This double feature packs a punch with two epic tales about natural disaster.
With THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, director Roland Emmerich (INDEPENDENCE DAY, GODZILLA) exchanges evil aliens and radioactive lizards for some seriously bad weather. When a radical change in the temperature of the world's oceans causes deadly storms and sets a new Ice Age in motion, climatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) must race from Washington, D.C., to save his son, Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal), in the subzero climes of New York City. Elsewhere, tornadoes and hail menace the globe, leading to international disasters on an extraordinary level. Here, entire cities are ripped apart, flooded, and/or frozen, adding up to one of the biggest disaster movies ever filmed. Although astonishingly rendered special effects rule the movie, adept actors such as Quaid and Gyllenhaal (along with Sela Ward, Ian Holm, Emmy Rossum, and others) turn in solid performances that help to balance out the meteorological mayhem. Surprisingly, Emmerich also uses the film as a vehicle for clever moments of social and political commentary, making THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW admirably smarter and considerably more entertaining than typical Hollywood blockbusters.
VOLCANO: When an earthquake triggers a giant burst of lava from the La Brea Tar Pits, sending great spews of the stuff all over various Los Angeles neighborhoods and causing all manner of flaming magma mayhem, dedicated Emergency Management director Mike Roark rushes to the rescue, with help from a plucky seismologist. VOLCANO is a no-holds-barred cataclysmic extravaganza, replete with "lava bombs" bursting in air, a toned-down flirtatiousness between the city's saviors, and the straight-faced "how-will-we-stop-it?" suspense factor of the classic Hollywood disaster epics.