Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Failure of the Day: Expectations

We saw The Day After Tomorrow this afternoon, and it was, I thought, everything a person could want in a summer blockbuster. Especially a person who has a wee fetish for movies in which half the world’s population eats it.

Most of the reviewers who didn’t like it had the hilarious complaint that the global-warming-related events depicted in the movie were “too preposterous.” Uh-huh. Because teenagers get bitten by radioactive spiders all the time.

Some reviewers seem to suffer under the misapprehension that watching a disaster movie should be a transcendent experience. I myself prefer to take a thing for what it is and not shove an apple corer up its ass for not exploring the deeper implications of existence, but what do I know. And if the subplots are dumb and the outcome is predictable (and they are), at least there aren’t any goddamn sword fights.

Here’s the thing: the special effects are very, very good. Jake Gyllenhaal is adorable, and he’s wet a good portion of the time. Left-wingers get to chuckle smugly to themselves. The writing and acting are good enough that nobody trips over them. And I say again: People, really, what else do you want in a disaster movie?


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