Produced by: Moritz Original / Donner/Schuler-Donner Productions / Fox 2000
Written by (in credits order): Jerome Armstrong (story), Jerome Armstrong and Billy Ray
Directed by: Mick Jackson
Main Cast: Tommy Lee Jones (Mike Roark), Anne Heche (Dr. Amy Barnes), Gaby Hoffmann (Kelly Roark), Don Cheadle (Emmit Reese), Jacqui Kim (Dr. Jaye Calder), Keith David (Lt. Ed Fox)
Length: 102 min
Some Like It HotTwo types of films seem to be real popular in Hollywood right now: alien invasions and natural disasters. The last surge in disaster movies was in the '70s, with "The Poseidon Adventure", "Airport", "The Towering Inferno" and the like. Presently, as we ap proach the year 2000, we have seen "Twister" and "Dante's Peak", while "Titanic" beckons at year end. Meanwhile, we have "Volcano", starring the irrepressible Tommy Lee Jones as the chief of the Office of Emergency Measures (OEM) in Los Angeles. "Volcano" begins with a very plausible premise, that the geological movements beneath L.A. could bring about the emergence of a volcano in the middle of the city. Given the high urban population and the presence of construction work going on, a geological event of this magnitude could really mess this up.
Lava, lava, everywhere...If you enjoyed the "in your face" action of "Twister", you'll love "Volcano". The movie combines the technical wizardry of "Twister" and "Backdraft" with the pulsating pace of a well-written script. The first hour of the film presents the build-up to the eruption, and the fine acting of Jones and Anne Heche conveys their bewilderment as they try to figure out the strange phenomenon surrounding the Brea Tar Pits. Once the volcano blows, everything pretty much goes to hell. Jones is joined by Don Cheadle (" Picket Fences") as they control the chaos at the OEM. Jones is faced with ever greater challenges as the disaster progresses, encountering seemingly insurmountable odds.
An aspect of this movie that adds enormously to the human drama is the use of multiple major characters. Although Jones is the lead character, the film devotes a substantial amount of time to the doctors, geologists and engineers who are inevitably drawn into the rescue efforts. Their attempts to cope with the force of Nature results in heart-wrenching acts of self-sacrifice. The action never lets up, as the volcano inflicts massive damage to numerous parts of the city. The film also exploits the capabili ty of the cinematic medium to depict richness of colour, visual contrast and seat-shaking sound. The combined experience left my mouth gaping more times than any other movie since "Terminator 2"!
However, the film is marred by a certain Spielberg-style mushiness. The sight of total strangers coming together to overcome an apparently irresistable foe, although initially glorious, ultimately comes across as picturesque and pedagogical rather than sp iritually uplifting. American-style morality is also detectable in the scenes where black and white people transcend all man-made racial boundaries to fight a common cause. There is a kooky love plot involving Jones and Heche that does not add to the film .
Despite the drawbacks, "Volcano" is a smashing film, well-balanced and finely paced to get your adrenaline going. After being wowed by the visceral quality of the special effects, I was reminded that disaster movies are about the triumph of the human spir it over overwhelming odds. As a well-crafted movie of its genre, "Volcano" makes highly engaging viewing.
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From: Ecoz (email@example.com)
I totally disagaree! Volcano was very boring. The sight of people prancing about, figuring out what to do was totally irritating. They could not even know what the lava was called. Isn't that part of the Geography syllabus??
Volcano The movie is a another movie taken on the concept of natural disasters so it has a natural boost and curiosity among people. This is the second movie on volcano I just hope this will be the last one
Often times it is one scene within a film that makes it completely unwatchable. 'Volcano' is one of those sad, sorry excuses for a film that falls prey to this occurance. Forget the visually painful lava effects. Forget the absolute lack of chemistry between the zero-dimentional characters. Forget the fact that this film is really just a collection of rediculous scenes. But remember, it can be one single scene which erases completely its credibility as a film. Yes.......you can push someone out of the path of a speeding car. Yes......you can push someone out of the path of a swinging baseball bat, or a falling safe..... But no......you do not push someone out of the path of a crumbling 30 story building. Do the makers of this film expect us to watch and cheer as Tommy runs, grabs his daughter, and leaps to safety from a falling skyscraper!? Even the most mindless action films are rarely so condescending. Maybe the makers of films such as this should spend a little more money on a script. Audiences should not be subjected to this type of ruthlessly trashy trash trash trash.