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Film Review - Volcano
Volcano is not much more than you would expect. It conjures up remembrances of 1970s Irwin Allen disaster films like The Towering Inferno. But Allen is innocent for this one. He's Lost in Space at press time working on a space disaster.
Volcano is simply a "what if" movie. What if the La Brea Tar Pits sat on a volcanic vent that went ballistic? Natives of L.A. and those of us who have visited the pits know La Brea sits in the middle of urban sprawl between Beverly Hills, Hollywood and South Central Los Angeles. It's about the worst place in the world to have a volcano erupt; and the best place to set the movie.
Now this is a disaster formula film, so we have to have a hero, and that would be Tommy Lee Jones, in what is not one of his best roles. Still, Jones attacks the role with the talent that has made me a fan. The hero must have a weakness, so let's put his daughter in the middle of the danger.
Other than that, what we get is the destruction of Los Angeles. There's lots of emergency workers trying to save lives; at least 25 real live reporters trying to act like reporters in a movie (just check out the cast list); one schmuck who is a doctor's husband that should have been edited out, and heroism.
The saving grace of the picture is a documentary feeling that comes across when we watch people trying to save people. The emergency workers in America have rarely had their story told. Volcano only comes close enough to make you realize there is a story there to be told.
The downside of Volcano is the scope is too large. There are too many characters, so we never scratch the surface on any of them. Yes, it was monumental, but you can't compare this film with more worthy uses of film.
Directed by Mick Jackson
Released in 1997
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Reviewed by Mongo