By: WonkoTheSane (Five Beers) –
A massive volcanic eruption in Iceland sends a glacier careening full-speed towards the mainland, sending Bill and Teri Hart, along with their son Nelson, fleeing south to save daughter Julia from the coming disaster. Meanwhile, the government scrambles to halt the glacier and save what is left of America…
Let’s face it, all disaster films teeter on shaky ground to begin with. So it is refreshing to see a movie where the filmmakers don’t even attempt a legitimate explanation to anything. In The Day After 2012, I mean 2012: Ice Age, glaciers can apparently move at hundreds of miles per hour and cause huge storm fronts to form. The movie does have a definite watchable level of cornball to it. If you’ve got a few beers and 90 minutes to kill, you might want to pick this one up.
In fact, actor Patrick Labyorteaux is effective in his everyman role, even giving us an unexpected and fun scene involving homemade explosives. He even manages to make the pseudoscientific dialog work to some extent. Filmmaker Travis Fort and team give the film a palatable tension and feeling of fear, especially in one particular scene where Bill Hart has to fight off a crazed maniac to defend his family. And smaller scenes work too, such as the quiet moment when the three wayfarers snack on potato chips that are totally not Lays with a fake logo slapped on the bag.
Most low-budget film studios go out of their way to conceal budget constraints by making lower key films with the hopes that the filmmaker and the script will be strong enough to make it successful on its own terms. The Asylum instead opts for a different approach, choosing ambitious scripts that they should in all rights not be able to afford to make. They make films as big as Avatar on the budget of Napoleon Dynamite. Is this a Cinderella Story of art through adversity?
No, not really.
If you’re the average filmgoer, you’ve probably come along just to see jets flying around shooting stuff and some ‘splosions, it doesn’t ultimately matter if the special effects look a decade old. It doesn’t even matter if the glacier itself defies physics; you’re going to watch the movie. To be fair, this time around the Asylum has presented a film with a script no less believable than the Roland Emmerich films it is capitalizing on (I’ll let you decide how to interpret that).
The same plot contrivance that made The Day After Tomorrow stupid is covered here. I suppose that Godzilla was used in the 1950’s as a metaphor for nuclear warfare and its devastation. In this film we have a volcano eruption firing off a glacier at high speeds, bringing with it super-chilled air that causes cities to turn into ice and people to freeze to death instantly. At least Godzilla’s destruction was fast and deadly for the same reason that a nuclear bomb would be. Instead our protagonists are attacked by high speed climate change.
Warning: Geography Lesson to follow
Despite its name, Iceland has nowhere near enough permanent ice to destroy a city, much less New England. This film indicates that it contains an ice shelf a thousand miles wide. Iceland isn’t even 400 miles wide at its widest point. Even if it did, glaciers rarely move faster than a few inches a year. Even if a volcano caused ice to hurtle away from Iceland, it would have over two thousand miles to cover before it reached Maine. There is a scene in which the glacier hits Newfoundland, where mountains and fjords would surely slow it down. In fact, Greenland would surely slow it as well.
This film’s got plenty of them. Not sure where they come from, but damn are they worrying…
In serious need of some defrosting.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time the Air force tries to bomb the glacier
Take a Drink: whenever Dr. Science gives us valuable insight
“Look at the clouds… what can do that?”
“Glaciers… Really, really, fast glaciers.”
Down a Shot: for each city that gets destroyed.