|Page 1 of 20:||          |
|Index||191 reviews in total|
88 out of 105 people found the following review useful:
Dude, you need to calm down..., 5 February 2004
Author: joelrq from Nashville, TN
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After reading this last guy's review, I'd like to stick up for this movie
and offer a BALANCED review. In my opinion, Dante's Peak does a good job of
developing the characters (Dalton, R. Wando, the volcano as a character,
even the townsfolk), giving convincing backstory as to how volcanos behave
compared to scientists' expectations, making us care about the characters,
building tension through conflict between Dreyfus and Dalton, and using
effects to ramp up the intensity of the action scenes.
Yes, there were things in the script and the story which seemed a little contrived and strained believability. The attitudes and behavior of the USGS team were a little too informal and "hip" to seem real. The driving-through-the-river and driving-through-the-lava scenes were really too far out to be believed. Ruth's selfishness and patent stubbornness were unbelievable but understandable. The scene where the pyroclastic cloud chases them into the mine is pure hollywood fluff but still livable, mainly because WE CARE ABOUT THE CHARACTERS. I found the character of Dr. Paul Dreyfuss to be right on. He explained the dilemma well during the city council meeting scene. All of the characters are believable at least, convincing at most.
I think the chemistry between Dalton and Wando is believable : Here you have a scientist who is analytical and professional, but who is still in touch with the lives of laypeople, and has a tender side. He has loved and lost before and he senses that this new volcanic threat is akin to the last one which "took" his love away. This re-enforces the precept that THIS TIME, HE WON'T LET THE VOLCANO HURT THE ONES HE LOVES. Wando is the warm, slightly ditsy mayor of Dante's Peak who displays the identifiable traits and values of a northwesterner. She feels slightly overwhelmed by her mayoral duties, raising her kids properly, and running her coffeeshop. She's had a previous marriage to a deadbeat who left her at a vulnerable point. The arrival of Dalton is very catalytic in her life. She's met the only man who has the right answer about the volcano, likes her kids, likes her, is intriguing, and is everything her ex wasn't. THIS IS THE MAKINGS OF A ROMANCE...DUH.
I'm really impressed that the filmmakers were able to pack this much character development, backstory, romance, suspense, personal conflict, with an intense end-sequence in under 1 1/2 hours! "Volcano" is a film with a similar premise that,IMHO, doesn't even come close to Dante's Peak. While this film is not deserving of an Oscar, IT IS A SOLID FILM, HAVING BEEN WELL-CONCEIVED, WELL-DIRECTED, FAIRLY WELL-ACTED, AND AS SUCH IS SUBSEQUENTLY WELL-DESERVING OF SOME CRITICAL ACCLAIM rather than getting a baseless pummeling from reviewers who obviously expect to see a 5-star gem everytime they go to the movies.
46 out of 54 people found the following review useful:
Good Effects Make It Fun To Watch, 21 April 2006
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
This "disaster film" had some of the best special effects of its day
(almost 10 years ago). I have to say "of its day" because technology
has made CGI become dated quickly these days.
This film is all about a volcano, a la Mt. St. Helen's, erupting and killing people and destroying a small town below it. Some of the scenes were just jaw- dropping and, at least for the first-time viewer, a lot of suspense over whether the main characters of the story will survive it.
Of course, there are some credibility gaps in here, things that just could not happen such as little boy drive van up a mountain (when his feet wouldn't reach the foot pedals!) but you just go along for the ride and enjoy the tension and special effects even if the story gets a little hokey.
It might not be the most intelligent film, but it's very entertaining 109 minutes, and that's the name of the business. It's good escapist fare, and that's all. It's worth two looks.
52 out of 68 people found the following review useful:
Great... really true to the facts, 11 June 2004
Author: (email@example.com) from Brisbane, Australia
OK... after seeing all the bad comments that people have written about
this, i would like to stand up for it. I have always been interested in
volcanoes and geology, and i have just finished watching the movie for
the somewhat like tenth time and also the 'making of' section on the
DVD. I would like to tell all those people that think that it was
really tacky with a weak storyline that it was incredibly true to the
facts, way more than any of the other disaster movies that were
released over 1998 and 1997(eg. Volcano (which was shocking), deep
impact (even worse) and Armageddon (i haven't seen so i won't
Yes, i will agree with you that some of the ideas were really outrageous (such as outrunning the pyroclastic flow into the mine), but come on guys, give the movie a break... its Hollywood for heaven's sake!
I'd give this movie and eight point five out of ten... anyone who wants to see a mostly scientifically accurate disaster movie, watch this.
34 out of 42 people found the following review useful:
Volcano Plays Its Part Very Well, 3 January 2006
Author: MiguelM from Los Angeles
Yes, there are some cheesy, hollywoodish moments in this movie, but the
actors bring enough charisma and presence to hold the story together.
Pierce Brosnan makes a convincing scientist, whose passion and desire
to protect the townspeople plays off nicely with Mayor Linda Hamilton's
But what I most want to say is that the volcano itself was both believable and accurate. So I want to commend the filmmakers for having enough integrity to make an entertaining film within the boundaries of scientific accuracy. And face it, you don't go to a movie like Dante's Peak to see insightful drama, or peer deep into the human psyche. The people and the volcano play off each other very nicely. It's not often you get a film with both chemistry and physics.
39 out of 58 people found the following review useful:
Just what we needed. Great movie., 24 June 2002
Author: Jack the Ripper1888 from Chicagooooooo
I love the way this film builds up tension by slowly developing the
characters and inducing drama between them. All of this makes a film much
better than VOLCANO. The list of fine actors/ actresses include Pierce
Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Charles Hallahan, Grant Heslov, Elizabeth Hoffman,
Tzi Ma, Christopher Murray and more. This film shows how people might
actually act and think in a volcano situation. The art direction was great
as they showed the sky and ash beautifully. The scenery of the town is very
nice and the whole town seems very quiet and peaceful. I would have wanted
to live there.
This is the best volcano movie ever. No volcano movie will ever surpass this one. The cinematography is great also. Roger Donaldson did a great job of direction and the score by James Newton Howard is beautiful. All of these elements create a film that is unforgettable. DANTE'S PEAK gets 5/5.
17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Enjoy the fireworks., 16 July 2007
Author: Shawn Watson (firstname.lastname@example.org) from The Underverse
The 'old-fashioned' disaster movie scenario enjoyed a brief resurgence
in the latter half of the 90s. After the success of Twister and ID4,
films like Hard Rain, Titanic, Armageddon and Deep Impact followed in
its wake. Like the two competing asteroid movies, Dante's Peak was in
competition with the imaginatively named Volcano as THE Lava flow of
1997. Which one is better? Well, comparing the two is like comparing an
atomic blast to a popping pimple.
Pierce Brosnan is Harry Dalton, a Vulcanologist (or James Bond in disguise if you want) who predicts a major eruption in the quaint Pacific-Northwestern town of Dante's Peak. No one wants to listen to him since the town has just been named the 2nd most desirable place to live in America and is in the early stages of a thriving economy. It's the politics from Jaws all over again. Despite being shouted down by his superiors, Harry sticks around to keep his eye on the imposing mountain and woo Mayor Wando (Linda Hamilton), who is the only one who believes the 4000-year dormant volcano might blow its top.
If you've seen one disaster movie, you've seen 'em all in terms of character importance. Yes, it's bloody obvious who is going to die, some of these people might as well have a death clock counting down stuck on their foreheads. And the panicking idiot mobs don't deserve anything less firey. When will nameless extras learn that following the crowd isn't the best way? I guess this is the weakest part of Dante's Peak, it never really distances itself from that single, eternal cliché of disaster films.
But the film is really nothing but a showcase for special effects and it does them surprisingly well. Made before the extreme popularity of CGI, Dante's Peak has a lot of real-life destruction, in-camera effects and stunt-work. Yes, there is a fair bit of CGI and for a 10-year-old film they still hold up really well. All Volano (Zzzz...) had to offer was a very, very slight lava flow and an unintentionally hilarious scene with a melting man but with Dante's Peak we get earthquakes, boiled skinny dippers, lakes of acid, ash blizzards that create a unique atmosphere, thunder and lightning, red hot boulders raining down from the sky, mudslides, lava (of course), a massive pyroclastic cloud and lots of deep, deep bass sound effects.
It's not a life-changing film by any means, but as disaster movies go it's one of the best, has an occasionally spooky score and entertains really well despite Brosnan taking it all so seriously. I would have given it a higher rating if they killed the dog (more original) and deleted the annoying Grant Heslov's utterly pointless character.
18 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
Not a bad disaster movie, 26 January 2006
Author: Kristen (nev827) from Maryland
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.
16 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Pierce & Linda Gave a Great Performance, 8 January 2006
Author: whpratt1 from United States
Decided to view this picture only because Pierce Brosnan was starring in the film and greatly enjoyed his acting skills besides his appearing as James Bond. Pierce Brosnan,(Harry Dalton),"The Matador",'05, has a bad experience with the death of his wife during a volcano eruption and stayed in his profession as a geologist. Harry discovers from his charts that their could very well be another volcano problem effecting a small popular town. Linda Hamilton,(Rachel Wando),"The Kid & I ",'05 is the mayor and store owner of this town, who has a boy and a girl and is divorced. A romantic spark happens between Linda and Harry and the story develops into a monster of a tale. There is plenty of good action and it really keeps you on the edge of your seats. Pierce & Linda gave outstanding performances and the photography was great through out the entire picture. Very Entertaining
15 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Not bad as far as natural disaster movies go, 31 March 2006
Author: tastyhotdogs from Australia
Saw this a video sale this week for a $1. Wifey was stoked as her
favourite movie genre is "natural disasters".
The movie revolves around volcano expert Harry (Brosnan), who decides to go and take a look at a volcano in a small US town where there seems to be some minimal activity. He is expecting this just to be a routine check, but once he starts taking some PH tests, things don't look so good. Then he finds some dead bodies in a hot spring and things look decidedly worse. He warns the town Mayor (Hamilton) the old volcano looks like she's gonna blow and she should look at evacuating the town ASAP. Just before this is about to happen, Harry's boss rocks into town, playing the time-old boss who doesn't take heed of the advice of someone smarter than him. Will the evacuation be too late? Will Harry and the Mayor get romantically involved? Will Harry again be tormented by a volcano? Will Nanna survive? Will the end be predictable? See it and find out.
10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Highly superior underdog, 19 January 2004
Author: Fiendish_Dramaturgy from .: Fiendish Writings in the Dark :.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Excellent, creative use of the 104M budget here. This is the supreme
example of Mother Nature when She has totally gone awry. Beautifully
written, realistically executed, and professionally presented, this
movie could not have delivered more bang for the buck.
Released this same year, was Volcano. It featured a better known, more dynamic cast; more eye candy; and just a tiny bit smaller budget.
However, if you're looking for realism, action, and fast-paced well written story, Dante's Peak is the movie for you! Linda Hamilton and Pierce Brosnan deliver excellent top row performances here. The scenery is beautiful, the effects are stunningly believable, the direction was astounding, and the whole production is even better than the sum of its parts.
Dante's Peak is far better than the sum of its wonderful parts; it is a riveting visual experience and a compellingly executed premise.
It rates an 8.9/10 from...
the Fiend :.
|Page 1 of 20:||          |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||Newsgroup reviews||External reviews|
|Parents Guide||Official site||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|