Writer: Jerome Armstrong, Billy Ray (Screenplay) Jerome Armstrong (Story)
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Anne Heche, Gaby Hoffmann, Don Cheadle, Jacqueline Kim, Keith David, John Corbett
Plot: A volcano erupts in downtown Los Angeles, threatening to destroy the city.
Tagline – L.A. Erupts in 1997
Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Entertaining Disaster Film
Story: Volcano starts when a small earthquake hits LA, Michael Roarke (Jones) the director of the office of emergency management gives up his holiday with his daughter Kelly (Hoffman) to make sure everything is getting cleaned up without needing his help, with Emmit Reese (Cheadle) trying to cover for him.
Needing an expect Mike turns to Dr Amy Barnes (Heche) who is an expert in geology and earthquake activities as they discover lava under LA and soon it erupts putting the whole city in danger and the race to save as many people as possible is on.
Thoughts on Volcano
Characters – Mike Roark is the director of the office of emergency management in LA, he has been through a messy divorce, giving him less time with his daughter and is a workaholic. He is spending his vacation with his daughter only a small earthquake leads him back to work, putting a strain on his relationship with his daughter, but when things start escalating, he will do everything to protect the city from more chaos, trying to save as many lives as possible. Dr Amy Barnes is a geologist who is used to facing the press, she leads her team in searching for the answers and will fill in the science that Mike isn’t away for. Kelly is the daughter of Mike, she is often a deer in the headlights type of teenager, never understanding how to get away from danger, though she does get to learn quickly when she is helping around the medical area of the disaster. Emmit Reese works under Mike, he secretly wants his job and is planning to take over one day, he learns in this situation that he isn’t ready for this role anytime soon.
Performances – Tommy Lee Jones in the leading role seems like a perfect choice, he is a man that can demand centre stage and needs to in this role, while showing he needs advice to make things right. Anne Heche handles to scientific role very well throughout, not coming off as a know it all character like she could have been made to look like. Gaby Hoffmann as the kid fills the role well, even if she isn’t written as well as they could have done. Don Cheadle is more in a commentary role which he is great to see in.
Story – The story here follows the emergency services and geologist working together to try and save the city of LA from an unexpected volcano that was laying beneath the city. When we look at the story we get the disaster elements where people need to team up to save the city from disaster, we see how they work together to find solutions with any troubles between people never being more than a little argument, no real human villains does make this feel more natural. It is nice to see a story that doesn’t over complicate anything too.
Action/Sci-Fi – The action is big, it comes from the erupts that hit when the people are trying to avoid getting hurt, we get more action from the plans to keep the city safe too. The sci-fi side of the film comes from just seeing how people could have been with science fiction behind it happening.
Settings – The film is set in LA, a place you wouldn’t expect to see a volcano erupt, it does show the chaos the locals will be going through.
Special Effects – The effects are wonderful to see just how the destruction happens with the lava not stopping for much.
Scene of the Movie – The sound of silence
That Moment That Annoyed Me – Most of Norman’s scenes.
Final Thoughts – This is a fun disaster film that flows at a great pace, showing us just how people could work together to get over a problem they are all facing, with great acting throughout.
Overall: Disaster film that is a joy to watch.