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I liked Dante's Peak better.

  • Dec 16, 2008
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I love disaster movies in general. Show me something about an earthquake, tornado, flooding, or all three in one film and you've got yourself a fan! Volcano is also entertaining, but not as good as Dante's Peak in my opinion. But the film does have its pluses and minuses.

The good:
  • Volcano packs in a lot of action and takes place in Los Angeles, to which more people can relate, instead of a rural mountain community.
  • The film doesn't worry about science and instead goes for action, which appeals to people who aren't concerned about the scientific accuracy of disaster films.
The bad:
  • Volcano is almost pure fantasy, and compared to Dante's Peak, is almost unbelievable. It shows people getting within inches of lava, whereas in real life, you'd incinerate if you got within 2 or 3 feet.
  • The acting is so cheesy! And there's way too many subplots going on, like a daughter who struggles with anxiety and a doctor who is torn between her greedy husband and her profession.
Compared to Dante's Peak, some say that Volcano packs in a lot more action. I guess people like to relate to what they're seeing before them, so in that sense, I'd say that Volcano appeals to wider audiences. But for me, disaster films should at least have some degree of believability, right? The idea that a fissure of lava could erupt from the La Brea Tar Pits is a little over the top. 

Nonetheless, sometimes when I'm in the mood to see films shot in my area, I pop in Volcano and watch LA at its best: a bunch of crazy people coming together only when they absolutely must do so.

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January 20, 2009
I liked DANTE'S PEAK better too. All that VOLCAO had going for it in my opinion was a really good tag line; "The coast is toast". Who can turn down a movie with a line like that? There's a lot more variety in PEAK. You've got acid water, being buried under a rock slide, pyroclastic flow, I can't recall but there must be some lava in there somewhere. Plus for me its got Pierce Brosnan which is always better than getting Tommy Lee Jones from an asthetic point of view. So the scenery was better in PEAK on all counts.
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Ali ()
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Member Since: Dec 8, 2008
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About this movie


Volcano is a disaster film starring Tommy Lee Jones, Anne Heche, and Don Cheadle. It was directed by Mick Jackson and was filmed in numerous Southern California spots, including the Beverly Center mall, Torrance, CA, and the Mojave Desert.

The film depicts a fictional volcano erupting in central Los Angeles and the havoc such an eruption would create in the city. It was released on April 25, 1997, just months after Dante's Peak, another volcano-themed disaster movie. Additionally, Volcano received relatively lower ratings than Dante's Peak and grossed about $120 million worldwide, slightly lower than Dante's Peak.
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Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: April 25, 1997
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Billy Ray
Runtime: 1hr 42min
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