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After a disastrous nuclear accident, scientists discover the earth's tectonic plates are shifting and creating immense pressure that will destroy the earth in a fiery global eruption, and it's up to a few top scientists to find a way to stop it!Written by
The film shares many of its crew members with Malevolent (2002), which was produced the same year by the same company. See more »
When the two helicopters check for the status of the team in the supposedly evacuated and empty Los Angeles, normal commuter traffic can be seen crossing a bridge. See more »
Arctic explorer 1:
Hey! Don't die on me yet!
Arctic explorer 2:
Give me your hand!
[He grabs hold of the hand]
Arctic explorer 2:
How much further?
Arctic explorer 1:
Over the ridge!
[They go over the ridge and witness part of Antarctica in flames]
Arctic explorer 2:
What the hell is that?
Arctic explorer 2:
Is that what you were expecting?
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Ah the unmistakable whiff of stock footage! Scorcher is a very cheap film in the style of Armageddon without the excessive cheese though. Despite borrowing footage from films like Daylight, Dantes Peak and Terminator 2 the rest of the film is of a high standard. The idea is good, Shifting plates that are moving to a point that will have the world hotting up to immense proportions with volcanoes exploding, earthquakes and the molten rock from below the earth rising from under the ground when the pacific plate reaches a certain point. The reason this is happening is the constant damage humans do to the earth, with global warming on the rise and potentially set to rise to the point of Armageddon.
The answer is to set off a nuclear bomb to deflect the plate, but this has to be done in Los Angeles, yes far fetched I know but aren't most movies of this type? It is down to an elite group headed by Ryan Beckett, played well by Mark Dacascos, to save the day. With LA in evacuation they have less than two days to complete the mission and what's more is Beckett's daughter is in Los Angeles. His superiors say they will evacuate her but of course things don't go to plan. On her way through a tunnel an earthquake sets off an explosion in the gas pipes destroying everything in the tunnel (que Daylight scenes), Beckett's daughter is saved by his lover at the cost of her life and so His daughter is now alone in a deserted LA. She gets kidnapped by a nutcase and presumed dead, Beckett isn't even told as it may compromise the mission to save the world. Anyway as you'd expect the world is saved but not without complications. Nutters, looters and a military man with a hidden agenda all stand in the way of his mission as well as earth quakes and other natural elements.
The stock footage is very blatant and the film seems very cheap but the sets they have built up are small but good. Rutger Hauer has a bit part as the President, you can always rely on Hauer, he is good here but is about as convincing as an American president as he is as Britney Spears. He is in this simply for the producers to use his name in the same way as the stock footage, to add a touch of class.
In fact a key part of why this film doesn't fall flat, and become a ridiculous film that would normally star Michael Dudikoff and Gary Daniels, is the excellent cast. As I mentioned, Rutger Hauer is good although coasting through his role. He is required to do little more than seems concerned and is never on screen for more than a minute at a time. John Rhys Davies adds some quality to, he shows his experience of being in top class movies like Lord of the Rings and two of the Indiana Jones films and certainly has a decent part as the scientist with the know how. Mark Dacascos as usual is good. He has improved immensely as an actor over the years and can easily do roles with more depth, he is certainly one of the more interesting actors from the action genre. His delivery is good as well being expressive and charismatic, he has definitely got involving eyes like Rutger that draw the audience in and make him very convincing. He has also got the necessary comical timing and can make good come from poor one liners, which is rare to the action world, he is starting to get the one liner panache that the Oak Ah-nuld has had since he first uttered knock-knock in Predator after having kicked through a door. This film was made before Dacascos hit the big time with Brotherhood of the Wolf, the film that went down a storm and for which he received high praise, and now has two very promising films in the pipeline. Both of which are respectably budgeted and will get him more coverage for people to take notice of the fact he is an action star with acting ability. The next Vin Diesel perhaps? who knows. Tamara Davies was good in her role as John Rhys-Davies's daughter (are they related in real life?). I've never seen her work before but she did impress me, also the girl who plays Beckett's daughter was very good, definitely a promising actress but this I feel will not get her noticed.
Anyway this is a half decent film, the action falls flat because they are basing it around stock footage, there are a few more action scenes which don't need stock footage but they are nothing special and rather cheap. This is really half cheap B-movie and half professional A movie. The acting is certainly good, Hauer is needless but watchable. This will definitely disappoint fans who expect Mark to unleash some Kung-fu upon the bad guys because he doesn't, but this is not that sort of movie. It is better than some of the ham fisted epics Hollywood have released upon us in recent years. It is just a question of why allow a film to be made if the directors and writers visions far out weigh the money the producers are willing to give. This is watchable and is an example of pointless and forgettable movie making. This is similar in its blatant ripping off as Epicentre with Gary Daniels, another disaster flick that's best sequences were ripped off from other movies, this film however has class where it matters, in the acting and direction, there are some nice scenes in the movie. For Dacascos fans it is worth the purchase if only to see an accomplished performance, Drive this is not but his next two will satisfy our kung-fu cravings. This may be worth a rental to anyone else, it depends on how you are effected by the use of stock footage. It shouldn't really mar the quality of the remainder of the film but it does somewhat.
Overall 5.5/10 half good in respect of the acting, music and direction and half bad for the ripping off, cheapness and slightly lame ending.
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