1 1/2 Stars
In the same year that gave us Asteroid vs. Earth, the Asylum, producers of mash-up disaster films of all manner, now births Airplane vs. Volcano. This isn’t an entirely apt tittle since the volcanos are hardly seen and the real villain is a jittery, sweaty fellow passenger on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Since the film only uses the volcanos as a reason to keep the plane in the air it loses the ‘camp’ factor right off the bat, and the lack of an antagonist with reasonable motivation makes it a useless exercise in redundant recycling of footage from their stock library. Plus, any movie that saddles its hero, Dean Cain in this case, with the unenviable and visually unappealing task of simply pushing/pulling the control sticks from a preset auto-pilot is wasting talent.
Cain is Rick Pierce, a former pilot thrust into a hero’s position when the airplane’s real pilots are killed by debris from a raging volcano. Turns out that a recently discovered island rip with volcanic activity has set off a chain reaction all throughout the Hawaiian islands. Beaches have been covered in lava, people turned to ash and the government has called in specialist Lisa Whitmore (Robin Givens),to aid the stranded flight circling on an auto-course high above. There is a makeshift army command post that serves as the proving ground for a quick thinking solider, Specialist Neil Tully (Morgan West). Tully makes it his mission to get that plane and those passengers on the ground.
I didn’t hate Airplane vs Volcano, I just wish it had given its capable cast more to do. In one scene a coup attempt nearly results in a man getting his throat slashed with broken mini bottles of hard alcohol. That scene works and shows promise of what could have been. The directing duo known by their on-screen credit as the Kondelik brothers, stage the film well giving adequate establishing shots to establish geometrical space inside the craft and it’s compartments. But, hiring Dean Cain, the Ben Affleck of the B-Movie world and stranding him in the cockpit is unforgivable. He deserves a better vehicle, and judging by that Coup d’état scene, the Kondelik Brothers may have it in them to write him a role in a better movie.
Directed by: James Kondelik, Jon Kondelik
Stars: Dean Cain, Robin Givens, Lawrence Hilton Jacobs