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  • Three words: stupid, bad, and painful!
    I read somewhere that "Volcano" costed more than another little volcano flick called "Dante's Peak". After seeing this movie, I find that very hard to believe. All the money must've gone into either making the lava look realistic or champaigne for the cast and crew, because this is nothing but a sloppy mess of a film. I'm going to break up this review into the three words I mentioned earlier: stupid, bad, and painful.

    STUPID: This word sufficiently describes the movie as a general whole. I'm not commenting on the possibility of a volcano erupting in California (I'm not a geologist!). I'm commenting on everything else. The plot is unbelievably weak, and all the subplots are even weaker. Characters didn't act like people; they acted like...well, who knows what they acted like? How do cardboard cutouts act like? I found it very difficult to care about anything that was going on. One of the best examples was where they were causing a building to fall to divert the flow of lava. The character played by Tommy Lee saw his daughter in the building's path, and he rushes to save her. Guess what? They emerge from the scene alive! Ugh! Which brings me to my next point:

    BAD: The acting was painfully bad. Tommy Lee, the same man who impressed me in "The Fugitive" and "Men in Black" loses a lot of respect by being in this movie. And the other actors? Just as bad. There is virtually no chemistry between the characters, which only makes things worse, and scenes that are supposed to be emotional fall flat. And this brings us to the final point:

    PAINFUL: The dialogue in the movie is just that. It's so forced, so unnatural, that I nearly fell sick. And the times it tries to be so philosophical and tear-jerking...even more painful. The best example is near the end, where everyone is covered in ash and dust and therefore colored gray. A little boy looking for his mother says something like "Look. Everyone looks the same." Now, I know this was supposed to be referring to everyone's symbolic unification, despite gender or history or ethnic background, to stop the lava from destroying everything...but it was so bad I felt like crying, crying at how low filmmaking had fallen.

    "Volcano" is not worth anyone's time. It has nothing to draw anyone's interest, because everything just falls flat. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of this slush pile of a film....more info

  • The coast is toast!
    Any movie that makes the subway the vessel of destruction of Beverly Hills has to be given four stars! (even if the Beverly Center really isn't IN Beverly Hills)

    This is a fun movie, with pretty good special effects, and decent performances. It's pretty formulaic, so you know who is going to die and who won't (although you will pray the annoying kid gets it). They don't play too fast and loose with either the science or the geography, and it is fun for an Angeleno to see all the stuff in the neighborhood "blowed up real good" A great double feature with "Escape from LA"...more info
  • **yawn**
    I'll give one extra star for Tommy Lee Jones since I like him as an actor, but there was nothing memorable or exciting about this movie. Ya, movies don't concentrate too hard on realism, but this was just too far-fetched. The special effects were typical, but nothing worth getting excited about. Anne Heche's character was too monotone, & the other characters weren't very memorable either. Good movies hold your attention & keep you watching, no matter how many times you've seen them... but I get too distracted with this one. I don't even remember if I saw this in the theater or not... & I usually remember that, since I don't really see very many. I prefer Dante's Peak which goes without saying, since I've seen that one many times, & also saw that in the theater. It seemed like to me that this one was trying to outdo Dante's Peak, but bigger doesn't always mean better. Catch this on cable when you're bored if you must, but skip over it, or see Dante's Peak instead to satisfy your volcano craving....more info
  • Tommy vs the Volcano
    A who's who of b-list actors vs the great all-knowing volcano. It uses sewers. It uses tar pits. It lurks under the streets of L.A.

    Ignore the laws of physics. Shelve your common sense. Forget reality. Then watch the movie. If you have a couple of hours to kill, it' beats a sharp stick in the eye. Special effects aren't bad. acting is what you'd expect. Watch Rodeo drive burn - that's worth it alone....more info

  • Excellent
    Volcano is one of the best action films ever made. There are some sad parts like when the guy stan dies but it'sn still really action packed so if you want action get volcano....more info
  • Volcano: Pure Action Entertainment
    I can remember going to the theater to see this movie when it first came out. After it came out on DVD, I couldn't help but to purchase it on VHS and then on DVD when it came out. While sitting here reading some of the comments by other reviewers, I can see why they might feel the way they do about this movie and I kind of agree.

    However, this is your typical Hollywood movie. Full of action and known for creating movies out of impossible scenarios. Just about every movie to come out of Hollywood is like this. However, it is Entertainment and it surely is a ride. While the movie start the set itself up, and it tends to start off a little slow, the action start to pick up when Tommy Lee Jones and his sidekick "Gator," played by Michael Rispoli, head into the tunnels below Los Angelos and discover the fiery surprise just lurking below the city.

    Just when the movie seems to slow down to give you pause, suddenly the action kicks into high gear once more. Once the big 'quake comes along, the movie kicks itself into high "action" gear as Tommy Lee, Don Cheadle and Anne Heche get their characters moving into high form. While the movie does seem to create an impossible and most likely improbable situation, this movie is intended for Action buffs and will likely be entertained by such. If you're a movie fan looking to nitpick at the inaccuracies in this movie, then it's not for you, but it presents an excellent vehicle for Tommy Lee as an "action star."...more info
  • Nature Movie
    Who doesn't like movies where you are sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happy. Most disaster movies and Nature movies are like that. Volcano is a very good one to be sitting on the edge of your seat. It is a movie that everyone should see to me. I am also a nature person and love learning and watching about what happens and could happen around the world....more info
  • volcano
    Volcano is one of the bst action movies ever made! But there are some sad parts like when the guy stan dies but it,s still action packed so if you want an action movie buy volcano now....more info
  • Lame, lame, lame.
    Okay, so a volcano is forming under Los Angeles, and nobody manages to really figure this out until it's just about to explode. Pretty soon, folks are running from flying hot rocks, and magma lakes are having their way with the city of angels. It sounds exciting, but it isn't. For such a calamity, this felt so fake, with cheesy effects, dialogue and story, that I never got into it.

    Dante's Peak is better....more info

  • Towering Turkey
    Volcano,released in 1997,was a huge box-office flop,and deservingly so.It was boring,dull,moronic,illogicial,predictable,and the special effects were... cheesy.Not even Tommy Lee Jones could save it.The two stars is only for the cute daugter....more info
  • "Volcano" through post-9/11 eyes.
    I just saw this 1997 movie for the first time, and was struck by the many ways it foreshadows 9/11: the feeling of disbelief, the chaos and destruction, the male cameraderie of the police and firemen, the sensationalism of the media coverage, the feeling of helplessness in the face of disaster, and the hopelessness of confronting an overwhelming threat. Looking through the previous reviews by date, I note that the more thoughtful reviews seem to occur after 9/11, although none of them makes that specific connection. I, for one, felt mesmerized by the mechanics of the disaster response, and carried along by the implacability of the lava flow, was reminded briefly of the days glued to the television set in mid-September, 2001.

    The lava is really the cental character of this film, and the director and special effects people did an excellent job of portraying it. There are echos here of the final scenes of the original War of the Worlds, when the alien ships march through Los Angeles burning everything in their path. It is a very effective portrayal of the force of inanimate nature. The juxtaposition of that brute force with everday urban life is quite effective, and is of course what makes well-done disaster films so mesmerizing.

    The human characters are trivial by comparison. Jones and Heche put in competent performances, as do Jacqueline Kim, Gabby Hoffman and Don Cheadle. I especially enjoyed the repartee between Cheadle and Jones. They manage to engage our sympathy enough to allow us to relate to them and their situation, but the script is trite and predictable and melodramatic. The heroism of the police and firemen seemed quite genuine, however, quite in keeping with what we know happened on 9/11.

    Interestingly, an incipient romantic relationship between Jones and Heche is implied, but never developed, and in fact, unusual for Hollywood in our time, there is no sex in this movie at all.

    The LA emergency response provides a counterpoint to the lava. The level of chaos and incompetence portrayed is very high, in contrast to the heroism of the individual characters, which is of course what generates much of the melodrama.

    The plot isn't terrible, just very shallow and improbable, as one would expect from a film of this type: Lava erupts in downtown LA, and Jones and Heche figure out how to stop it, with lots of histrionics along the way. The larger implications of an active volcano appearing in the middle of a major American metropolitan area are not addressed, nor do they belong in a film whose primary intent is light entertainment. Still, one wonders. Would the Lakers and Dodgers move elsewhere?

    While watching this film, I found myself thinking, "We would do better with something like this now, after 9/11."

    Wouldn't we?...more info
  • Mindless action thriller.
    First there was "Twister," which gained audiences by its spectacular visual display of intense special effects that set the standard for realism. Next came "Dante's Peak," which took a serious appraoch to a volcanic eruption with terrific visuals and a credible storyline. Then we have "Volcano," which is a basic like-it-or-hate-it disaster flick in which a volcano erupts in the middle of Los Angeles. The story, let it be known, stretches the envelope immensely, and the special effects are mediocre, but the actors and crew take the movie seriously and treat it that way in their acting and production.

    The city of Los Angeles is home to the rich, the indigent, and the good and bad sides of American culture. Everyone has something to do in the big city. Dr. Jaye Calder is an emergency physician with a husband who would rather her show her financial success off through working at another hospital. Mike Roarke is the director of operations at the disaster relief center, and when four city workers are killed in an underground explosion, questions begin to rise as to the nature of the blast. Upon further exploration of the underground tunnel, Roarke employs the services of Dr. Amy Barnes, a local geologist who informs Roarke of the possibility of volcanic activity underneath the city. Soon, all hell breaks loose when the La Brea Tar Pits erupt in a fiery fury of lava and ash that has the entire west side of the city running for their lives, and firefighters and city officials struggling to stop the endless lava flow.

    While there are certain scientific elements of the story that are true, the movie does have a high credulity factor that requires audiences to suspend disbelief when the action picks up. The idea that volcanic activity can exist under the city of Los Angeles is a bit preposterous, but nonetheless exciting and enjoyable to watch onscreen. Barnes and Roarke talk a lot about geological activity in general, especially when the lava begins flowing, and for the most part, it seems like the only reason for the technical words and phrases is to keep the fictional action moving and somewhat concealed. But however you take it, the movie is pretty much packed with action and does keep moving.

    The special effects do leave a good bit to be desired in comparison to the disaster movies before it. This is due in part to the fact that the movie is mostly lava-laden effects, where as in "Dante's Peak," there was more ash and smoke involved, allowing for better miniature effects. Lava is computer-generated, so it has its moments of reality, but mostly comes off looking cheesy. The first half is the best of the effects show, and the lava pouring down Wilshire looks and moves like real lava. The second half is the cheese fest, and when the lava bursts out of the streets, it makes you think of the movies from the fifties.

    There is also a sense that the movie is slightly underachieved throughout. This could've been a big, booming, no-holds-barred disaster movie where a giant looming mountain bursts forth, knocking over skyscrapers and destroying most of th city in a brash explosion of top-notch special effects. Instead, the filmmakers take a routine approach, settling for an obstacle that the characters can easily overcome, and an ending that really doesn't live up to the standards of the rest of the film. This movie had the potential to break all the rules and create something that would amount to nothing but utter shock and awe, but fell into the pitfalls of Hollywood glitz.

    No matter what, though, the actors and filmmakers all treat the movie very seriously, and the performances and production all make the film a little better. Tommy Lee Jones plays Mike Roarke, the typical guy who takes everything seriously while trying to raise a daughter. This is Tommy Lee Jones at his better side, playing the hero instead of the jerk like his character in "The Client." Anne Heche is the irrepressible Dr. Amy Barnes, the smart and snappy little vixen geologist who knows exactly what she's talking about when it comes to her field of study; Heche adds authenticity to the role. Gaby Hoffman does what she can with the role of Kelly, Roarke's daughter, who is the stereotypical teenager who is rebellious on the outside, yet wants the safety of a parent in intense situations. Jacqueline Kim is perhaps the best of all, playing Dr. Jaye Calder, who ignores her husband's constant requests that she stop her practice of saving lives in the midst of the mayhem.

    In summation, the movie stretches believability, but makes for an acceptable action thriller that does keep a good amount of suspense moving throughout. The performances and acting make it better, though the film is overall underachieved....more info

  • A fun, but mindless movie
    This is fun, but predictable and unbelievable star vehicle for Tommy Lee Jones.

    I recommend this movies for those times you want something enjoyable to just "veg out" for the evening.

    The movie moves fast enough with Tommy Lee Jones' acting to keep you entertained.

    Just watch and don't think....more info
  • Good Movie, Crap DVD
    Honestly I like the movie, that's one of the reasons I pay for the thing, but when I sat back and watched it I was very disappointed. I was expecting this movie to have it 16:9 Enhanced so when I watch it on my widescreen TV I don't have to play around the with the aspect ratio to enjoy it. This got to me so much because the Australian version which was released after the US version is enhanced. This is something that people with the traditional square TV will not have to worry about but should you be the owner of a widescreen TV be warned, you may become frustrated....more info
  • "Completely Underrated"
    Volcano is a completely underrated film with great special effects along with good acting and a so-so storyline. Give this movie a definate chance, you will be on the edge of your seat from start to finish!...more info
  • it has Tommy Lee
    What else can I say? It has Tommy Lee Jones in it, LA is on fire and I used to shop there.
    Get out the pop corn and enjoy....more info
  • zzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzz zzzzz oh its finished!
    This movie is sooooo boring, only because the same thing is happening over and over and over again and it just goes on and on and on....

    Its boring, dont bother with it!...more info
  • Jones & Co. Make It Work
    Without question, movies can be educational and informative; a powerful medium, the cinema inherently encourages global communications and creates a common thread that binds the nations of the world together. But lest we forget, the primary function of the motion picture is entertainment-- and one of the tried and true approaches to effecting that end successfully is taking a hypothetical situation and presenting it in story form by employing all of the talent and technology available that will make it as real as possible. And when it's done right, it provides the audience with a memorable experience while affording a respite from the daily grind, which is exactly what "Volcano," directed by Mick Jackson does. it's a film that asks, "What if?" and then answers it's own question in a way that's exciting and purely entertaining. It does call upon the audience to suspend disbelief, however, and there are those who will draw a haughty breath and laugh at the idea of a volcano erupting in Los Angeles and will refuse to give this story a chance; bear in mind, however, that it's these very same pseudo-intellectuals who, prior to May 18th, 1980, scoffed and disdainfully dismissed out-of-hand even the possibility that Mount St. Helens could erupt during our lifetime. So, put it into that kind of perspective, if you can, then sit back and relax and let this movie do what it was meant to do: Entertain you. And on a grand scale.

    Waiting for the "big one" to hit may be a way of life for those living in California, especially in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, but suddenly there's some pronounced seismic activity in the L.A. area, and when a crew of city workers are scalded to death while performing a task underground, it falls to Mike Roark (Tommy Lee Jones), who works for the city and whose job it is to know these things, to figure out what's going on. Roark quickly secures the assistance of Dr. Amy Barnes (Anne Heche), a geologist, who uncovers evidence that a "geological event" is in progress, which means some decisions are going to have to be made by Roark, and fast. Inexplicably, there are indications of volcanic activity in the downtown area, in the vicinity of the La Brea Tar Pits. And Roark doesn't have time to plan ahead; in fact, he's already out of time-- the earth has decided it's time to make a move, and it's not asking permission.

    Working from a screenplay by Jerome Armstrong and Billy Ray that's about as good as it gets for a story like this, director Jackson tempers the action and the incredible F/X with the human element, and that gives this film some teeth. Wisely, Jackson realizes that the audience has to relate to and care about the people involved, or his film will be nothing more than a huge Fourth of July fireworks display; and while it may be a good one, it's not enough to give his project legs. So he takes care to maintain the kind of balance that insures his film will reach and appeal to a wide audience-- and he succeeds. Depicting a cataclysmic event on screen is a challenge, and for it to work, Jackson has to keep it at least within the realm of possibility. There are those who will embrace it more readily than others-- those who have experienced an earthquake, tornado, hurricane or some such devastating event; those who have not may find it harder to become involved with what's unfolding on the screen. But rest assured, Jackson and his team have done everything humanly possible to make this viable entertainment for everyone. In the end, the filmmakers have done a terrific job of it, and should be commended for maintaining a standard of quality, rather than using this as an opportunity to exploit an unsuspecting public by offering a product unworthy of support.

    Jackson's conscientious approach is aided greatly by a cast of consummate professionals, all of whom do their part in maintaining the quality of the picture, beginning with Tommy Lee Jones, who has demonstrated in film after film that he is an actor who gives 110% every time. Even in a bad film you will be hard put to find a performance by Jones that is not convincing. In his case, it's obviously a combination of talent and work ethic; if his name is on the label, it's like a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval-- you know you're getting a quality product, and his portrayal here of Roark is no exception. Jones creates a character who is believable, playing Roark as the ordinary person in an extraordinary situation and making it entirely credible. He immerses himself so totally in the role that he makes it look easy. And when it looks that easy, it's not-- and you can take that to the bank. It's a good job by Jones, and a big part of why this movie works so well.

    Anne Heche, too, gives a solid performance as Dr. Barnes, and like Jones makes the ordinary person in an extraordinary situation scenario believable. And it's gratifying to see actors of this caliber going that extra mile to create this kind of realism, when it would be so easy for them just to walk or "camp" their way through a film like this, which, of course, would reduce it to a big-budget F/X extravaganza. This is good work for which Heche (as well as Jones and the others involved here) will never get the kind of acclaim she deserves, however, inasmuch as this is a "genre" film and unworthy of any "artistic" consideration (or so the officious declare).

    The supporting cast includes Gaby Hoffman (Kelly), Don Cheadle (Emmit), Jacqueline Kim (Dr. Calder), John Carroll Lynch (Stan) and Keith David (Lieutenant Fox), all of whom contribute to the success of "Volcano," a film that will make you think twice about possibilities, and the forces of nature....more info

  • Wow.
    "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!...more info

  • A very special "catastrophy movie"
    I know a lot of people have found this movie forgettable, but I can't imagine why. OK, if what you are looking for is one of those movies where the entire world is about to collapse and everybody is looking up knowing this is the last time they'll ever see the sky, with a lot of religion, patriotism and love stories along the way until one guy coming out of nowhere saves the world and tries to pretend he doesn't mind being a hero, well this isn't the movie you are looking for.
    This is probably the best "catastrophy movie" I have ever seen, for being so exciting, action-filled and adorable even though it is avoiding all the things I mentioned earlier. With great performances on Tommy Lee Jones and Ann Heche's part, and with beautiful Alan Silvestri's music, I am sure that this is a movie that will be remembered through the years....more info
  • The perfect volcano - Tar Pits, drain tunnel, in the ocean.
    . The movie starts with a emergency at St Vincent Hospital followed by an earthquake

    2. "I hate that when that happens." Californians deal with disaster like it was common event, says the News anchor women reporter.

    3. "Not to panic, please stay calm. Small to moderate earth quake in palmdale"

    4. Mike is director of the Office of emergency management. It Mikes day off with his daughter.

    5. Career heavy, Mike should be on vacation, divorced, and spending time with Kelley his only daughter.

    6. Post earthquake, phone and power lines are up.

    7. Speculation that a new fault system exists under Los Angels system.

    8. Gas explosion in the MacArthur park, 7 deaths, thought initially to be an erupted steam pipe, but later reported as unknown.

    9. Your not happy if you not declaring an emergency.

    10. 30,000 people think they are taking the train tonight, says the Rail construction chief.

    11. 5 feet of concrete walls in the storm drain, hot gases kill 7 public works individuals

    12. Mike yells, "Find me a geologist"

    13.Mojave desert 60 miles away, earthquake

    14. Volcano lava flow starts in the tar pits

    15. Mike declares the disaster level 1

    16. Daughter, Kelly with 2nd degree burn

    17. Dr J colter transports injured firemen rescued and Mikes daughter to the hospital.

    18. The daugher screams "I promise I won't get in the way" as she is transported away.

    19. Lava snaking its way down stanley avenue.

    20. It is a warzone. Grey ash starts to fall.

    21. Watch the Lava bombs and see where it will land.

    22. The geologist wants to evaculate the westside, a million people, from lava stream that will extend too the ocean. Mike knows this is an impossible plan consider the speed of the lava flow.

    23. Mike says "run to the hills and hide, I can't do that", a battle against the lava

    24. The geolist tells Mike, the main eruption has not occurred

    25. Public works to create concrete barrackads.

    26. The Geologist says, "We are dealing with very determined stuff." Plan one, try to cool the lava and create a crust. It is a miracle. Hundreds of firefighter, water drops, and a concrete barrier manage to freeze the lava flow. They have accomplished the impossible.

    27. There has to be a source, something feeding this. However, the lava is moving from the drain system, installed, and moving fast.

    28. I want to be like Mike, red line subway, Holly Hill storm drain, onto the ocean, extend 200 yards, in 20 minutes. The contours are wrong, plan fails. The Hospital and its 2,000 occupants are at risk.

    29. New plan, knock a new 20 story building (accross from the Beverly center) down by precision explosion and create a rubble dam, in 20 minutes, and divert the lava to the ocean.

    30. The desparate strategy paid off. The lava diverted the ocean.Mike, Kelly, and the little boy are Ok. The volcano is shutting down. Look at their faces they all look the same
    ...more info
  • The best L.A. movie!
    This movie is probably incomprehensible to those who are not from L.A. But, the movie itself is actually pretty good. I know it received horrible reviews and the dialogue was really 'cheesy', according to critics. The only reason I semi-liked it was because it was in L.A. All of the places in the film, i have been to, including: La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles County Art Museum, MacArthur Park (which smells like urine), Beverly Center and everywhere else....more info
  • BAD
    This is just a bad movie. Despite the big names it has a B-movie feel to it. The effects look cheap and unreal. The dialogue is often sappy. I mean really, really sappy. Take for example the ending where everyone is covered in ash, and a child observes that they all look the same. What a heart-touching racial commentary. Gag me with a spoon! One more thing, the announcer's voice sounds like that of the annoying troll from TMZ and Court TV, Harvey Levin....more info
  • A fun film to watch.
    When it comes to having a volcano erupt in the middle of a city, it can't get any more un-real than that. With that being said, once you manage to suspend your disbelief it's actually a pretty fun movie to watch.

    The acting is definetly over the top, even Mr. Lee Jones himself manages to over-do his character. You learn very quickly while watching this movie that the characters are not worth caring about! They make very stupid decisions that show they have no common sense whatsoever, and its hilarious watching it happen.

    The plot itself is very basic and follows the sterotypical Hollywood "survive a natural disaster" storyline. Complete with the lead character who is usually a male coming to the aid of the city (Jones) his sidekick which is generally a female (Heche) and the annoying son/daughter of the main character. All is done perfectly cliche' which makes this movie (in my opinion) a fun and adventurous comedy.

    I recommend this movie for some good laughs and a fun time pointing out the sad mistakes Hollywood makes when it comes to these type of movies....more info
  • as george put it "My stupity finally rewarded"
    But could stupity be rewarding in real life? doubt it.

    This movie is joke and painful to watch as some folks said....more info

  • good customer service
    I was very happy to recieve, my movie as listed from this seller,and was also happy in the fast delivery....more info
  • Lava lurks in La La Land
    Pity us poor Los Angelinos! Already suffering thru hellish traffic, mudslides, forest fires, earthquakes, looting, veggie burgers, actors, the L.A. Clippers. And, now, friggin' lava spewing out of the La Brea Tar Pits!! Thank the Googly Moogly that there's a geologist scientist on the alert (Anne Heche) and that the ever resourceful Tommy Lee Jones is around to ramrod L.A.'s Office of Emergency Management. Even if he's stuck babysitting his sullen teenaged daughter.

    VOLCANO is a cheesy but fun disaster movie, elevated by its lighthearted, self-deprecating touches and its actors' performances. It's a flimsy premise - subterranean tremors cause lava to erupt to the surface and threatens to lay waste to that mecca of glitz and self-absorption - and it's far-fetched enough that it's hard to take things too seriously, even if several characters do die horribly (and, in some cases, heroically). As per usual to disaster flicks, the cast's various personal human drama plays out in the catastrophic backdrop.

    Anne Heche and Don Cheadle are fine, but it's Tommy Lee Jones who centers the film, what with him again lending that aura of weathered, no-nonsense practicality. There's no one quite so reliable as Jones in embodying calm and resilience in the maelstrom. When Anne Heche grimly declares: "We are dealing with very determined stuff here." she was referring to the lava. But that statement applies to Jones's character as well. And, here, he's even a good dad.

    The CG and props and miniature models give the film a good look, although, not having seen much lava in person, I can't attest to how convincing it appears on screen (but I bought into it). There's an undercurrent of tongue-in-cheek in the devastation brought down on L.A.'s landmarks (oh, the poor Wilshire Blvd. district). And, bless the hardworking firefighters, but, in retrospect, it's pretty ridiculous watching their efforts to cool down the lava with water hoses.

    I said this film was cheesy, so try not to roll your eyes at the preachy moments, which may have been well-intentioned but end up sorta insulting and heavy-handed ("Look at the faces. They all look the same."). Enjoy this for what it is, which is an entertaining, lightweight disaster flick with all its predictable tropes, but with the added hook of portions of Los Angeles getting squashed. Relish Tommy Lee Jones's reliable performance and his chemistry with Don Cheadle, and even Anne Heche's moxie. As the film ends, with the camera panning to a startling shot of the spanking new Mount Wilshire (status: ACTIVE), the end credits proceed to roll out to, what else, Randy Newman's "I Love L.A." That's pretty perfect....more info