Directed by Roland Emmerich
Story by Roland Emmerich
Screenplay by Roland Emmerich & Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer. Over the next few months movie theaters across the country will be inundated by the genre of Hollywood film known as Special Effects Pornography. Before I cause a national disaster comprised of young men flooding out of their parents' homes, clogging up the roadways and storming box-office windows let me point out that I am using the definition of "pornography" that means the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction.
After a moment of reflection, I realize the more common definition of pornography might be just as applicable because the only scenes in this film that anyone is going to care about involve "action." Whenever the film deals with the story, the plot makes no sense and is badly formulaic. The filmmakers just want to get to the next action sequence so they can show off their skills, which is the same feeling they pass onto the viewer.
The film starts as a trio of scientists are drilling in the Artic Circle. Their activity causes a gigantic crack in the Earth's surface that runs through their camp. The fissure continues to grow wider between the men and their equipment. Our hero, Jack Hall, played by Dennis Quaid, who acts as well as can be expected with this horrible script, risks his life by leaping back and forth over the fissure, so he can save some ice samples. He makes it back right before an enormous wall of ice falls away. The reason? We never find out, but most plot points are never followed up once their purpose to move the story along has been served. This happens throughout the film as I will illustrate later.
When we next see Jack, he is speaking at a global conference in New Delhi, India where the Vice President, a Dick Cheney caricature, completely disregards information about global warming. And not just the science presented to him but the concept in its entirety. Back home in Washington D.C. where Jack works for some government science institute, we learn about his family. It appears he is divorced from his wife, but that's never made clear although he doesn't live with her and is obviously more involved with his work. His son, Sam, is off to New York City to attend some kind of academic decathlon.