I watched Dante's Peak today for the first time in years. Did you know you have to wait about 40 minutes before anything happens? They want to set up the bullshit love story between the single mom and Pierce Brosnan, who is one of the least convincing scientists I've ever seen. It's a movie about a volcano, I came to see the volcano, I don't care about what all these humans are doing.
Anyway, there is a subplot with a NASA robot that looks like it's wasting a lot of time (and it is), but the radio transmitter turns out to be something useful during the last five minutes. It's kind of an ass pull solution to having Pierce and his new family survive.
Oh look, another subplot with the stubborn mother-in-law, who dies anyway, to inject even more unneeded melodrama into the story! Pierce and his new family go out of their way to rescue her, twenty minutes go by, they get trapped by the volcano, and wouldn't you know it the old woman jumps into the acid lake for no reason, gets seriously burned, and dies two minutes later. But they needed a way to get Pierce and his new family trapped so they could use the stupid NASA thing that they wasted another twenty minutes explaining, so they had to do this, right?
Pierce's boss justifiably refuses to go against all reason, evidence, and the opinions of nine other scientists, and order an evacuation of the town because of Pierce's gut reaction. It doesn't matter that Pierce has NOTHING supporting him (except the old frog in the pot aphorism, which he pulls out of nowhere and looks ridiculous compared to the nine other geologists real life stories of hundreds of real life volcanoes that did the same thing and didn't erupt). It doesn't matter that there has been no activity for a week and that Pierce comes off as a lunatic who is trying to score with the mayor (and probably does when they're trapped in the convenient cave). Nope. Pierce's boss is evil (and FAT! They have to make the designated villain the fattest person in the whole movie, because we all know fat people are evil and sexy beefcake Pierce Brosnan is good because he's sexy.). Pierce's boss MUST die in a mudslide, get flipped over, and girly scream before being crushed to death. He's probably the only person in the whole movie we actually see get killed and they had to give him a comical death because if you EVER disagree with Pierce Brosnan about ANYTHING you MUST DIE! It's not even enough that he apologised on the phone to Pierce before getting killed. Nope. You must die. And girly scream. I'm surprised they didn't show him peeing his pants, given everything else they did to humiliate him.
But the dog has to live, right? THE DOG HAS TO LIVE! And hey, it looks like it was never in any danger ever. Good job. You saved the dog that was in maybe thirty seconds of the movie. The humans who did absolutely nothing wrong? Nope. Kill them with extreme prejudice. But the totally unimportant dog has to live.
The volcano has liquid lava and then explodes, which I'm not saying could never happen, but I don't think it ever has. Sure, it can happen. The atoms in my body can quantum tunnel into orbit around Jupiter and I can freeze to death, but it probably will never happen. Having highly fluid lava pretty much rules out the possibility of an explosive eruption, which requires very thick lava that traps all the gas inside until it blows.
Pierce finds an abandoned truck with no keys and hotwires it in two seconds. Because all geologists can hotwire all vehicles if they are sexy enough.
Pierce then drives his magic truck through a lava flow safely. I'll give you a few minutes to let that sink in. Pierce drives his magic truck through a lava flow safely. The tires should have burst the second they touched the lava, and everyone inside should have been killed by the heat at the very least. We see the wheel wells raging with flames, for five minutes while he's driving through lava, LAVA, and nothing happens. He just drives through lava and nothing happens.
They outrun the 800 mph pyroclastic flow which instantly obliterates the whole town, but we all know an abandoned truck caked with volcanic ash that Pierce Brosnan hotwired then drove through lava can travel at 801 mph. He drives it into a cave, which should have been a death trap, but he's Pierce Brosnan, so he lives. And now he has a new family because there's nothing traumatising about surviving a volcanic eruption. Nope. Pierce gets to bang the single mom and gets to play daddy to her two kids who are the reason the whole second half of the movie even happened, because they are too dumb to live. And how did the 8 year old boy even reach the peddles on the truck, let alone drive it ten plus miles up the volcano to rescue the stubborn mother-in-law? Doesn't matter, because happy ending.
This movie really blows.