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 catalogue of disaster movie clichés. 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 US Geological Survey, and she's the mayor of a cosy Washington State town perched beneath a volcano that's about to blow. Tell-tale 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. --Jeff Shannon [show more]
Mrs Doubtfire (1993) is probably the earliest memory of Pierce Brosnan, but he is best known as James Bond, presenting arguably his best performance in Goldeneye (1995). Brosnan's ability to capture the audience flows into Dante's Peak and helps bring alive the complexities of human emotion. Working alongside Linda Hamilton, best known for her role as Sarah Connor in Terminator 1 and 2 (1984;1991), the couple deliver a thoroughly believable connection in what is otherwise a fantastic display of special effects.
The film however, loses strength through the performances of Jamie Smith and Jeremy Foley as Hamilton's children. At 10 years and 14 years, the two actors had much to learn about capturing their audience as their performance lacked belief. Nevertheless, many of their scenes were supported by the more experienced actors, who help maintain the films credibility. Ironically, for me, Elizabeth Hoffman provides the most authentic performance in her role as the Grandmother to the kids.
For lovers of action, the film provides enough effects at a high tempo to entertain, although you'll have to wait until midway through the film where the tension peaks. For lovers of charcter development, the roles maintain superb authenticity throughout, making you believe in the threat of Dante's Peak. For the squeamish, there is very little to worry about, with limited graphic displays of injuries.
The story is cleverly written to allow for the audience to be sucked in and engage with the characters. Dante's Peak has a delicate balance of character development and high paced action to make it an extremely enjoyable watch.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 or region free DVD player in order to play. Four years after the death of his fiancée in a volcanic eruption, vulcanologist Harry Dalton (Pierce Brosnan) is sent to investigate minor tremors in the town of Dante's Peak. He is attracted to the town's mayor, Rachel Wando (Linda Hamilton), meeting her family and staying to help celebrate the town's Founder's Day. Although Dalton discovers two corpses while visiting the hot springs in the wood, his seismic equipment does not indicate that anything is wrong. Only when he discovers that the town's water supply is contaminated with sulphur does he realise that a lethal volcanic eruption is on the way. Actors: Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Jamie Renée Smith, Jeremy Foley, Elizabeth Hoffman Directors: Roger Donaldson Writers: Leslie Bohem Producers: Gale Anne Hurd, Geoff Murphy, Ilona Herzberg, Joseph Singer, Marliese Schneider Language: English Subtitles: English Number of discs: 1
Four years after the death of his fiancée in a volcanic eruption, vulcanologist Harry Dalton (Pierce Brosnan) is sent to investigate minor tremors in the town of Dante's Peak. He is attracted to the town's mayor, Rachel Wando (Linda Hamilton), meeting her family and staying to help celebrate the town's Founder's Day. Although Dalton discovers two corpses while visiting the hot springs in the wood, his seismic equipment does not indicate that anything is wrong. Only when he discovers that the town's water supply is contaminated with sulphur does he realise that a lethal volcanic eruption is on the way.