The Day After Tomorrow
Directed By: Barry Odom
Starring: Taylor Powell, Jonathan Nance, Albert Okwuegbunam, Tucker McCann
Synopsis: With impending disaster on the way, Missouri can do nothing but roll over and die.
Sometimes you see disaster coming. Sometimes you can do something about it. And sometimes you have to just stand by and watch.
Such is the case in The Day After Tomorrow, Barry Odom and Missouri Tigers Productions’ ninth feature presentation — and fourth stinker — of 2019.
Set in the sprawling metropolis — and cinematic tax haven! — of The Peach State, The Day After Tomorrow finds our heroes staring down a storm, one that threatens to wipe them away without thought or mercy. Because we always expect our heroes to be brave, resilient and triumphant, there’s a long shot feeling that the Tigers will do something that goes above and beyond the odds — something truly heroic.
However, we learn quickly that appearances matter and that the triumphant story we’re expecting isn’t to play out this time.
With regular lead Kelly Bryant out of work for a short time, director Barry Odom and Director of Offense Derek Dooley turn to first-time lead Taylor Powell to lead a cast that has struggled to find chemistry in their last few outings. His performance isn’t awful in and of itself, but he needs better performances around him to really work. And while streaky stars Albert Okwuegbunam and Jonathan Nance do their best to help him out, it eventually becomes clear that Powell isn’t ready to head up a B-list cast... much less an A-list one.
The blame shouldn’t be put on Powell’s shoulders, though. Once again, the entire effort falls flat due to poor direction and poor all-around effort. There’s something to be said about the way Director of Defensography Ryan Walters tries to hold things together, but Walters can only do so much with a constant onslaught up against him and no one to help out.
The biggest travesty is how phoned in everyone else seems to be. Supporting cast members who were once dependable — Larry Rountree III, Johnathon Johnson, Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms — phone in their performances, offering the vaguest hint of interest in an entertaining product. What’s worse is that Odom can’t seem to inspire anything better. It would be the perfect time too — the casting of Georgia and its hellish storm of talent offers a formidable opponent with high narrative tension. Still, no one can muster much of an effort — they look dead in the water the moment the whole thing starts.
Now the question, silly as it might seem when it comes to this sort of stuff, goes beyond the next few weeks. After the last few bombs, there was a sense that the talent still existed, but it needed to be utilized correctly. However, Barry Odom and Missouri Tigers Productions have quickly veered into dangerous territory, and for the most part, lost their audience. Even if the potential for hits are still there, who will be around to see them? That’s a question we’ll be asking ourselves over the next few weeks, when Odom’s last three pictures in the 2019 contract roll through their credits and into the unknown.