I was trapped with this movie on a trans-Atlantic airplane, and even removing the headphones at the climactic finale did not enable me to escape from it. Basically, Tommy Lee Jones is in a satiric action spoof of all the stupid disaster movies ever made. Everyone else (Anne Heche, et al) is in a stupid disaster movie. At least Mr. Jones seemed to be enjoying himself.
Honestly, though, this movie contains some of the worst excuses for melodrama I have ever seen. For example, some people are trapped in a subway car that lava is slowly creeping up to. A group of heroic city planners or something, come by to save them. The last of this group finds himself trapped by the lava and comes to a terribly sad end. Except... Wait! He isn't trapped! The coupling at the end of the subway car is sticking out over the lava three inches from his foot, going most of the way across, and it's a solid piece of metal! It's just nobody ever actually notices this as they tearfully leave him to die. Somebody should have called the prop department and chewed them out badly.
Or there's the bit with the black guy who refuses to speak to any of the heroes because they are white, until he suddenly realizes, far beyond the point it should have become obvious, that they are fighting to save his neighborhood. Am I the only one who finds this racist and insulting?
However, the creme de la creme of the whole thing, after the lava has eaten most of Los Angeles, swallowing buildings, cars, bridges, and people indiscriminately, is that the heroes decide to divert the lava downhill toward the coastline by stopping it with concrete freeway barriers. You know, the kind you find on the median strip. They actually do it. And no, the freeway barriers do not obey the laws of nature by simply disintegrating. They become Magic Lava-Proof Freeway Barriers, and Los Angeles is saved. This is supposed to be believable?
I'm not even going to mention the obligatory children and pets in danger at all the convenient places. There are too many of them to list, along with the number of overacting celebrities. Save your money. It wouldn't even be worth a rental.
Turkey Rating: One.
Best line: "I know how we can stop the lava..."
Things That Make You Go "Huh"?: How they stop the lava.
Response From RinkWorks:
I haven't seen it, but from what I hear it's almost relentless with the stupidities, not the least of which is that people are always standing right next to lava and not getting fried to a crisp. You can't get that close to a *bonfire* -- can you imagine how much hotter molten rock is? I also heard that people climb ladders directly *over* the lava, and while the rubber on their shoes melt on the ladder, their hands can apparently touch it just fine. I don't know. It's hard for me to talk without having seen it, but it sounds like one I'd love to see to laugh at. -- Sam. I've seen it; it sucks. There is nothing else to say about it. -- Dave.
I've seen it; it sucks. There is nothing else to say about it. -- Dave.