Dante's Peak - Movie Review

  • 01 November 2005

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

For those keeping score, here's the new Hollywood movie formula: Twister - tornado + other disaster = $$$!

$$$ may be right, but [![]()][![]()][![]()][![]()][![]()] is definitely not forthcoming, at least not in the case of Dante's Peak, a shameless and blatant rip-off of the mildly entertaining aforementioned film that is largely responsible for the return to prominence of the disaster movie. This time around, it's a volcano that threatens the peace of little Dante's Peak, and it's Pierce Brosnan who comes to the rescue.

Here's how frightening the similarities are. Both films open with a flashback explaining why this particular act of nature is so traumatic to the hero (Helen Hunt in Twister, Brosnan in Peak). Both feature a team of gosh-darn-nutty scientists investigating the disasters, plus an unlikely romance-on-the-run for the leads. Both sport far-too-crisp digital effects. Both are full of small-town kitsch Twister is set in the midwest, Peak is a sleepy Northwestern village). Both are full of bad jokes and bad acting to go along with the bad weather. Both have a "grandma" character and a dog who are injured by the force of nature. Hell, both even feature a big red truck that gets destroyed by the disaster in question!

Dante's Peak, trying to outdo Twister with a volcano, ups the level of things that are destroyed, and it features lots of ash raining down, flowing lava, and lots and lots of buildings blowing up(!) And that's really about it. Really.

But what makes Peak so bad, where Twister was passably good? Is it the cheeseball dialogue and a really horrid performance from Linda Hamilton? Or is it the precocious children? Is it the fact that if everyone in the town of Dante's Peak wasn't dumber than a post, this whole disaster would have been avoided (that means you, grandma)?

I say, let 'em fry.

Dante's Peak blows.

Image caption Dante's Peak

Facts and Figures

Year: 1997

Run time: 108 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th February 1997

Budget: $116M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures


Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 27%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 19

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Roger Donaldson

Producer: Gale Anne Hurd, Joseph M. Singer

Screenwriter: Leslie Bohem

Starring: Pierce Brosnan as Harry Dalton, Linda Hamilton as Rachel Wando, Charles Hallahan as Paul Dreyfus, Jamie Renée Smith as Lauren Wando, Grant Heslov as Greg, Jeremy Foley as Graham Wando, Elizabeth Hoffman as Ruth, Kirk Trutner as Terry Furlong, Arabella Field as Nancy, Tzi Ma as Stan, Brian Reddy as Les Worrell, Lee Garlington as Dr. Jane Fox, Bill Bolender as Sheriff Turner, Carole Androsky as Mary Kelly, Peter Jason as Norman Gates, Christopher Murray as Pilot

Also starring: Gale Anne Hurd, Leslie Bohem