The Day After Tomorrow

A whopping case of the greenhouse effect (or what I prefer to call Bush weather) melts the ice cores in Antarctica and floods Manhattan, which then freezes over; before long the disaster has nearly wiped out humanity as we know it (in other words, the U.S. and environs, though Canada is barely mentioned). Schlockmeister Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) has his usual field day with synthetic but enjoyable special effects and crosscutting between subplots (far fewer than usual). There are some fine ironic plot turns (Americans wind up in Mexican refugee camps, and the U.S. president declares, We were wrongI was wrong), but the story mainly hinges on whether ace climatologist Dennis Quaid can make up for his negligence as a father and get from Washington, D.C., to the New York Public Library before his son (Jake Gyllenhaal) and a few others run out of books to burn. All in all, good silly fun. With Ian Holm, Emmy Rossum, and Sela Ward. PG-13, 124 min. (JR)

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