5.5/10
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Volcano (1997)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi | 25 April 1997 (USA)
Trailer
2:26 | Trailer
A volcano erupts in downtown Los Angeles, threatening to destroy the city.

Director:

Mick Jackson

Writers:

Jerome Armstrong (story), Jerome Armstrong (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lee Jones ... Mike Roark
Anne Heche ... Dr. Amy Barnes
Gaby Hoffmann ... Kelly Roark
Don Cheadle ... Emmit Reese
Jacqueline Kim ... Dr. Jaye Calder
Keith David ... Police Lieutenant Ed Fox
John Corbett ... Norman Calder
Michael Rispoli ... Gator Harris
John Carroll Lynch ... Stan Olber
Marcello Thedford ... Kevin
Laurie Lathem ... Rachel
Bert Kramer ... L.A. Fire Chief
Bo Eason Bo Eason ... Bud McVie
James MacDonald ... Terry Jasper (as James G. MacDonald)
Dayton Callie ... Roger Lapher
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are 1,500 active volcanoes that we know about...and one that we don't. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the second movie of 1997 based on volcanic eruption. The first one , Dante's Peak (1997) is considered more accurate about volcanic eruptions. See more »

Goofs

As the lava flows up to the K-rail dam, it flows around street lights and traffic light poles. Flowing magma is between 700°C and 1350°C. Aluminum, with a melting point of 660°C, would have melted as soon as the lava reached it. A steel chain link fence melts into the flow. Depending on its composition, steel melts between 1050°C and 1550°C. See more »

Quotes

Amy: Right over the Red Line
[metro tunnel]
Roark: That steam could come anywhere... maybe the earthquake broke a water main
Amy: How did it get heated?
Roark: I don't know
Amy: You gotta lower me down there
Roark: I'm not letting you down there
Amy: Why... It's too dangerous?
Roark: Yes
Amy: I thought it was a water main?
[...]
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Alternate Versions

To attract more viewers the German theatrical version was cut to receive a "Not under 12" rating. The German video release contains the complete version and is rated "Not under 16". See more »

Connections

References ER (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Colas, Colas
Traditional composition arranged by Carlos Periguez
Courtesy of Associated Production Music
See more »

User Reviews

What America needs is a few good volcanic eruptions?
19 August 2000 | by jpsaldibarSee all my reviews

As a Big Budget movie, I'm sure that "Volcano" took more than a few months to make. Too bad someone associated with the movie didn't take that time to wander into the local library (the children's section, perhaps), and check out a book on "Volcanoes". I've seen Saturday-morning cartoons that have a better understanding of lava.

Instead we get many scenes of outright stupidity that would challenge even the densest of viewers. In one scene, Tommy Lee Jones and an assistant are standing near a volcanic vent, and their protective suits start to melt (of course skin is stronger than a protective suit, so they escape unharmed). But in numerous later scenes, people walk by lava like you might walk past a lake. Maybe this is because no one seems to know it's lava. I lost count of how many times a character said something like "What is that stuff?" or "There's something really hot and glowing coming down the street, and things are melting into it. Wonder what it could be?"

In what has to be one of the worst scenes ever filmed, two characters load an injured man onto the outstretched ladder of a hook & ladder truck. Then they hang onto a dangling fire hose as the ladder is lifted above the lava. The heat is so intense that the fire hose SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTS, but our characters are unhurt (their boots smoke a little). I didn't know that fire hoses were so flammable...

But "Volcano"is not just a dumb disaster flick with bad science. No! It's also a Socially-Important Commentary on our Society Movie! Throughout the film there are numerous "social messages". These are so corny and contrived that they could only have been written by people who have never actually experienced them. A racist cop tries to arrest a guy for assault (in the middle of a disaster scene!), but then the two team up to help save the day. Aww. Later, a little kid notes that "everybody looks the same" when covered by ash and soot. Aww. America's racial troubles could be ended, if only a giant volcano threatened us all.

More? Oh sure, there's more! Tommy Lee Jones is the too-hard-working dad who comes to value his daughter. Said daughter is a selfish brat who learns some responsibility, and respect for her dad. There's a guy whose only role in the movie is to say obviously insulting things. This makes him the "bad guy". One can see the writers of this movie hammering his role out: "We need someone who's rich and yuppie-like and snooty. Someone like us, only not as enlightened. Someone who wouldn't make a Socially-Important Commentary on our Society Movie like we are!" Of course, bad things happen to him and all is right with the world.

In the end, the mysterious, glowing, sometimes-hot substance we come to know as "lava" is channeled into the sea, and all of LA lives happily ever after in a just and fair world. A world, of course, with a big smoking volcano plopped down into the middle of it. Certainly that won't affect the real estate values?

The lessons of this movie are quite clear. 1) lava is harmless if you don't touch it; 2) small children will inevitably wander into incredible harm (but emerge OK), and 3) only through the trauma of sudden volcanic activity will we come to appreciate the true Brotherhood of Man.

Whoever thought up this movie should be thrown into a volcano...


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | German

Release Date:

25 April 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Volcano See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,581,740, 27 April 1997

Gross USA:

$49,323,468

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$122,823,468
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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