A vulcanologist arrives at a countryside named Dante's Peak after a long dormant volcano, which has recently been named the second most desirable place to live in America, and discovers that Dante's Peak, may wake up at any moment.
Jamie Renée Smith
Trouble strikes when runaway robbers in a getaway car hit truck full of explosives in the tunnel connecting Manhattan and New Jersey. Survivors are left in a weakened tunnel blocked at both exits. As Kit Latura approaches the tunnel, he see the impact and knows he gotta take action. With time running out, he enters the tunnel through a system of maintenance walkways. Can he get the survivors out before the tunnel fills up? Written by
Don't Go Out With Your Friends Tonite
Written by L. Bryan, R. Bryan, D. Hoffpauir and K. Kerby
Performed by Ho-Hum
Courtesy of Universal Records
By Arrangement with MCA Special Markets and Products See more »
Very much a genre movie with all the clichés and problems you'd expect but it is enjoyable enough to be worth seeing
Trucks loaded with toxic waste. A stolen car being pursued by the police. Separate events that come together in a New York city tunnel when the latter crashes into the former starting a chain reaction explosion that sends a fireball sweeping through the tunnel and sealing it at both ends. A handful of survivors are left trapped with burning toxic waste and only enough air to last a few hours. Only a few meters short of entering the tunnel himself, cab driver and disgraced former fire chief Kit Latura recognises a disaster when he sees one and, thanks to a drill he ran years ago, knows that the standard rescue methods will not work. When his replacement dies ignoring his advice, his former colleagues turn to him and he agrees to enter the tunnel and try to rescue the survivors.
From the opening ten minutes we know just where we are. The brief pictures of characters does enough to set up their roles within the disaster genre and it is not long before one massive explosion and we are back in the disaster films that were so popular in the 1970's. To many this will be a bad thing because while meeting all the genre requirements this film also repeats all the old problems as well I guess it is about what you like, if you like the genre then you'll enjoy this. The plot is the basic stuff, focusing on one small group and throwing up one obstacle after another for them to get over. At each stage we'll have losses, tragic deaths, heroic sacrifice, emotional panic, headstrong jerks etc etc it does everything you would expect. Of course this also brings with it the problems of being rushed, the characters being cardboard cut outs, the drama being staged and never being able to stop without making things look bad and the fact that the film is a bit too close to being a cloying weepy for comfort.
None of this stops it being exciting enough to be worth seeing though. The modern effects are impressive and the sets etc are convincingly real. The actors hardly have a lot to work with but they do well enough to make it work well. Stallone holds back from being an invincible action man and he is better for it, producing a good lead. The support all fill their genre roles but most of them do it well enough so that they are actually emotionally engaging rather than just being fodder. Hedaya, Sanders, Brenneman, Mortensen and others are all solid enough to make it work sure they are a bit corny at times but this is more to do with the genre writing than the acting.
Overall this is a disaster movie very much in the genre mould set in the 1970's and it has all the weaknesses you would expect from the genre. The writing is where the clichés come in but these are almost carried by the solid acting and enjoyable special effects. A genre movie then but one that is enjoyable if you like that sort of thing just don't expect anything original or new and you'll be OK.
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