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YMMV / Volcano

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  • Anvilicious:
    • The film has a message about working together in the face of a crisis, but it's put in some of the most blunt terms, including an adorable little boy pointing out how everyone looks the same from the volcano ash after the eruption.
    • The not-so-subtle jab that building a subway in Los Angeles is wrong. A pretty common moral in movies from the 1990s, especially those made by people from Beverly Hills.
  • Awesome Music: "Build a Wall" and "March of the Lava", by Alan Silvestri.
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  • Esoteric Happy Ending: The movie ends with an active volcano in the middle of Los Angeles. It's going to cost untold amounts of money just to keep the city remotely functional, assuming the place isn't abandoned entirely.
  • Fridge Logic: Too many instances to count (though the Artistic License – Geology at the top of the main page helps), but when the firemen and cops all start cheering out, 'WOOT, we just stopped the lava pouring down the middle of main street!" So, uh, what about the dozens of side-streets that it's obviously been flowing down as well?
  • Narm:
    • The newscaster who is just so proud of herself in the face of the advancing tide of lava. "We now have a name for this phenomenon — a 'volcano'." Also, Mike doesn't know that the advancing tide of lava is called lava, even if he knows what lava conceptually is.
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    • "Ah. Dad hurry. My leg is burning."
    • The random man in Stanley calmly watering his plants in full view of the audience as if it were another sunny day as the reporter describes a scene of chaos unfolding in front of him.
    • See any of the many, many instances of Artistic License on the front page.
    • The metro engineer melting into nothingness once he lands in lava.
    • The little boy who plays Rock Paper Scissors with Kelly. Kelly mistakes his hand for paper, but the little boy informs her that it's lava and asks 'what beats that?'. This boy looks around four years old.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Valente Rodriguez, best known for his role as Ernie in The George Lopez Show, plays the subway conductor that Stan eventually saves from the lava flow.
    • A pre-Iron Man Don Cheadle is featured prominently as Rourke's coworker and friend, Emmett.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Many people wanted the lava to win.
    • Why? Probably because of the cheesy dialogue and general silliness of the plot.
  • Special Effects Failure: There are points in the film where the lava may not exactly be convincing. Plus, the shot of an entire flotilla of helicopters swarming onscreen as they prepare to dump thousands of gallons of water on blocked lava flow is clearly just one too many helicopters duplicated into the same shot in too small an airspace for them all to function.
    • In addition, there's almost too many instances to count where the footage was clearly slowed down, and shoddily slowed at that. The sudden frame rate drops cut between shots of normal movement make them all the more noticeable. In the opening shot, there's even an instance where the sweeping view of the city is obviously (and poorly) sped up.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Narmtastic dialogue, Genre Blindness and Convection Schmonvection all rolled into a cliche ridden disaster movie. It's practically a perfect storm of elements for bad movie lovers.
    • But the heroism aspects resonate even stronger after 9/11.
    • Mike Nelson in his book Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese compares it to an old war movie, saying it was "cornball, but with heart".
  • The Scrappy: Kelly. So. Very. Much, even for "kid in a disaster movie" standards. You may find yourself wishing that someone would just put her into the lava, considering that she certainly does nothing to prevent herself from dying already and puts the lives of dozens of others at risk through her lethal idiocy.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The lava effects are impressive, holding up very well for a movie made in 1997.
  • What an Idiot!: Pretty much everything Kelly does just serves to endanger herself, her father, or the lives of others he could easily have saved.


Example of: