Something unspeakably chilling is heating up The City of Angels. Beneath the famed La Brea Tar Pits, a raging volcano pushes to the surface, raining a storm of deadly fire bombs and an endless tide of white-hot lava upon t... more »he stunned city. Experience the pulse-pounding thrills as the dream capital of the world erupts into the stuff nightmares are made of.« less
Diana L. (ptomom) from SULTAN, WA Reviewed on 8/14/2013...
An utterly ridiculous movie that will have you laughing, cringing and eye-rolling throughout. It's over-the-top, over-emoting actors work hard to save a silly premise, and they sort of do as they make it a camp masterpiece.
Seeing as a volcano threatening LA isn't quite enough drama, the writers felt they needed to shoehorn in (no, too subtle, make that sledgehammer in) a message about racism partway through the movie.
Great movie for a MSTK3000-type party with friends!
Cameron T. from SPARTA, MI Reviewed on 4/15/2011...
Action packed. I love this movie. The thing that makes it so cool is that it is such an out there idea, and that is fun. I mean come on a volcano suddenly popping up in the middle of a city. Hey watch it though you won't be sorry. I never am. Ya thats right This one can be watched over and over and still be interesting.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Tina E. from AFFTON, MO Reviewed on 1/12/2011...
Tommy Lee Jones stars in a fast-paced drama about the resistance to warnings of a possible volcano in Los Angeles, and the ensuing race to prevent loss of life when the volcano actually erupts. It takes a whole town pulling together to control total devastation from Mother Nature.
Better than that other volcano movie with James Bond ;)
Josh DeLapp | Arizona, United States | 11/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've watched this movie dozens of times, the first being at an ampitheater in Indiana on a cold fall day. I hadn't heard of it before but the tickets were free, so I checked it out. Wow! What a movie! I couldn't believe it, the entire time I was sitting on the edge of my seat, I left with no fingernails at all. All the actors were just terriffic, especially Tommy Lee Jones, who just adds flair to any film he's in. I'm not sure where people get off saying that this movie is too fantastical, either. As they say in the film, one day in Mexico a man saw a smoking fissure in his field; the next day there was a volcano growing there. That story is completely true, and it's happened repeatedly throughout the world. Why couldn't it happen in LA, the most geologically unstable major city? That's like saying that an earthquake can never hit New York City because it just can't happen. And as the current quote on the page said, you can't fight nature? The techniques used in Volcano are used constantly in Iceland and Greenland, which are all highly geologically unstable places with many volcanos. Anywho :) off my soapbox, if you've got a second, check this out on a large TV with a huge sound system! And skip that Dante's whatever, Volcano is the bomb... literally."
Kelly | Littleton, Colorado | 03/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1997 there were two eagerly anticipated volcano movies released. Dante's Peak was more of a blockbuster hit, but not very accurate from a geologist's standpoint. Volcano was more realistic and accurate. It was nice to see a disaster movie depicted as it would naturally happen.
Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche were wonderful to watch! "
Kevin Donnelly | Cambridge, MA | 12/17/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
""But I'm lava...what beats that?" a child says during a game of 'rock, paper, scissors' after having witnessed the nearly instantaneous creation of a volcano in the middle of Los Angeles.That line must be the greatest single piece of dialogue in movie history. But don't worry -- I didn't give anything away. There are plenty of gems like that throughout the film.This is the type of movie you go into not expecting much; I was not disappointed! Just sit back, and feel the brain cells melt away!"
A good action/thriller flick.
Charles Kota | Plant City, Fl. USA | 02/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is good. It has good special effects. I think it is better than dante's peak. This movie also isn't very long like some disaster movies are. I like disaster movies and this one is one that wins place in my heart. Buy it!"
Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 02/07/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There are a lot of reasons why this fundamental concept of this movie is implausible, and a number of dumb things happen in the movie, and yet the concept itself is interesting and was handled reasonably well.
Similar to the "other" volcano movie, "Dante's Peak," there are several indications that something geologic is happening. Death by hot gas blast is usually a pretty solid indication of that sort of thing (which happens before the volcano does its thing). After a number of interesting things happen a volcano bursts to the ground. The scenes of the volcano going "boom" are among the best scenes in the movie.
The real story takes off after the volcano finally erupts. We see absurd silliness as people continue to drive by the erupting volcano. I am unsure of why people would rather take the short cut and risk death by lava versus going the long way around, but maybe it is just me. We also see emergency services leader Mike Roark's (Tommy Lee Jones) daughter Kelly (Gaby Hoffmann) hang around her dad's SUV so long that he has to stop rescuing a fireman to rescue her, which subsequently allows the fireman to die. There is a lesson in this tragedy: when you see an erupting volcano, run.
Mike Roark attempts to work with the fire department to stop the lava flow, eventually succeeding. However, lava is an irresistible force and if it is not flowing above ground, then it finds somewhere else to flow. Soon Mike and seismologist Dr. Amy Barnes (Ann Heche) next try to predict the behavior of the rapidly flowing lava, setting up the climax of the movie, which involves imminent destruction of a hospital, and possibly Mike's daughter Kelly.
The action in this movie is generally good. I thought the lava effects were generally well done. A few things about the behavior of the lava that were a little weak, but I am able to forgive a few things for the sake of a good story. There were a few places where it was clear that the lava was animated in some fashion, but there were other places that were either live shots of a real volcano, or very well done shots of fake lava. I thought both times the lava emerged from the ground were well done. I also thought the lava flowing into the sea was good.
The action in this movie was not as well supported by the story and by the characters. Many of the people in this movie acted dumb. It was the action of the characters that got them into trouble. In more than one situation I found it difficult to believe that real life characters would do some of the things that people in this movie did. I could continue this discussion for a long time because of my frustration with people's actions. On top of the multiple dumb actions was weak acting. Anne Heche generally did well. Tommy Lee Jones had his good moments and his poor moments. Other characters varied from good (Jacqueline Kim as Dr. Jaye Calder) to corny (John Corbett as Norman Calder). This movie also took short cuts with a number of characters by relying on stereotypes.
I admit that even with all its weaknesses I have seen this movie all the way through at least three times. The reason is that there are cities in the United States that do run the risk of a volcano popping up nearby. I do not believe the La Brea Tar Pits are one of the riskier locations, but other cities bear some risk. I am fascinated by the response of emergency services as shown in the movie and wonder whether a real city would be able to respond as quickly initially and whether a real city would do any better than the movie version of Los Angeles supposedly did. The United States has been very lucky to experience fewer significant disasters than many other countries, and the loss of life in the disasters we have had have resulted fewer deaths than in most other countries. Watch this movie for yourself and consider how well your town would plan for such a huge disaster. What you think about how your town would respond will allow you to overcome the weaknesses of the characters and the acting. "