No matter how much money studios dump into these big-budget action pictures they just can't seem to come up with a rationale for hiring somebody other than a kindergarten graduate to write the script.
Why does geologist Harry Dalton (Pierce Brosnan) have to have a tragic past in which he lost a wife/girlfriend/innocent bystander, leading to a fear of intimacy that can only be conquered by a fear of being burned alive by molten lava? Why does someone like Harry Dalton always manage to run into someone like mayor Rachel Wando (Linda Hamilton)? They're not together for two seconds before Mayor Wando is describing her bad marriage in numbing detail -- the porn-film equivalent of Mayor Wando sitting on Harry Dalton's face without him asking. Why are there always kids? Why is there always a pet that has to be saved? How come the support team always has to be ethnically and sexually balanced?
Though this is, at best, a poor action film about an erupting volcano, it's damn sure the greatest movie ever made about why people should own four-wheel drives. A guy actually dies because he gets in a rear-wheel drive truck. Remember, when you leave the theater awed (i.e. duped) by the orgy of special effects, that low rumbling sound in the background isn't an imagined volcano -- it's the sound of ad executives for Hummer, Jeep and Subaru climaxing in unison. They didn't call it "Dante's Peak" for nothing.
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