The Evolution Of Jake Gyllenhaal In 6 Movies

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)


Roland Emmerich’s film about apocalyptically inclement weather predictably did well at the box office while generating, at best, mixed reviews – but it remains significant in the Gyllenhaal back catalogue because it represents his first foray into the big budget action genre.

Depicting the on-set of a sudden, global ice storm – caused by climate change – the plot of The Day After Tomorrow hinges on the father-son relationship between student Sam Hall (Gyllenhaal), and paleoclimatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid). As temperatures plummet, and the world is encased in a life-threatening deep-freeze, father Jack must race against time and across continents to reach his son in New York City, where he has been attending an academic event.

While it is a rarity to have such an enormous movie address the divisive issue of climate change, The Day After Tomorrow is widely held to be somewhat misleading, due to the scientific inaccuracies it employs to further the narrative. However, once disbelief is suspended, there are some spectacular set-pieces to be enjoyed, as well as a young Gyllenhaal doing his best to find some meat on the bones of a thinly drawn character. The purpose of this film in relation to Gyllenhaal is not to provide great character studies, though. It is to provide a different perspective of his capabilities as an actor. As such, The Day After Tomorrow laid the groundwork for future endeavours, such as Jarhead, Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, Source Code and the upcoming Everest.