of them. Selena has hardened herself to this way of life, killing Mark without hesitation when he is cut in another fight with the Infected. It is not long, though, before they find another pocket of survivors, Frank and his teenage daughter Hannah, who offer them a place to stay and a glimmer of hope: a pre-recorded radio broadcast apparently being transmitted by an Army blockade in Manchester claiming to hold the solution to the Infection. Sounds great, right? Of course it does. Think it’ll be that easy? This is a zombie movie – of course it won’t. However, with dwindling supplies, the survivors have little choice but to investigate, and hope that they can survive the hordes of infected Rage zombies on the way…

I love zombie movies. They can be goofy and fun, or terrifying and claustrophobic, sometimes even within the same movie. 28 Days Later offered an interesting twist on the classic zombie – the living zombie, something previously explored by Romero’s original version of The Crazies but nearly forgotten until now. 28 Days Later crosses the living zombie with the fast zombie – something used extensively in the Return of the Living Dead series but since discarded until fairly recently with the Dawn of the Dead remake. This combination of zombie traits makes for a frenetic, terrifying take on the zombie movie. You don’t have time to react. You have to kill them or be torn apart. Infection takes seconds. And they absolutely hate you. The military subplot also reminds me a lot of the military subplot in Day of the Dead; the Army dudes have their own ideas about what constitutes a “solution” to the Infection, and once it is discovered you’re left with a general feeling of, “Well, we’re screwed now.” Because that’s what the military does in these movies: they take a bad situation and make it worse in the hopes of making it better.

The cast was tight and well-cast. Cillian Murphy works well here as disoriented coma patient Jim, the guy to whom the London situation must be explained by the others. He just wants to survive and get back to a normal life, and he is just as desperate and terrified as one would expect an uninfected human in a zombie apocalypse would be, but when he snaps – boy howdy. His woobie-ness goes away instantly, turning into a savagery that makes his later role in Red Eye look like Barney the Purple Dinosaur. Selena is another aspect of the zombie survivor, reluctant to make any human connections because she know that she might have to kill any allies without hesitation. Frank and Hannah comprise another aspect, the caregiver playing at normality to avoid traumatizing his young ward too much. And Major Henry West… you know, I’ve seen Christopher Eccleston in three roles so far, and only one of them, the Ninth Doctor, has been even remotely benevolent. I would call him Pragmatic Evil here.

Overall, 28 Days Later is a worthy addition to the zombie subgenre, effectively walking the line between subtlety and blind terror in its depiction of a once-bustling city given over almost completely to the Rage Virus. I highly recommend this one to all zombie fans.

12 Monkeys (1995)

James Cole is almost sure he isn’t crazy. He might not be able to reconcile his memories and visions with his current surroundings, but he is almost sure he’s not crazy. The trouble is, if he is crazy, everything will be fine. If he’s not, 5 billion people are going to die, very soon.

12 Monkeys is a sci fi film directed by Terry Gilliam, inspired by the short film La jetée by Chris Marker. It stars Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Jon Seda, David Morse, and Christopher Plummer.

James Cole is a convict living in a future where humanity has been ravaged and forced underground by a deadly virus, believed to have been released by an extremist group called the Army of the Twelve Monkeys. In order to earn a pardon, Cole is sent on a number of missions back through time in order to gather information of the virus and the Army of the Twelve Monkeys and if possible, to gather a pure sample of the virus so a cure may be engineered. However, his explanations about the virus and the grim future it causes are dismissed as the deranged ramblings of a schizophrenic, and he is sent to a mental institution. It soon appears that other “crazy” people might also be temporally displaced individuals like Cole himself on similar missions, and Cole desperately recruits his own psychiatrist, Dr. Kathryn Railly, for help in saving a future he is starting to believe might not exist…

Ah, Terry Gilliam. One of the founding members of the Monty Python troupe, Gilliam has gone on to direct some of the trippier movies in the spec fiction genre. Like Tim Burton, Gilliam’s movies tend to have a dark fairytale vibe to them, and 12 Monkeys is no exception. Messing with the viewer through the eyes of its protagonist, this movie explores themes like insane prophet vs. harbinger from the future, and whether the viewer can fully trust the POV character’s own observations, or if, as many of the 1996 characters believe, they are just delusions. The post-virus future is disorienting and trippy itself, to the point that it is logical for Cole to start believing it is only the product of an insane mind.

Of course, the film would fall flat without the superb acting of its principal cast. Bruce Willis (who worked for free just to get the chance to work with Gilliam) switches genres again, from action to drama, in effect playing an anti-badass here. Yes, he kicks ass when pressed, but most of the time he doubts himself, doubts his perceived mission, doubts his own perceptions of reality. Madeleine Stowe as Dr. Railly acts as his grounding force, trying to link him with the present even as she finds evidence that he might not be delusional, first fearing him but then wanting to help him find some sort of closure, either in fulfilling his mission or simply finding a place to be. Blurring the line between sanity and insanity is the inclusion of Brad Pitt as Jeffrey Goines (whose twitchy mannerisms were induced by simply taking away his cigarettes during filming), a genuinely(?) crazy character liked to the Army of the Twelve Monkeys whose own ramblings mirror Cole’s desperate attempts to warn the people about their impending near-extinction.

If you’re looking for a movie that messes with your head, you want to see Bruce Willis playing against type, or you’re just a fan of Terry Gilliam, check out this movie. It’s a delightful little Inception-lite puzzle that will hold your interest as you watch everything come full-circle.

The Happening (2008)

M. Night Shyamalan is capable of making good movies. For example:

The Sixth Sense: Good movie.

Unbreakable: Good movie.

Signs: Decent movie.

While some might deride him as a Small Name Big Ego director, he is capable of taking simple things and making them spooky as hell… which makes me wonder what happened with The Happening.

The Happening focuses on an unexplained phenomenon that causes people to spontaneously commit suicide in strange and improbable ways, like an entry of Final Destination turned inside out. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo, and a whole bunch of other people that you won’t really care about.

Wahlberg plays high school science teacher Elliot Moore, who improbably subscribes to the school that accepts “hell if I know” as a valid and complete answer to questions. After hearing about a mass suicide of random people in Central Park, he decides to leave Philadelphia with his wife Alma (Deschanel) and escape to Harrisburg, accompanied by Elliot’s friend and fellow teacher Julian (Leguizamo) and Julian’s eight-year-old daughter Jess. Julian’s wife is stuck in Philadelphia but expected to join them later. Complicating matters is the fact that Elliot and Alma seem to be having marital difficulties. I say seem because aside from Alma getting e-stalked by some guy named Joey – which Elliot doesn’t know about for two-thirds of the movie – there seems to be no real reason for this. At all.

Of course, when the train loses radio contact with the other stations, it stops off in a small town to drop of the passengers, leaving Our Intrepid Heroes to try to find their own way to Harrisburg, only to find that Harrisburg has been afflicted with mass suicides as well. A random botanist suggests that perhaps the plants are releasing a chemical that turns off the human survival instinct (though in practice it seems more like whatever it is throws the switch all the way into reverse), and as time passes it appears that the phenomenon is affecting smaller and smaller groups of people, driving people to seek out unpopulated areas (instead of scattering, because a whole bunch of people flocking to an unpopulated area is going to very quickly make it not unpopulated), while avoiding routes and areas already strewn with dead bodies. Meanwhile, Elliot is trying to remain scientific about this whole thing, even though ultimately the phenomenon is exactly following the Shit Happens That We Can’t Understand line of thinking he demonstrated at the beginning.

While Shyamalan (maybe) tried to evoke the same feelings of suspense that Alfred Hitchcock did with The Birds, presenting a strange occurance that we can neither comprehend nor stop, ultimately the clunky writing and half-assed acting took away from any promise the plot had. The dialogue was awkward. The expository scenes were shoehorned in. Of the core cast, John Leguizamo was the best-established actor, and the most wasted. Zooey Deschanel mainly acted with her huge soulful eyes, and Mark Wahlberg frequently looked constipated. Shyamalan’s later assertion that this was supposed to be a post-modern B-movie seemed like he was just trying to save face, especially in the wake of his critical flop Lady in the Water. While the concept of a toxin that makes us commit suicide seemed like a perfectly terrifying idea, ultimately this movie falls flat.

Now, I freely admit that I have seen some bad movies. Most bad movies I’ve seen are entertaining in spite or because of their badness. This one just struck me as an awkward bashing together of things that individually can be found in entertaining B Movies but together in this combination do not happen to make an entertaining B Movie. Give this one a miss.

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

People tend to be very visually oriented. With all the recent talk about impending global climate change due to human activity, naturally people wanted to see for themselves what the possible consequences would be. You could trot out all the graphs, charts, and theoretical projections you wanted, but none of those seem really concrete. Then a director came along who decided to show people what disastrous global climate change might look like.

Naturally, it was Roland Emmerich. And lots of shit gets broken along the way.

The Day After Tomorrow is a sci fi disaster movie directed by the reigning king of disaster movies himself, portraying the Earth thrown into a second Ice Age as a result of global warming. (Stay with us, here.) It starts Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jay O. Sanders, Dash Mihok, Emmy Rossum, Ian Holm, Sela Ward, and Sasha Roiz.

Jack Hall (Quaid) is a paleoclimatologist whose job often keeps him away from his wife Lucy (Ward), a physician, and his teenage son Sam (Gyllenhaall). While collecting core samples for the NOAA, the ice shelf he and his colleagues Frank (Sanders) and Jason (Mihok) are working on suddenly breaks off and slides into the sea, taking half the camp with it. The core samples they have collected point to a possible second ice age approaching, and Jack presents his findings at a United Nations conference in New Delhi, but he is blown off. I mean, if his models are accurate, nothing will happen for the next 100 to 1000 years, so what’s the rush. However, Jack’s findings get the attention of Professor Terry Rapson from the Hedland Climate Research Center in Scotland. Two buoys in the North Atlantic have simultaneously shown a drastic drop in temperature there, and Rapson concludes that the melting of the ice caps from global warming are disrupting the North Atlantic current, which keeps the Northern Hemisphere temperate. Rapson contacts Jack, and the two put their heads together to figure out what is likely to happen. They soon figure out that a Roland Emmerich movie is about to happen, as violent changes in weather begin to cause worldwide destruction, from a snowstorm in New Delhi to a series of Tornadoes shredding Los Angeles, including the laser-guided tornado that takes out the Hollywood sign. Just because, that’s why. And all evidence points to things getting a hell of a lot worse before they get better, with the predicted Ice Age coming in a week rather than years down the road.

Meanwhile, Sam Hall is in New York City for an academic competition, after a really hairy plane ride. During the competition, violent weather bears down on the area, halting trains, closing the roads, and shutting down airports. When a massive tidal wave floods the streets and the temperature starts plummeting, Sam and his fellow competitors take shelter in the New York Public Library to ride out the storm. When the President of the United States order the evacuation of the southern U.S. to escape the storm, Jack embarks on a desperate journey north, into the same storm that he just told the President would instantly kill anyone out in it, to search for his son. He has experience travelling in Arctic conditions, but can he reach his son in time?

The Day After Tomorrow follows closely in the footsteps of Emmerich’s other disaster movies, namely in the tradition of destroying or defacing recognizeable landmarks in the most spectacular ways possible. The Hollywood sign is obliterated. The Statue of Liberty is covered in ice. Manhattan gets turned into a winter wonderland an icy hell. And along the way, lots of slightly dodgy science is used to justify it, though not on the same scale of audacity as demonstrated in 2012. While much of the mayhem demonstrated here isn’t quite possible by the current climate patterns, if those patterns were to change… Well, you know. The sequence with Sam & Co. outrunning an oncoming flash-freeze in the eye of the storm did stretch even the willing suspension of disbelief necessary for watching a disaster movie, though, and the wolves escaping from the New York zoo seemed to only be there to give the Manhattan subplot one more avenue of danger for its own sake. And the Kyoto hailstorm seems to only confirm my belief that filmmakers do not know how to simulate realistic hail, ever.

The acting was surprisingly good here, with A-Lister Dennis Quaid playing the estranged family man and frustrated scientist trying desperately to prove that Bad Things are on the way, but Vice President Dick Cheney Raymond Becker blowing off his findings out of hand seemed a bit clunky, like Emmerich just felt the movie needed a naysayer in the same vein as Secretary of Defense Nimzicki in Independence Day. He did remedy this trend in 2012, I’m happy to say. My only complaint was the number of times Jack’s subarctic expedition to Manhattan took their gloves off in supposedly deadly cold. Jake Gyllenhaal as Sam also did well, trying to get the situation under pseudo-control and keep his friends alive, and volunteering to go out to the icebound ship outside the library for penicillin did feel like warranted desperation rather than, “I’m one of the heroes, I must go outside to scout around because that’s just what I do! *dramatic pose*”. The guy who wanted to hang on the the Gutenberg Bible in order to preserve that element of civilization needed a good shake, though. I mean, seriously – civilization might be on the verge of collapse. Let it go. Seriously.

While the science is tilted slightly to the left to make the story work and the lesson of GLOBAL WARMING BAD is pretty much beaten into our heads at awkward intervals, overall The Day After Tomorrow works as a climatological disaster movie. Roland Emmerich takes the usual frame work of OMG TORNADO or OMG SNOWSTORM and scales it up into a hemisphere-wide disaster. If you like your disasters huge and your destruction spectacular, The Day After Tomorrow won’t disappoint.