Sunday, May 30, 2004

The NAY After Tomorrow (*** SPOILERS ***)

I hate Roland Emmerich.

He is the writer/producer/director of some of the biggest, dumbest blockbusters spewing out of Hollywood these days. He did Independence Day (I know, you loved it, but it was Dumb with a capital W.) He also did Godzilla, (dumb) and now The Day After Tomorrow. What makes me so angry about him and his movies is that I naively assume that if someone is handed over one hundred million dollars to make a movie, they might at least attempt to make something with a shred of common sense in it. I truly believe Roland is a moron.

Little Donnie Darko Boy tells his dad he's safe in the library, and now Daddy is going to rescue him. Manhattan. Library. That's like saying "I'm in Seattle, come meet me at Starbucks." To be fair, there is one famous Public Library (the one with the marble lions out front.) It's about 10 blocks north of the Empire State Building and not on the lower east side where Roland seems to have put it, but that's a minor quibble.

Our main characters are trapped in a library. They have shelter, fire, and all the fresh water they could possibly want. Their only real threat is that they absolutely MUST keep the fire going for about 30 minutes while the eye of the storm passes over them, bringing ultra-cold air down freezing everything instantly. Contestants on Survivor wish they had it that easy. There's no food in the library, yet they don't think to walk across the street to another building to look for food?

Don't burn books, burn the bookSHELVES. The wood will burn much longer and hotter.

I've seen snack carts on airplanes; two highly experienced flight attendants can't navigate a cart down the aisle without smashing my knee. Yet in the film when the plane is in freefall the cart can slide the entire length of the plane as if Tiger Woods were making a putt.

A group of refugees decide to set out on foot to leave Manhattan. They make it to Brooklyn, but as the storm gets worse, they ask if they should head back. Instead of going back to the library, how about just going inside one of the over 500 high-rise buildings right in Brooklyn?!

After the storm passes, our heroes leave Manhattan and start walking out across the frozen ocean towards the Statue of Liberty. Only Roland knows why the hell anybody would do this.

One of the defining moments of the film is when a huge tidal wave smashes against the eastern seaboard of Manhattan. There's only one problem with this: Manhattan doesn't have a coastline. It's an island formed by RIVERS, not oceans. In the movie, we see the waves crashing over the Statue of Liberty on their way towards midtown. Unfortunately, the statue is just off the southwest tip of Manhattan in a well-protected bay, not in the middle of the open ocean. As near as I can tell, the movie is suggesting that this tidal wave originated in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Look at the map; you tell me, where exactly is this ocean-front property in Manhattan?

I admit I don't know a lot about ocean dynamics, so I'm not sure how a 200-foot ocean swell would travel. Maybe the film just assumes that all of Brooklyn and Queens was already underwater? All I know is that something, somewhere, doesn't make sense.

Yes, you think I'm nit-picking. And if this were some sort of tongue-in-cheek James Bond fantasy I'd just let everything go. But time and time again, Roland is told "um, you know that this could like, never happen, right?" and he just says "I dunno. Doesn't matter."

For one hundred million dollars, I think it SHOULD matter.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

Permanent link

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by