Nature disaster movies can go one of two ways: it can be a powerful reminder of the abilities of mother nature, or it can be a bad movie with an easily predictable plot and over the top special effects.
In 1997, two nature disaster movies premiered, Dante’s Peak and Volcano. The question is, are both films realistic enough to keep the audience glued to their seats or are they are just another nature disaster film?
In Dante’s Peak, Volcanologist Harry Dalton (Pierce Brosnan) and Mayor Rachel Wando ( Linda Hamilton) are trying to convince the residents of a town residing next to a dormant volcano (aptly named Dante’s Peak) to evacuate before the volcano wakes up. But there are forces in the town whose focus is the local economy and not the lives of the area residents. Then the volcano wakes up.
As a nature disaster movie, the film is not so bad. Wisely following the example of Jaws, the plot is not just about the disaster itself, but about the conflict between the characters.
In Volcano, something has changed in Los Angeles, and not for the better. What the people of Los Angeles don’t know is that a volcano has formed beneath the La Brea Tar Pits. Now it is up to Mike Roark (Tommy Lee Jones) and Dr. Amy Barnes (Anne Heche) to save the city before the volcano destroys it completely.
Like many disaster movies, this movie is weak on plot and thick on special effects. The premise make sense, but the construction of the plot could have been tweaked a little.
Do I recommend them? If I had to choose one, it would be Dante’s Peak. Volcano, I can wait on.