HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Free Solo
Mifune: The Last Samurai
Stan and Ollie
Girl in the Spider's Web, The
Up from the Depths
Guardians of the Tomb
November Man, The
Overlord
Sebastiane
Lifechanger
Circle of Two
Hell Fest
Oklahoma!
Nutcracker and the Four Realms, The
Vigilante Force
Haunting of Sharon Tate, The
Paradox
Peppermint
Sharkwater Extinction
Isn't It Romantic
Sink the Bismarck!
Possum
Submergence
Slaughterhouse Rulez
Atalante, L'
Halloween
Maurice
Hannah
Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach
Edmond
   
 
Newest Articles
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
   
 
  Volcano California HeatBuy this film here.
Year: 1997
Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Anne Heche, Gaby Hoffman, Don Cheadle, Jacqueline Kim, Keith David, John Corbett, Michael Rispoli, John Carroll Lynch, Marcello Thedford, Laurie Lathem, Bert Kramer, Bo Eason, James McDonald, Dayton Callie, Michael Cutt, Richard Schiff
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller, Adventure
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Another morning in Los Angeles, and the city is waking up to start the day, unaware that they are in for a time like no other for the locals. One man always prepared for an emergency is Mike Roark (Tommy Lee Jones), a divorcee who lives with his teenage daughter Kelly (Gaby Hoffman) and is a major figure in Los Angeles emergency standby operation, ready to take over should there be a "situation" erupting on the region, but what he doesn't realise is that there will be a literal eruption before nightfall. The first hint of this is a fairly strong earthquake that strikes but does no lasting damage, but employees of the Department of Water and Power are inspecting below ground at the time and some of them end up either dead or injured: from boiling steam.

The reason for that is all in the title, as disaster movies had made a comeback in the nineteen-nineties thanks to the advances in special effects that made the realisation of the disasters themselves possible in a way that had never been attempted before. Some were more successful than others, however, for example Sylvester Stallone's Daylight flopped, as did the would-be blockbuster Godzilla – and this little item which tried to do for Los Angeles what the giant lizard movie did for New York City, and was about as impressive at the box office, despite the reception being not as scathing as you might have expected. It was undoubtedly not the film to go to for scientific accuracy, for example.

Indeed, you would imagine anyone with a seismology or volcanology background, or even someone who had seen a few documentaries on the subject on television, would be able to tell you that very little about Volcano, from the nature of the disaster to the methods of solving the problem, was accurate to the manner in which this would play out in reality, but with this sort of dedicated to the high concept entertainment you as a viewer had to accept this was ridiculous and enjoy it for what it was: a big, stupid action flick that made no demands on the audience other than to sit back and enjoy the idiocy. If anything, it was not the scientific rigour (or complete lack of it) that grated, it was the presentation of the Los Angeleans themselves.

Everyone here to a man, woman and child, and even dog, was a character, a personality, a bit cool and sassy, unafraid to get up all up in your face should the occasion allow, to emphasise the overall indomitability of the residents. If you did not buy into this and believed those who lived in Los Angeles were not as unique as this film appeared to want you to accept, then the wiseacre grins and attitude on display from just about everyone here were not going to go down well with your tolerance for them, though it might improve your humour when some of them meet an inevitable demise at the encroaching lava. Despite that, you could tell who was going to receive a horrible fate within nanoseconds of the actor appearing on the screen, basically nobody you would be too upset to witness shuffling off the old mortal coil.

Not to say they would not have a noble death, but it was the survivors who would cover themselves in glory when they dreamt up the solutions to the issue of a dirty great volcano bursting out of California. Jones was your craggy but concerned hero who did his best to rescue everyone in the path of the danger, Hoffman was there to be saved and find the experience character-building, Anne Heche was a lady scientist straight out of a fifties sci-fi B-movie (there was a lot science fictional about the premise and how it unfolded), and Don Cheadle was stuck in the control room for more or less the duration, on the phone to Tommy and orchestrating "back-up" and "operations". In addition, Jacqueline Kim was a doctor ignoring her politician partner John Corbett's pleas to forget about the injured and go away with him, a rare instance here of someone approaching a villain: even the cop who tries to arrest a boisterous citizen (he's black, the cop is white) reaches a reconciliation that tells us we're all in this together, so it's about time we started acting that way. A nice message, but you might find yourself giggling at the contrivances and absurdities. Music by Alan Silvestri.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1071 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: