This movie starts out strong with a lot of potential but slowly gets worse and worse culminating in one of the cheesiest disaster-film scenes I've ever watched (the demolition scene).
At first, the establishment of the main characters is clear and direct (if a bit one-dimensional) and the earthquakes at the beginning build quick suspense. But everything gets so muddled and there are some very major plot oversights... Namely: WHAT volcano? That's probably what you'll be asking yourself the whole movie. Sure there's lava, ash, giant red hot rocks spewing up out of the earth, but it isn't exactly coming from a volcano. Early in the movie the geologists mention that volcanoes can spontaneously erupt out of fault lines or something, but it's such a passing statement that you have no idea if that's what's actually happening. Only at the end is it clarified with a zoomed-out photo of a brand new volcano in the middle of LA so I could only conclude that the "volcano" causing all this disaster is really the FORMATION of a volcano.
This film does have its moments, and I was entertained throughout the movie and never bored. I thought the flow of lava was probably the best part of the movie - a red-hot stream that flows slow enough to run away from on foot, but devours everything in its path and can't be stopped. It definitely gave a sense of dread.
In fact, most of the actual disaster parts of the film were pretty good. This movie falls apart with the characters. More and more minor characters are introduced as the film goes on, just to be killed off in dramatic fashion, culminating in a scene where two guys are trapped in a building about to be blown up, which I think was supposed to be touching, but all I could think was "wait, who are these two people, and why do I care about them??". Then, there's the side plot with The Misjudged Black Guy and The Cop That Has It In For Him, which is nothing but distracting. And finally, we have the whole side plot with Tommy Lee Jones' character's daughter, which isn't really bad in itself, except that the character is so utterly helpless, stupid, whiny and useless for a 13-year-old. Though I guess those are the only traits that could possibly lead her character to end up in the path of an impending demolition because she had to chase after the small child she was supposed to be watching who ran off. The worst scene in the entire movie is when she emerges from the building right as the bomb is about to explode, and her dad is yelling at her to run away, but she just stands there like a deer in the headlights. My only thought at that moment? She doesn't deserve to live, it's called Natural Selection.
So yeah, this movie is fun, if you like disaster movies, but it's also fun to make fun of. If you want to watch it, watch it with your friends and laugh at the characters' expense, and then be thrilled by scenes of lava shooting out of the ground and killing people.
1 out of 1 found this helpful