Thursday, April 8, 2010
Dante's Peak. C+
It takes about one hour for the action to start in 'Dante's Peak.' The movie goes for a little over an hour and 40 minutes, and the result is 60 minutes of intrigue and 40 minutes of silliness. The ratio isn't good enough for me to fully recommend the picture, but despite the obvious we've-seen-it-all-before second half, there's no real harm in giving this one a look. I can honestly say you'll probably enjoy yourself, even if you do role your eyes in disbelief the second time our hero drives his car out of a perilous location. The idea in the movie is that a fictional town called Dante's Peak is on the verge of being hit by a volcanic eruption. Pierce Brosnan stars as a volcanologist named Harry who visits the small town (only 20,000 residents) to scout out the situation. He meets the town mayor (played by Linda Hamilton) and, in a predictable turn in the plot, forms a romantic bond with her. He also seems to have a knack with kids, as the mayor's two perky children are instantly drawn to him. It was interesting seeing Harry investigate the possible volcano along with his gang of USGS members. We can sense an imminent disaster, but by the time the volcano actually erupts, the movie becomes a preposterous special effects show. It was sort of fun watching the main characters run from the volcano, but this kind of thing has been done before in other movies and unfortunately this one didn't really try to separate itself from them.