Boy, Roland Emmerich really is hurting for ideas.
If you’re familiar with his previous movies (ahem, Independence Day) then you’ve already seen The Day After Tomorrow. But just in case you don’t believe me, here’s what you’ll find in both movies:
Destruction of major landmarks that make for great trailers like The White House (ID4), New York City (via explosions, also ID4), New York City (via water and hail and frozen ice, in TDAT), Los Angeles’ Capitol Records Building (ID4 and TDAT), The Hollywood Sign (via tornado in TDAT), The Washington Monument (ID4), The Statue of Liberty (TDAT).
Situations that put a dog in danger. In ID4 it was the dog of Vivica A. Fox’s stripper character, who almost dies as he sits in a car in the middle of a tunnel as explosions rush towards him. In TDAT it is the dog of a homeless man and his dog almost dies as he sits in the middle of a library as frozen ice rushes towards him. In each movie, the dog (uh, yeah) survives.
Each movie has the female cohort to our main character (savior) in small roles doing minimal saving. In ID4 it is Mary McDonnell as the wife to our President (Bill Pullman) who crash lands in the middle of California while the alien attack is going on and joins up with the stripper and a truck driver and some others and tries to help them get rescued. In TDAT it is Sela Ward, the wife of our main character (Dennis Quaid) who stays in an abandoned hospital with a child that can only be moved by ambulance. She waits even though it’s dangerous until the help arrives.
ID4 had extremely silly moments of melodrama (can you say Harvey Fierstein?) as does TDAT (can we talk about the actor cast to LOOK like Vice President Cheyney) as well as some really annoying lines that make you want to laugh. ID4 had numerous scenes in small “observational scientific rooms” just as TDAT has. It also unfolds just as ID4 did. There is a countdown from the outset of the 2nd act of the movie, whereas in ID4 it was Jeff Goldum’s ticking clock until the aliens attacked, in this movie it is Dennis Quaid’s countdown of 6-8 days until the “storms” attack.
It’s no wonder the trailers and advertisements don’t say anything about Emmerich’s other movie (which follows similar moments of New York getting destroyed by a big reptile) because then we’d all be able to over-analyze his trifecta of movies whose differences can be simplified to three elements: aliens, huge reptiles and storms.
Really, Roland. Can’t we come up with something a little more original?
Assuming the movie does well this past weekend and Hollywood rewards Emmerich with yet another movie just like this, I’d like to offer up a list of “elements” that he can switch out while still using the same damn formula he’s used forever. Just replace these elements for the alien, reptile and storm devices…these are yet another huge list of things that could attack the world (and New York City) in one of his next movies:
giant leeches; “Bloodsuckers”
a huge comet; “The Night the Light Hit Georgia”
the sun; “Blaze of Glory”
extremely huge splinters; “Spears of Disaster”
ecstacy club kids; “Stayin’ Alive”