Read on, good people, read on...
The news tells us that Mexico is letting people in again as the Prez has forgiven their debt. Jesus, hold a grudge much? There we go Bob Geldof, that’s how you do it – just wait for the end of the world. Back with Movie Mom it turns out bald Pete has no ambulance to take him to Mexico. Why they didn’t let him have the ambulance of some coma patient I have no idea. Apparently Pete can’t travel in anything but an ambulance. If the bus is good enough for me, it’s good enough for you Petey boy. They’ve left a message at the ambulance station but we shouldn’t hold out much hope. Movie Mom selflessly decides to remain – we never expected that – and in the midst of all this, Pete just wants to be read a story. “Once Upon A Time, there was this bald kid who kept a lady away from her hot son Jake. So she beat him to a bloody pulp and took off into the snow. The End.”
At the library, everyone’s now grabbing books. In a corner, Emmy gasps at the pain from her taxi injury but says it’s nowt to Cell-Phone Girl. Upstairs, the books are a-burning like it’s a Fahrenheit 451 up in there.. SOH has been messing with his radio again and gives Jake a look that reads bad news. Shit, is Boo all right? What about the socks? The storm is over the whole northern hemisphere and it looks like DQ’s going to have problems getting to New York, especially now the trains are down. Despite looking unsure - after all Dad has let him down many times before – Jake says “Nah, he’ll be here. And he’ll lead us to safety past the icing sugar version of the Statue of Liberty.” Jake gazes off into the distance like the true MTV Popcorn award winner that he is.
Speaking of DQ, isn’t that him hurtling through the snow towards the New York library? Over the radio, the news tells us the storm is deadly. Shit, only one hour and fifteen minutes into a movie about deadly storms and only now they’re telling us! Does Cell-Phone Girl work for you guys? It also informs us that New York is impassable. Well we’ll just see about…okay, the car hit a wall of snow. Guess it is impassable, let’s go home. But no, DQ orders Old Guy Who Croaks Before The End But Is Still Alive At The Moment to unpack the snowshoes. Do it your damn self DQ! It’s your fault we’re not all in Mexico trying on sombreros.
Back in New York, School Crossing and the others who didn’t listen to Jake are sheltering under a bridge with an oil drum fire. Oh the irony. The wealthy hang out under bridges while Homeless Man and Buddha the Dog live it up in the library. The hobos are moaning that they should have listened to Jake and stayed put. School Crossing gets people moving. Well, those people that aren’t dead in the snow. He looks sad, like perhaps it’s his fault these people are dead. Well he should do, it is.
In the nice, warm library where everyone is alive, Homeless Man is tearing up a copy of The Da Vinci Code to line his coat. Instead of asking Ugly if they can snuggle together for warmth, he throws him the last Middlemarch but unfortunately hits him on the head and kills him. Or was that a dream I had… Before the fire, Jake and Emmy are all cuddled up on a sofa, talking about Jake’s favourite vacation. Jake delivers perhaps the only actually funny line that is supposed to be funny in the entire movie – “Besides this one?” Well I thought it was funny. Emmy doesn’t laugh. Perhaps she’s too nervous at the thought of technically being in bed with Jake. Jake spins some story about how he got stuck on a boat with his Dad on one of DQ’s work trips. Emmy, like the rest of us, tells him that’s boring and is on the verge of telling him what happened to her in Florida last Spring Break - “Spring Break! Whooooo!” – when he continues that hanging out with DQ for ten days was great. Jake, I been hanging out with DQ for one hour and seventeen minutes and I want to go and watch paint dry. How many games of Go Fish did you have to play to make those ten days just fly by? Emmy looks sad. Maybe she’s thinking how Jake won’t see DQ again. Maybe she’s thinking how she won’t see Kurt Russell again. Jake makes that horsey sound that cool macho guys make when they’re trying not to cry at the thought of never seeing their Daddy again.
In the blizzard around Philly, three figures emerge from the swirling snow. No, not Huey, Dewey and Louie. It’s our favourite scientists, who, on their way to visit Jake have decided to drop in to a mall and do a spot of shopping. Literally, their sled breaks through a mall roof, dragging along Old Guy Who’ll Be Gone In A Minute until DQ gets his ice pick out and all of a sudden we’re back at the beginning of Vertical Limit.
Old Guy Who Isn’t Long For This World uses my joke about dropping in to do some shopping. PLAGERISM! Old Guy With The Breath Of Death On His Neck cuts the sled loose and it crashes onto an escalator, showing us just how fatal it would be for say, an old guy, to drop onto it. Old Guy gives an “oh shit” look. Yeah, with a name like Old Guy Who Croaks Before The End, you should totally be worried. New Guy is told to support Old Guy’s weight. Man, do you not remember New Guy’s fuck-up at the beginning when a shelf collapsed? True to form, the glass under New Guy starts to break. New Guy’s hands are bleeding as he claws onto metal and he’s either a big boy or a bad actor as he doesn’t seem to be in any pain. DQ and New Guy watch as Old Guy starts to cut himself free. They both say “No!” but you know they’re both thinking “Go on, do it, it’ll make great TV.” They totally could have used the footage from Vertical Limit here, saved themselves two days of filming. So Old Guy Who Is No More cuts himself loose and crashes a la sled to the escalator below. DQ is sad, wishing New Guy had gone instead. I feel ya, DQ.
Later that night in their peculiarly cosy-looking arctic tent, New Guy (Killer of Old Guy) is unpacking his bag and three cups fall out. But only two men remain – the Dead don’t drink cocoa. New Guy packs it away again and changes the subject from his most recent fuck-up – “Hey, remember when you let me use the drill in Antarctica? Good times.” DQ smiles politely.
In New York, geeky Male Librarian is reading a big ole book. He tells Cell-Phone Girl it’s a rare bible. Think since the city’s been destroyed and you’re burning books, God’s given up and gone on a tea break. Luckily, Librarian doesn’t believe in the Almighty but is merely protecting the bible. Shot of Ugly merrily throwing Danielle Steel ‘novels’ on the fire. Librarian wants to save a piece of Western civilisation, represented by the bible. Wouldn’t he be better off saving a Lord of the Rings DVD boxset?
At the hospital, Movie Mom is awakened by flashing lights. Shit, first killer weather, now the aliens are coming! Someone hide Jake before those monsters probe him! Turns out it’s not aliens but paramedics. Looks like Peter will live to fight another day after all.
At the library, Emmy is coughing which is Movie Speak for ‘About To Die’. Jake who has been sat up feeding War and Peace to the fire, comes over and asks if she’s all right, probably hoping she’ll say no and he’ll get the chance to practice his First Aid. Awww man, she’s saying she’s got a fever just so he can touch her face. That’s the oldest trick in the book! Emmy can’t sleep so Jake sits up with her. She’s thinking about the quiz, Jake’s thinking about jumping her bones. Now she’s going for the sympathy vote, moaning about how her life has been preparation for a future that doesn’t exist. Don’t fall for it Jake, she’s playing the lost, fragile victim, but underneath she’s really a black widow spider. She’s down on herself for taking the quiz so seriously (not that we’ve seen any character development to support this, Darwin). So to make her feel better, Jake spills. Not like that, all bodily fluids remain intact. He says he avoided telling her the truth about why he joined the team. At the end of that sentence, he raises his eyebrows and in the firelight, he looks a little evil…Emmy puts on an innocent ‘Watcha talking about?’ face and Jake says he joined ‘cos of Emmy. So it’s all your fault Jake’s stuck in a frigging library when he could be partying in Mexico, with or without underage boys but definitely with Tequila. It’s also her fault Old Guy Who Is No Longer With Us is dead. Bitch. Jake gives a sweet ‘Well now it’s out there’ smile. Emmy smiles back. She sits up from her death-bed, well, sofa, says “Hey” and OH MY GOD THEY’RE KISSING! NO! MAKE IT STOP! GOUGE OUT MY EYES! It’s actually quite sweet and with the fire behind them and the snow falling, they could almost be on a ski trip. If it wasn’t for Homeless Man and the librarians. And the end of the world.
Cut to White House covered in snow (like a polar bear in a snow storm). Someone’s ordering the Prez to leave. That’s how we get Bush out of office: just tell him to leave. Prez agrees half-heartedly. Perhaps he was hoping to sneak around while everyone else was gone and find the Roswell aliens in the basement.
A helicopter flies over a snowy city that we are reliably informed is the Mexican refugee camp. People are being given soup. Tequila soup. Helicopter brings unfortunate news that Prez didn’t make it, perhaps because he took a motorcade instead of a helicopter. Tit. Vice Prez looks like he now has the fate of a nation on his shoulders and promptly shits himself.
Back to our favourite library. Emmy is now feverish on her death-sofa as Jake strokes her brow. Homeless Man blames it on the food – like too many sweets ever caused a problem – while Male Librarian goes straight for hypothermia. SOH guesses flu. Twit, thought you wore glasses! I guess Jake-fever. Female Librarian makes a snotty comment about books being good for something other than burning. Yeah, propping up broken legs on coffee tables. She looks up symptoms – fever, cold sweat and fast pulse. Ooooh, it’s like ER: The Home Game. I wanna do Ray Barnett! I mean be Ray Barnett.. Cell-Phone Girl discloses leg-injury – again sitting on valuable information. Bet she knows who shot JFK too! Femme Librarian goes in for a look and Jake stands up, knowing this is going to be important – the first time he sees Emmy’s leg.
It’s gross but because it’s a 12 certificate, the worst anyone can come up with is “Gosh”. As Femme Librarian announces Emmy has blood poisoning, Jake gets all upset and turns to the window in despair. Can no-one save his true love of the last hour and twenty-seven minutes? “She needs penicillin or…” The cold is obviously messing with Jake’s genius ’cos he says “Or what?”. Femme Librarian just gives him a look that says “Will you sing at her funeral? She always liked the Dixie Chicks.”
From space, astronauts view storms and wish they were in Armageddon so they’d have more lines. They send data to Pretty Asian Lady who calculates there’ll soon be a super-cold hurricane over New York. But that’s where Jake is!!! Unless they mean Buffalo, New York. Which is fine ‘cos he’s not there.
DQ and surviving sidekick struggle through snow, at least until sidekick keels over.
Jake continues his vigilantism by breaking some chairs to make snow-shoes. He’s off to find Emmy-saving drugs on the convienent army tanker parked outside the window. Male Librarian says “But you said it was too dangerous to go outside”. Jake replies “I know. But I must save my adorable Russian gypsy so we can get married in Vegas and make woo-hoo in the heart-shaped Jacuzzi.” Then again, maybe he just says “I know”. He also pulls back the hood on his duffle coat so he must mean business. Everyone looks nervous at the thought of losing Jake. SOH asks him where he got the chairs. Jake asks why. “Cos I wanna sit down. Dumbass, I’m coming with you.” Ugly, always after a chance to be with SOH says he’s coming too. Jake gives a weird little smile. If you have the film available, you should totally check it out. I can’t tell if he’s supposed to be all choked up ’cos he’s got such good friends, is smirking at the cheesiness of it all or smiling secretly at the fact that he knows Ugly is gonna get mauled by a CGI wolf in a minute.