1 September 2013 | magneto-16
A Science Fiction Where the Science Was Made Up, and Facts Don't Count
I enjoy a good disaster movie. There's something fun about it, and I'm not sure why.
I read the premise to "Ring of Fire" and thought it would be good, silly fun, kind of like the recent "Eve of Destruction", where bad physics ran amok. Then, I watched it.
I expected bad geology to be a part of it, but I didn't expect the whole movie to be based on it. The science issues began right away, with an Evil Corporation drilling for oil...in a volcanic caldera? The science only got worse from there--including one of the main plot points: that causing a volcanic eruption on one volcano can trigger hundreds of others around the Pacific Ring of Fire to erupt--by the way, Yellowstone is NOT part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Along with the bad science, there were the typical, modern movie stereotypes: evil corporation headed by a charming, charismatic white man with larceny in his heart, and the environmentalist with a heart of gold, who is heroically willing to sacrifice everything in order to do the right thing, and who is always right about everything scientific and environmental. And, let's not forget the cast of 2-dimensional bit players, most of whom seem to be there just to die stupidly.
I did think the acting was a cut above many low-budget TV movies. I also have to be impressed that these guys can keep a straight face and not wink at the camera while delivering their lines.
Did I enjoy it? Oddly, yes, sometimes. I didn't think it was a good movie; the entertainment value lies in how bad it is. Between the eye-rolling and occasional sigh--brought on by yet another science error--I got some good laughs. I wasn't offended by the shaky cam, the way some people were, but I will agree it was overused. Conclusion? If you believe science should be accurately portrayed in movies, don't watch this one. If, instead, you can laugh well at the ignorance of filmmakers and think drivel like Sharknado is fun because it's awesomely silly, then you might just enjoy this movie.