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.
Volcanologist Harry Dalton and mayor Rachel Wando of Dante's Peak try to convince the city council and the other volcanologists that the volcano right above Dante's peak is indeed dangerous. People's safety is being set against economical interests. Written by
Rune Dahl Fitjar <email@example.com>
The first time I saw this movie I thought it quite good, especially the roller coaster ride of the last hour or so. I saw it again and thought it not very good at all and now having seen it recently, I not bad, but not great either. It's a well done disaster movie with one challenge after another to survive being thrown at the main characters. This roller coaster ride really pulled me in and even reminded me of the very well done remake of The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford. I'll admit some of the situations are a little hard to believe, but at least they keep the film from being boring.
The chemistry between Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton, while not incredible, is still there. Also enjoyable was how the film makes use of its small town setting, including in the casting characters you'd expect to find in a small town: the female gossip, the gruff, but dedicated sheriff, and the more business-minded don't-rock-the-boat councilman. Finally, Harry (Brosnan) and Paul Dreyfus's band of colleagues also prevent the movie from being flat, but are a little too reminiscent of the characters from Twister to really leave their own mark.
Also what impressed me was some of the camera work, which I think isn't given enough credit. There are a number of composite shots of the erupting volcano with the reflection (probably understood to be from a truck's window) of Rachel (Hamilton) looking back in horror that are quite well done. And the digital editing in of the volcano is also well done as well as some of the panoramas.
A smaller problem I had with the movie is the development of Harry and Rachel's relationship. Initially their flirtations and the initial "getting to know each other" are quite cute. But I can't help but think why Rachel, who has been a small-town girl her whole life would be interested in someone like Harry who clearly states a that his job isn't exactly conducive to settling down. Sure Harry is everything her ex-husband isn't and it's obvious that the both of them are lonely to a degree, but it doesn't seem to me that a woman as sensible and who feels as great a responsibility as Rachel (to her kids, to the town, to her business) would find that to be enough. Also, Harry seems to get over the touchy subject of his dear departed Marianne to start making passes at Rachel in her kitchen quite quickly.
My biggest problem with the movie is the writing, which is so bad in some places that it really brings down the parts in the movie where it is good. Harry's line about sex being like riding a bicycle because once you learn you never forget is laughable. Some of the Wando children's lines I found to be lacking in substance too and almost condescending to the viewer. But, as I said, not all the writing is bad: an example is the excellent delivery of a reference to Pompei by one of Harry and Paul's colleagues and another's excitement over Rachel's regular coffee deliveries.
In the end, when this movie is bad, it's bad, but in general it's good.
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