TDAT has all the ingredients that every movie featuring a major-disaster has to have, like:
1. Major disaster
2. Only a few guys who actually see it coming
3. But no one will listen to them till it's too late
4. A moral to this effect: if we don't change our ways immediately, humanity could be wiped out. And this is a bad thing.
TDAT has all this and more. It has little stories about real people and their real lives caught in the eye of the storm, tales of courage and hope and brotherhood. But, we figure, it's okay to get a little soppy when the world is about to end. Besides, it's heartening to know that pointless philosophy, corny jokes and hormones can survive even the dawning of the next Ice Age.
And it's exactly this predicament that Adrian Hall (Dennis Quaid) is screaming himself hoarse about. We must put an end to global-warming, he says at a UN convention, or our children will pay the price. Don't you see that, people? Don't you see?
But even as Hall is finishing his speech and having world leaders be dumb at him, the world is being deluged. The polar ice caps have started to melt; it's snowing in Delhi, raining chunks of ice in Tokyo and people are freezing solid in Scotland. We'll risk a pun and say that this last phenomenon is actually pretty cool to watch.
When you go to watch a movie like this one, we take it you like computer graphics. Well, you won't be disappointed. The special effects - especially the freezing bits - are totally worth your while. Otherwise the film looks and sounds like a documentary, except for the mandatory human-interest stories. After all you can't watch tornadoes, floods, hailstorms and blizzards all the time.
Speaking of nasty weather, the entire first half of this movie is dedicated to the obliteration of North America. Mostly we watch twisters rip through LA and Manhattan going under (you can tell because there's a ocean cruiser parked next to the Public Library).
This library is where Hall's son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal), his friends, the nerd-squad, and several other New Yorkers are marooned. As he throws books into the fireplace, nurses a sick girlfriend (Emmy Rossum), and fights off a pack of wolves on the run, he waits for his father to keep his promise. The second half of the movie tracks Hall's perilous journey to his son, and the course of three ice storms that freeze everything they touch, including people, buildings and even a waving flag. Just like someone hit the Pause button.
Of course, eventually the thaw sets in, the sun shines and it all works out the day after tomorrow.
So here's the point, in case you were wondering. The end of the world is closer than you think. If we continue to burn up the ozone layer, there is no hope for us and it will all be over in a century or so, give or take a couple of hundred years. This is the time to think about our children and our children's children and their children.
Then again, as Groucho once said - I've seen the next generation. Maybe it's best if this whole thing ends right here.