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Tommy and Anne face off against some hot magma ("What's Magma?") in the first of two 1997 volcano movies. This one features a lead character who should be fired and never hired for his job, a slew of disaster movie cliches (Dog never dies, anyone?) and Stan, the Man-Chucking Man in possibly the stupidest movie we've ever seen on this show.
Let's start off by declaring how incredibly dumb this movie is. Every single bit of "science" is telegraphed to the audience because "Hey! They're stupid!" such as the definition of tectonic activity, gravity and magma. The volcano has a mind of its own and has Tommy Lee Jones sense meaning if Tommy is coming its sneaky and hides from him. The government officials of LA have no clue how things should work and it seems Tommy's Roark is the mayor as everyone calls him or reports to him daily even before the eruption. The Chief of Police even calls to obligatorily yell at someone, even if its completely unrelated to Emergency Management of which Roark is the director of. I can in no way define how stupid this movie is because in order to define something you must possess some semblance of intelligence. That would be a slap in the face of this movies lack thereof.
Then there's the effects. Too many people over use the "effects that don't stand up to time" but this thing never had a chance to stand up at all. I specifically talk about "the building" (and why there is a character to just set up that a building exists is beyond me). At one point, the cast stands in front of a large photo of the building as if they are there. Usually when someone looks at something fake they are looking at a painting that's supposed to be real but this time it's a photo....that's out of focus. Seriously.
"Hey I went a took a picture of that building you wanted for a backdrop", says the studio photog. "I used my camera phone and also my finger is over the lense a little. Do you want me to do it again?"
"Nope" says the director as he pencils in more exposition about what a volcano is to the masses of morons who never passed the 3rd grade who are watching this.
Then there is Stan. Oh Stan. The brilliance of Stan knows no bounds, just as much as his jumping ability. Stan the Man-Chucking-Man, is the star of the show and is enough to bring anyone to tears during his big heroic moment. No, not because of his heroism and tragic death, but because from start to finish the scene is HILARIOUS! Tears of laughter are to be expected as Stan the construction foreman throws a 200 pound man over his head the distance of any Olympian's shot put throw, all while melting in liquid hot magma. Zounds!
In whole, this movie is tops. It's so bad and so stupid that it manages to make Roland Emmerich looks like Da Vinci. Highly riffable and best served with 2 or 3 friends out to spot the moments of stupidity. Make a drinking came out of when the movie is telling you that you are a dumb-ass and prepare to vomit all night long.
Over the top action:
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