The Coast Is Toast

Ah, gotta love those cheesy tag lines.  I’ve seen Volcano before ages ago, though I didn’t remember most of it. I feel like it was something I caught part of on cable somewhere. It’s that kind of movie.

Basically a volcano sort of appears in Los Angeles and erupts. It’s not really a volcano though, at least not Mt. St. Helens or any mountain like structure, which is what I associate with volcanos physically. It’s more, earthquakes and something else cause lava to kinda just ooze up underneath LA. Due to LA being a large city, the lava just kinda funnels itself through man-made tunnels and stuff and explodes from there (and the tar pits). I wouldn’t really call it a volcano. Anyways, shenanigans ensue as Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche try to solve this problem as magma flows through the streets, destroying everything in its path.

It sounds like a fairly corny disaster movie and on a lot of levels it is. It’s nothing spectacular. As outlandish as some of the film seems, they do treat it seriously. It’s not tongue and cheek. It’s meant to be a serious threat. It’s not really that bad either.

Yes the script is quite bad. I mean I don’t think most people watching this (especially now) expect much from this movie. So, yes there are plenty of clichés and the science is bizarre and all that jazz. I mean the movies ending is just horrible. The amount of damage and death that takes place is ignored as they all just smile and enjoy their defeat of the volcano. That and there is some odd Rodney King type commentary that isn’t developed (or needed) along with the necessary references to the L.A. riots and looting.

The visual effects are quite good. I mean it wasn’t necessarily breathtaking, but considering how miserable to story is, the special effects are really nice to see. It helps keep the movie from being incredibly campy.

You also have a fairly decent cast. Granted they are working with much, but they are good actors who pull it off. Especially Tommy Lee Jones. That man can work miracles sometimes.

It isn’t a great movie, but it was enjoyable. It’s an escapist film that I was able to enjoy over the weekend when I was sick and trying to not think about teaching.

You can check out more from me at Film Daze.

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