Magazine article Newsweek

Volcano

Magazine article Newsweek

Volcano

Article excerpt

L.A. Is One Hot City

'Volcano' feeds on an irresistible fantasy: watching some of the world's priciest real estate leveled by lava

THE SECRET OF Volcano's success as a betterthan-average disasterama is its nonstop pace. Like the lava that streams down L.A.'s Wilshire Boulevard incinerating everything in its path, the relentless succession of wham-bang images simply rolls over each and every cliche in the script, smothering your objections in the process.

Unlike "Dante's Peak," which postponed the corkpopping for an hour, "Volcano" gets right down to business with a hefty quake, the effect of which is to open the tectonic doors to the volcanic juices lying in wait to destroy Los Angeles. Director Mick Jackson and his screenwriters (Jerome Armstrong and Billy Bay) are smart enough to know we didn't come for "character development." We want to see L.A. trashed. (What other burg can stand in for Sodom and Gomorrah these days?) To document the destruction, Jackson adopts a faux-newsreel style, which makes "volcano" seem like a continuation of all the other times we've watched LA. withstand real-life assault--from fires, mudslides, tidal waves, quakes, looters, arsonists and, most recently, armedto-the-teeth bank robbers.

Jackson is the man who directed the affectionately satirical "L.A. Story." This could be seen as its giddily nightmarish sequel. The fun of the movie is in the background details--a giant billboard of Angelyne, L.A.'s self-appointed sex icon, crashing to the streets; a Metro subway driver reading "How to Write Screenplays That Sell" as he heads to his lava-licked fate; the banner at the enflamed County Art Museum announcing its Hieronymus Bosch show. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.