Pierce Brosnan is a vulcanologist with a tragic past—he's lost loved ones to the volcano before. Linda Hamilton is the harried but spunky mayor of Dante's Peak, where her two apple-cheeked kids and her scruffy dog frolic in the shade of a dormant volcano. Nobody believes Brosnan when he says the volcano will erupt, so when it does, many people suffer visually spectacular deaths. This is inconvenient for Hamilton, because her kids have run up the volcano to save their grandma, and all the charred corpses are clogging the only road! Can savvy, determined Brosnan save them from the indifferent volcano when he failed to save his girlfriend? To find out, we follow him through computer-generated volcanic ash and lava, which might have cost millions but still looks like burning lint, as if God set one of His used vacuum cleaner bags on fire. As boring as the special effects are, they far outshine the stultifying plot. Will the kids survive? Will Hamilton and Brosnan fall in love? Still, there's evidence that Hollywood might be learning how to make these films with a little flair: Grandma dies screaming in a lake of boiling sulphuric acid.
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