Dante's Peak

Dante's Peak cover

Acquired

Runtime

104 minutes

# of Discs

1

# of Movies

MPAA Rating

PG-13

Format

UPC

025192014925

The first of 1997's volcano disaster movies (the second being Volcano) was arguably the better of the two, but both of them made for passable entertainment with some spectacular special effects to serve as icing on the stale cake. After all, Dante's Peak doesn't pretend to be anything more than an updated variation on a whole catalog of disaster movie clich├ęs. Despite all that, it's reasonably enjoyable. It's an added bonus that the script is just smart enough to allow Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton to play their roles with straight faces, never condescending to the audience of the formulaic story. He's a volcano expert from the U.S. Geological Survey, and she's the mayor of a cozy Washington State town perched beneath a volcano that's about to blow. Telltale signs are everywhere, so evacuation must be carried out immediately. Of course, not everybody's eager to leave, and even some of Brosnan's colleagues think his alarm is premature. This sets the stage for massive ash clouds, rivers of raging mud and molten rock, flattened forests, and death-defying escapes by Brosnan, Hamilton, and some (but not all) of her family, friends, and townsfolk. So what if it's all pretty flaky... and can a four-wheel-drive vehicle travel over fire and molten lava without bursting its tires? Don't ask too many questions, and you'll find Dante's Peak to be (if you'll pardon the pun) a total blast. The Collector's Edition DVD includes a documentary about volcanoes, Getting Close to the Show, in addition to behind-the-scenes footage, exclusive coverage of the creation of special effects, and audio commentary with director Roger Donaldson.