Dante’s Peak (1997) – Review

1 1/2 Stars

Dante’s Peak perfunctorily goes through its pre-ordained paces without eliciting any excitement or fun. This has to be one of the dullest disaster pictures in the history of the over-populated genre and is the lesser of the two competing “volcano” movies released in 1997, three months apart. While Dante’s Peak hit theaters first its clear that this Twister inspired cash-grab was dutifully crafted by people who seemed to have put professionalism over passion. Perhaps, I look too deeply at a silly movie titled Dante’s Peak starring James Bond and Sara Conner?

The picture perfect mountain side town of Dante’s Peak has just been voted the second best place to live in America. Mayor Rachel Wando (Linda Hamilton), who is also the town barista, is in talks with a major developer planning on boasting the local economy. Then in comes geological expert Dr. Harry Dalton (Pierce Brosnan) who warns the mayor that the seemingly dormant volcano that rests next to the town is ready to explode.

Of course nobody believes the out-spoken Dalton expect Rachel Then the volcano violently erupts and the town is literally wiped out. Casualties are high and people are traumatized, but this ridiculous movie forgets that and gives us a “happy ending” because the geologist and the mayor have formed a romantic relationship. Please.

Dante’s Peak takes too damn long to get its benign story laid out before the mountain blows it’s top. It’s almost a full hour in before the action takes hold. The special effects are admittedly good and the action sequences have an energy that is undeniable. But the movie is so old-fashioned in its simplicity and devoid of any sense of suspense or enjoyment.

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Charles Hallahan

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