Dante’s Peak

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:52 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Dante’s Peak
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Charles Hallahan
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Universal Pictures
Release Date: 1997
Kiddie Movie: Tough call. There’s people dying so if your kid has a problem with that, or gets scared by flying rocks, leave them at home.
Date Movie: She might hold your hand during some of the suspenseful scenes.
Gratuitous Sex: Linda keeps her clothes on.
Gratuitous Violence: People dying and getting hit on the heads by rocks.
Action: Plenty once the volcano blows its top.
Laughs: Mostly at how stupid the people are.
Memorable Scene: The effects are cool when the volcano decides to vent its anger.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Roger Donaldson

It’s somewhere about an hour into “Dante’s Peak” and I found myself laughing. Should I have been laughing while watching a movie about a volcano that blows its top all over a gorgeous little town? I guess it wasn’t real laughter, but the kind of “I can’t believe these people are so stupid” laughter. You see, it was around this point that the second in command geologist dude, Harry, played by Pierce Brosnan, convinces his boss that the volcano is going to erupt because the tap water is brown. When is it going to blow? At any minute. What do you do when a volcano towering above you is going to blow at any minute? Well, if you’re this little town you hold an emergency town meeting in the high school gymnasium the next day at 6 PM to discuss the evacuation plan. Let’s see if you can guess what happens the next day when the “town” is in this gym? Did you say “earthquake and volcano eruptions during the meeting?” You get the prize, because that’s exactly what happened.

Now, let’s see. You live in this little town where everyone knows everyone else and this group of geologists invade the local motel with probably more computer gear than your local school to check the volcano and see if it is upset. Then you’re at home watching the local news and your mayor, Rachel (played by Linda Hamilton – sorry for digressing a little, but there is something to be said when your mayor is good looking, likes to wear short skirts, and makes a mean cappuccino) comes on TV and says something to the effect that “we’ll be having an emergency town meeting tomorrow to discuss our evacuation plan because the volcano is going to erupt at any minute.” Would you be waiting until tomorrow to evacuate? Sorry, but me personally would be like “Honey, grab the kids we’re going on a vacation.” And what kind of plan is this when there are like two or three roads leading into town? Well, needless to say when the earthquakes start and volcano guts are spewing all over you get an entire little town that seems to crash in the town square and have to be rescued by the national guard. Alright, that little intro was a little long, so let’s do a quick story line of the movie.

The movie opens with all kinds of action as Harry and his group of geologist dudes and dudettes are studying this volcano while it’s erupting. He gets out of the town but not without a little tragedy. Then, while on “vacation” he gets sent to check out this volcano next to “the second most desirable place to live in the United States with a population under 20,000.” He sees all of the warning signs, wants to get all of the people out of town, but his boss says “No.” Being dissed by his boss, Harry contemplates leaving town but instead starts to fall for the mayor, but then again, who wouldn’t? So he stays to study the volcano, or maybe just the mayor. Well, like I said before, the volcano erupts, surprise, surprise, the buildings start to fall, people crash into each other and mass mayhem erupts with it. Meanwhile, his boss apologizes to Harry, that Harry was right and he was wrong. Duh? Well, the national guard comes in to save the day, and most of the people, all except for Harry, Rachel, and her two kids who went to rescue grandma living high in the hills. I guess it would have been a lot shorter movie if grandma wasn’t so damn stupid and wanted to stay.

As the lava flow comes crashing through the house our adventurers make their escape to what is now an acid lake, cruising in a metal boat. They make it across the lake thanks to grandma, but in the end they wasted their trip up the mountain. Eventually they get back to town, but not before the bridge gets washed out, so now they are trapped and head for cover. They find it, and guess what, they all get rescued.

Now, don’t get me wrong, “Dante’s Peak” isn’t that bad of a movie, it’s just filled with stupid people. For you special effects buffs, the volcano blowing up and all the things that go with it are great. The only problem is you have to sit through a lot of things that make you glad you have a little common sense because this town sure doesn’t. I’d say wait for the video but the effects will probably be lost in shrinking to the small screen. I don’t think it’s worth a full price ticket, so I guess if you’re going to see it opt for the bargain show or wait till it hits the bargain theaters. All in all it’s 2 stars for “Dante’s Peak.”

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!