Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dante's Peak

Year 2, Day 95 - 4/5/10 - Movie #460

BEFORE: From an earthquake to a volcano - finishing up "natural" disasters, then I'll move on to man-made ones. I remember that this film and "Volcano" were released around the same time in 1997, and I chose to see "Volcano" on the big screen, so I'm finally following up and watching the other film.

THE PLOT: Dr. Harry Dalton discovers that Dante's Peak is being threatened by a volcano that hasn't been active for years.

AFTER: The special effects were fine here - in that at no time was I aware that I wasn't watching an actual volcanic eruption, complete with lava and ash and falling rocks. That's a compliment, right?

I mean, you don't watch this for the acting - Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton are acceptable as they play a geologist and the town's mayor who fall for each other while the volcano erupts in the background. Oh, sorry, didn't mean to spoil the plot - but the volcano erupts, you probably figured on that.

I have a problem with the kids' reaction to the exploding volcano - their first impulse is to rush up the mountain to rescue their grandmother. I'd like to think that no child of mine would figure that this is a good idea, to head into a disaster zone when everyone else is trying to leave. Granny's had a long life, and at some point you have to figure if she won't leave the mountain, maybe it's for the best. And if your kids run up an exploding mountain, maybe it's time to debate whether those kids are actually smart enough to be worth saving too...

I don't have much else to say, except to point out that in this week's disaster movies, sometimes the main characters survive, and sometimes they don't. One can debate the merits of a realistic vs. "Hollywood" ending with this in mind - but it seems to be something of a stylistic choice, at least on some level. There may be no specific rhyme or reason to it - and isn't that the definition of a natural disaster?

RATING: 6 out of 10 Humvees

1 comment:

  1. I had to watch this film as part of a geography lesson a few years ago and overall I found it pretty terrible. One point I'd like to make is that the scene where the Grandmother sacrifices herself was really disturbing, which is probably why I still remember it.