The Day (2011)
Didn't Make My Day
In a post-apocalyptical future five young strangers find themselves travelling the baron wastelands together as they look for some where in the hope that one day they can rebuild humanity with the glass jars of seeds which they carry. But there is danger always lurking in the form of the cannibals which they keep on the move from and what may lurk behind the doors of the abandoned buildings they see. With one of them suffering from ill health they are forced to take shelter in a hopefully abandoned farmhouse for the night and until a storm passes. With things tense between them over when they should try to plant the seeds they will have to put aside those issues when they learn that they are not alone.
Maybe it wasn't the first but in 2009 "The Road" gave us an over-saturated, washed out look at a post apocalypse America and now in 2011 we have "The Day" which does the same with its washed out, grey imagery of a bleak future. But wait, someone has given the crew a box of tricks as every now and then there is a little flourish of colour, a mug which looks green rather than grey or an old wooden crate which looks like wood rather than ashen. Does it make "The Day" better? Not for me as all it does is make it even more of an attempt to make it feel artsy which is the last thing that I want. Maybe it is different for those who see cinema as art first and entertainment second but for me it was off putting.
The thing about "The Day" is that you have to have faith that there is more to it than there first appears and after a while we get a pay off with an impact scene in the basement of the house. But it is a scene which comes out of nothing, suddenly tossed in there to jolt the audience from their slumber and I don't know about you but I would have loved some sort of build up. I suppose what I am saying is that "The Day" actually has some nice ideas when it comes to making an impact but they have been tossed in to a cloned post apocalypse storyline and it doesn't really work.
As for the acting well "The Day" has a decent young cast of familiar faces such as Shawn Ashmore, Dominic Monaghan and Shannyn Sossamon. But it is a case that there is no character depth and so other than have their individual looks they don't make a great deal of impact with maybe the exception being Ashley Bell who gives her character Mary an almost feral quality which helps to grab your attention and more importantly makes you suspicious.
What this all boils down to is that "The Day" despite its look and some decent impact scenes only ends up another ordinary post apocalypse movie. But with this using the same washed out look which had been used in "The Road" it often feels like an imitation.
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