5.4/10
57,747
178 user 82 critic

Volcano (1997)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi | 25 April 1997 (USA)
Trailer
2:27 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
A volcano erupts in downtown L.A., threatening to destroy the city.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,807 ( 1,450)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Dante's Peak (1997)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A vulcanologist arrives at a countryside town recently named the second most desirable place to live in America and discovers that the long dormant volcano, Dante's Peak, may wake up at any moment.

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Jamie Renée Smith
Twister (1996)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Bill and Jo Harding, advanced storm chasers on the brink of divorce, must join together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes.

Director: Jan de Bont
Stars: Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Cary Elwes
The Core (2003)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The only way to save Earth from catastrophe is to drill down to the core and set it spinning again.

Director: Jon Amiel
Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo
Deep Impact (1998)
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Unless a comet can be destroyed before colliding with Earth, only those allowed into shelters will survive. Which people will survive?

Director: Mimi Leder
Stars: Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni, Elijah Wood
Outbreak (1995)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Extreme measures are necessary to contain an epidemic of a deadly airborne virus. But how extreme, exactly?

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman
Poseidon (2006)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

On New Year's Eve, the luxury ocean liner Poseidon capsizes after being swamped by a rogue wave. The survivors are left to fight for their lives as they attempt to escape the sinking ship.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Kurt Russell, Emmy Rossum
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An unusually intense storm pattern catches some commercial fishermen unaware and puts them in mortal danger.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly
Daylight (1996)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Disaster in a New York tunnel as explosions collapse both ends of it. One hero tries to help the people inside find their way to safety.

Director: Rob Cohen
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Amy Brenneman, Viggo Mortensen
Air Force One (1997)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Hijackers seize the plane carrying the President of the United States and his family, but he - an ex-soldier - works from hiding to defeat them.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close
U.S. Marshals (1998)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

US Marshal Samuel Gerard (Jones) and his team of Marshals are assigned to track down Sheridan (Snipes), who has been accused of a double-murder.

Director: Stuart Baird
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley Snipes, Robert Downey Jr.
Godzilla I (1998)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A giant, reptilian monster has surfaces, leaving destruction in its wake. To stop this monster (and it's babies), an earthworm scientist, his reporter ex-girlfriend, and other unlikely heroes team up to save their city.

Director: Roland Emmerich
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Searching for a cure to Alzheimer's disease a group of scientists on an isolated research facility become the bait as a trio of intelligent sharks fight back.

Director: Renny Harlin
Stars: Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Samuel L. Jackson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Police Lieutenant Ed Fox
...
Norman Calder
...
...
...
Laurie Lathem ...
Bert Kramer ...
L.A. Fire Chief
Bo Eason ...
...
Terry Jasper (as James G. MacDonald)
...
Edit

Storyline

Something unspeakably chilling is ultimately starting to heat up at The City of Los Angeles! Beneath the famed La Brea Tar Pits, a raging volcano has formed, raining a storm of deadly fire bombs and an endless tide of white-hot lava upon the stunned city! Written by Anthony Pereyra <hypersonic91@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

volcano | earthquake | lava | rescue | fire | See All (99) »

Taglines:

The Coast Is Toast See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense depiction of urban disaster and related injuries | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

25 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vulkan  »

Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$14,581,740 (USA) (25 April 1997)

Gross:

$47,474,112 (USA) (1 August 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the years since the movie, the LA Metro has been working towards extending subway service to Beverly Hills, on the Purple Line, not the Red Line. One of the proposed stops is at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, where they dammed the lava flow along the Miracle Mile. See more »

Goofs

After the first quake, seismologists write down the time as 0914, indicating Pacific Standard/Daylight Time. In real life, seismologists use Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Depending on the time of year, it should have been recorded as 1714 or 1614. See more »

Quotes

Roark: [Roark ordered 200 "K-rails" ]
[freeway dividers]
Roark: to redirect the lava. Trucks arrive with only 82]Where's the rest of 'em?
Truck driver: What "rest of 'em?" This is it!
Lt. Fox: Hey, there only about eighty here!
Truck driver: Eighty-two; everything else is stuck on the 5 and the 10.
Lt. Fox: We're trying to keep the city in one piece, pinhead. Eighty rails ain't gonna do it!
Truck driver: So what are you blaming me for?
Lt. Fox: CONVENIENCE, OK?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Boom! Hollywood's Greatest Disaster Movies (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Buck Your Head
Written by Dillinger and Juvenile
Performed by Juster
Courtesy of TVT Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The script is the real natural disaster in "Volcano"
6 February 2002 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

Watching Mick Jackson's disaster flick, in which the eponymous natural disaster wreaks havoc throughout Los Angeles, is like watching a 3 a.m. infomercial. It's such silly, mindless fluff, yet there's just something about it that keeps your eyes glued to the screen.

"Volcano" is admittedly well-cast and acted, despite a dreadful script and a plot whose summary could fit on a matchbook. Tommy Lee Jones, who would give 110% making a McDonald's commercial, stars as Mike Roark, the hard-boiled head of the Office of Emergency Management, where he is assisted by his sidekick Emmit (Don Cheadle). After initially pooh-poohing the thought of a volcano in L.A. from geologist Amy Barnes (Anne Heche, who constantly ends her lines with a four-letter word like a period after a sentence), it's only a matter of time before he is proved wrong before his very eyes. Other solid performances come from Jacqueline Kim (Dr. Calder), John Carroll Lynch (Stan, the oft-maligned subway boss), and Keith David, a great actor who is otherwise wasted here in a role as a police lieutenant who has no impact on any events in the film, which is halfway over before he even appears on screen for the first time.

However, there's the small problem of having something resembling a good story to go with the awesome visuals, which are indeed spectacular. But forget the volcano; Jerome Armstrong's script poses the greatest threat to the characters. To put it mildly, it's the biggest piece of cliché-ridden muck to come along in awhile, laden with plot holes, smarmy sentimentality (the offender here being a dog rescue scene near the beginning) and heroics, forced we-are-all-brothers morals, and implausibilities. Yes, this film is rooted far from reality, but it should make a little sense along the way.

Working at the OEM must be the cushiest job in the world, for all the employees do throughout the picture is holler at each other and stare blankly at computer monitors. (And why do they continuously show news broadcasts on their big screen? Is that where their disaster briefings come from?) Mike's sullen daughter (Gaby Hoffmann, in a thankless role in the tradition of "True Lies" and "Face/Off"), due to her own incompetence, is suddenly thrust into peril and is thus separated from her father, a subplot that helps build up what turns out to be one great big joke of an ending. Describing it here can't do it justice. (After being taken to the hospital in Dr. Calder's Land Rover to receive treatment for a second-degree burn on her right leg, she is seen some time later with a bloody scab on her left cheek as she talks to Mike on the phone. And you thought your HMO was rough.) Plus, I seriously doubt that someone who jumps right into a pool of hot lava would slowly melt like a snowman in Miami while he screams and tosses the body of a man nearly twice his size to safety from a burning subway train. Then there's the wonderful family-oriented scene of two firemen burned alive in their overturned truck.

And, lest we forget that "Volcano" takes place in L.A., there's the obligatory racist-cop episode in which a black man asking the fire chief to help his neighborhood is suddenly handcuffed out of nowhere by an officer for "harassing" him, a tacky scene complete with (groan) references to Rodney King and Mark Fuhrman. (The whole time he's cuffed, the black man makes carefree wisecracks to the officers all while his 'hood is burning to cinders.) But, of course, everything's eventually resolved. "You're a good man," the other cop praises his partner after the latter grudgingly dispatches fire trucks to the black man's neighborhood, as if he has performed some immense display of generosity.

In another lovely homage to L.A., there's also a looting scene, where extras run incredibly slow while carrying empty boxes.

And what in the world was with the constant barrage of news reporters? Did we really need someone reporting "The house behind me has just exploded into flames...all hell is breaking loose!" while people were running for their lives all around her? As the volcano explodes out of the La Brea Tar Pits and lava is running onto the street, it's from a reporter describing this sight from where we hear one of the worst lines in the film: "It's as if the tar had caught fire, melted and somehow expanded." Hey, McFly, if tar is already a liquid to begin with, then how in the world can it melt?

When an army of helicopters drops gallons of water on the lava blocked off on Wilshire, the reporters and camera crews, who are camped right up against the concrete barriers, manage to stay conveniently dry the entire time.

Despite a high body count, scores of injured civilians and billions of dollars in damages, everybody's smiling as soon as a rainfall ensues, like those 7up commercials circa 1986. ("Feels so good comin' down!" Remember that?) Lots of questions are left unanswered: How will they clean up and repair everything? Will a future eruption occur soon? Will the Cubs win the World Series?

Yet for all its pretentiousness and gaping flaws, I have to admit that "Volcano" was entertaining. It's a load of escapist camp that doesn't have a care in the world. And I do have to give credit where it's due; somehow the filmmakers managed to keep slow-moving lava exciting for 104 minutes.

Plus, you can't help but get a kick out of a disaster film that includes the line "This city's finally paying for its arrogance," and finds the time to include a Bible quotation. 7/10


56 of 70 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I just hate this.... mlajunen
Huge thing wrong with the movie harrypearce
Recommend other hilarious, badly written movies? arild-16
Ambient heat Rick-34
This bit made me chuckle jonesy82
Firetruck cjc-604-274216
Discuss Volcano (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?