Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
"Dante's Peak'' is constructed about as skillfully as a disaster movie can be, and there were times when I found it working for me, sort of. But hasn't this genre pretty much been played out to the point of exhaustion? Once you know the premise (volcano, tornado, killer bees) you can guess the story line. Starting in this case with a volcano, we know there will be: --Ominous portents of doom on a seemingly ordinary day, such as people being boiled alive in a hot springs, too many dead trees in the middle of summer and alarming seismic activity.
--Everyday folks going about their business, in this case the Dante's Peak Pioneer Day Festival, at which the mayor (Linda Hamilton) accepts the town's Money magazine award as the "second-best place to live in America.'' --Arrival of scientists, including (a) hero scientist, played here by Pierce Brosnan, and (b) pooh-pooh scientist, played by Charles Hallahan, whose job is to dismiss the hero scientist's concerns and tell everyone there is no need for alarm.
--Inevitable subplot involving big corporation that plans to sink millions into the area, but may take its investment elsewhere if it hears rumors that Dante's Peak is about to blow.
--Establishment of friendship, leading to love affair, between hero scientist and town mayor, who comes equipped with a full kit of disaster movie accessories, including children, dog and gray-haired mother-in-law who refuses to come down from her cabin on the mountainside.