It’s disappointing that a film like “The Day” is so bad. Judging from the way the crew speak about the making of the flick, there was a lot of passion put into this post-apocalyptic thriller. What the finished product ends up lacking, however, is any real substance.
“The Day,” available on Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 27, is about a group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world running from … well we don’t know. The film never explains what happened to end what was once a civilized society. All we know is what we see, and director Douglas Aarniokoski gives us very little to go on visually. He makes the film gray, drab and lifeless. Though this probably gives “The Day” the proper look, Aarniokoski and his team are never able to make this world “pop” the way, say, the Hughes Brothers did with the similarly bleak film “The Book of Eli.”
Our group of heroes hold up at a house to wait out a storm, and they end up in a trap set by cannibals (who seem to be quite abundant in this future world). They decide the only chance they have at survival is to hold up and fight through the night.
No one in “The Day” is really portraying a character because characters are not written here. For the majority of what’s on film, everyone just acts like personalities out of a video game. In fact, if I didn’t know any better, I would say that “The Day” had to have been based on a video game because of the simpleness of its conceit and its utter lack of substance.
Dominic Monaghan, Shawn Ashmore, Michael Eklund and Ashley Bell all have a powerful screen presence and give a glimpse at what “The Day” could’ve become with a better script and different director, but even they can’t save this picture.
Not even the action scenes can redeem this mess. Weak CGI and what comes across as lazy direction and stunts hinder what could’ve and probably should’ve been the film’s saving grace.
However, what really makes “The Day” a disappointment is its lack of purpose. Sure, there are some bits about survival and instinct and revenge but the script never wants these to be themes to be examined over the course of a story. Rather, the film simply settles for the mediocrity it is. It’s like a bad t.v. dinner. It goes down like a regular meal, but afterward you’re just left staring at the nothingness of what was and wondering if it was even worth it.
“The Day” Blu- Ray combo pack includes an audio commentary from Aarniokoski, producer Guy Danella and writer Luke Passmore and a few trailers as well as a DVD copy of the film.