Michael Totten

The Weather Movie

Saw The Day After Tomorrow. You know, the weather movie. Global warming cooks up Antarctica which melts fresh water ice into the ocean causing a breakdown in the salinity level which makes the North Atlantic current to go all out of whack. Then these big huge hurricane-looking superstorms pound the Northern Hemisphere and suck cold cold cold air from the top of the troposphere down into places like France and Manhattan. It was, as Matt Welch put it in his five-word review, utter horseshit but damned entertaining.
This is one of those movies where the characters are every bit as dumb as the director.
Manhattan is suddenly submerged beneath fifty feet of water, right? (This just suddenly happens for no particular reason.) And a bunch of people hide in an upstairs floor of the New York Public Library. Then 20 minutes later the ocean freezes solid and a blizzard dumps a foot of snow on it. Okay, I’m thinking. That’s total crap. I’m no climatologist, but I did live in the Midwest for a few years and I know how long it takes moving water to freeze — and we’re not talking 20 minutes.
So then everyone in the library gets a bright idea. Hey! We can walk out of here now that the ocean is frozen. The hotshot kid of a bad-ass climatologist says “Wait!” (This is only an approximate quote.) “We’ll freeze to death if we go out there.”
A bespectacled man looks at the kid and asks, “Where did you get that information?”
And I’m thinking, dude. The ocean just froze solid in 20 minutes. It’s freakin’ cold outside.
The whole movie is like that.
And throughout the whole movie I couldn’t help but think how Western-centric it was. I wanted to know what was going on in South America. And what about the Equator? Was it hotter or colder than it’s supposed to be? Was everything peachy in Peru? Was it raining llamas? Or what? There were token scenes of minor weather anomolies in India and Japan – nothing I haven’t actually seen for myself in the Midwest, including the big whopping hail stones. (I lost my windshield to a fist-sized hailstone in July, and the same storm produced one thirteen inches across that was found on a neighbor’s lawn.) Other than the token scenes in Asia, almost everything happened in the US. We saw a little bit of Europe. It wasn’t obnoxiously Western-centric, but enough for me to notice.
Then at the end of the movie the suddenly “enlightened” Dick Cheney character had the audacity to lecture me about how Western-centric we are. That just about killed me.
Fun movie, though.