The first twenty minutes is exposition, before we even meet the hero. The story concerns an attempt to create a man-made volcano in Tanzania, East Africa. They have drilled through most of the Earth's crust, and only one layer remains. It is impervious to drilling, so the scientists plan to use a 10-megaton nuke kindly provided by the US Government.
The aim is to use the Earth's internal heat to generate electricity. Why do they actually need the lava? At that depth, the heat should already be sufficient to boil water and thus power any turbine.
Our hero's theory is that the Earth's crust has already been weakened by nuclear test-blasts, and puncturing it would crack the globe. He tries to warn everyone, but his boss carries on regardless. As you can guess, the hero's theory is borne out. The problem is ... as modern as the movie seems, it was made before Plate Tectonics was accepted by the Geologist community!
The heroine is married an older man, although they sleep in seperate beds. The hero (Dana Andrews) is notable for his incredibly wooden acting.
The Tarzan film that this most closely resembles is the Bo Derek version. However, Ms March (famous, just like Ms Derek, for screen nudity) manages to keep her clothes on. Not only is there a plot, it's a pretty terrible one at that. Historical revisionism has now taken over. The Great White Explorer is now cast as the villain, while the Superstitious Savage is now Tarzan's friend.
The heroes and villains rush about looking for the Rosetta, the ultimate encryption microchip. This is not a cyber-thriller, merely a standard cops-and-robbers shoot'em-up which hitched onto the Internet bandwagon.
Remarkably for this genre, there is no passion between the two leads. Hauer remarks that Tara is the same age as his daughter (mid-20s), and she encourages him to learn how to use his e-mail so he can keep in touch with his aforementioned offspring.
Ths cast is a beautiful mix of Smith regulars and proper stars, and shows the leap the director had made after his first film - a black&white Independant production. Joey Lauren Adams pops up a a slutty fellow Mallrat. Ben Affleck is cast in his archetypal role as a completely unlikeable jerk, here as Doherty's new boyfriend. This film was made before he made it big. Michael Rooker, here as Forlani's asshole father, was a well-established supporting actor from the likes of Cliffhanger. Stan Lee, the mastermind of Marvel Comics, even turns in a brief appearance as himself.
As ever, the director ( Kevin Smith ) pops up in a cameo as Silent Bob, with Jason Mewes (Jay) in tow. Smith's contribution here is the Jedi Mind Trick, a typical Star Wars reference.
The really amazing thing about this film is that, with the exception of a couple of brief monologues, this just isn't funny. Like Mallrats it's about love, but without most of the jokes.
As ever, the director ( Kevin Smith ) pops up in a cameo as Silent Bob, with Jason Mewes (Jay) in tow. Here the cameo comes near the end, and Bob's monologue explains the meaning of the title.
This film actually attempts to give an explanation for Jason's unkillability. His spirit can possess other bodies, but their reflection always shows the big guy in the boiler suit and mask. Jason makes his way back to Camp Crystal Lake, and the local town full of redneck assholes. And our protagonists, of course.
The hero (John D. LeMay) looks about eighteen, and is a nerdy, wimpy ... you get the picture. Erin Gray is a waitress and the mother of his ex-GF, who has custody of their daughter. Hmm ... This was made in 1993, and Ms Gray is cast as a grandmother?!
The only one who really knows what's going on is an African-American bounty hunter, hired by a TV show host. In an amazing coincidence, the TV celebrity himself comes to town as the new boyfriend of the hero's ex!
Jason isn't the only one who soaks unbelievable amounts of damage. The wimpy-looking hero gets multiple fractures to no ill effect.
Watch out for the very last scene, which should let you know what the next sequel was planned as. Unfortunately, the cross-over never happened because of copyright disputes. A pity ...
The real high point of the movie is the cameo by Patrick McGoohan, who plays the ghost of the hero's father.
Treat Williams plays the villainous American millionaire Xander Drax (obviously a James Bond reference). His enterprises are under investigation by a NYC newspaper publisher. The publisher sends out his daughter, the tomboy Girl Reporter Kirsty Swanson , who is promptly kidnapped by the even more attractive Catherine Zeta Jones .
Swanson is best known as the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer , but she is completely outshone by Jones (who had yet to get her big break).
The story is of a young man sent on a quest by his village elder, played by Roddy McDowell ( Planet of the Apes (1968) ). Other famous faces that crop up are Eli Wallach ( The Good, The Bad and The Ugly) and Christopher Lee ( Dracula (1958) ).
She joins him in his remote countryside mansion, where he keeps three apes - a chimp, a gorilla and an orang-utang. Soon the professor disappears, and we have to ask - have the inmates taken over the asylum? The babe is trapped with the apes, in a remote house with no car or phone, surrounded by a pack of mad dogs.
Like King Kong, the orang-utang seems to have a crush on the blonde. This also seems vaguely reminiscent of Shue's more recent film, Hollow Man ...
The roads around a small town in the American MidWest are scene to a series of hit-and-run murders by a black car. People see the car, but nobody can identify the driver. Later, it cannot enter the hallowed ground of a graveyard. Is something demonic at work?
Sheriff's deputies James Brolin () and Ronny Cox ( Total Recall ) have to save the day.
Their target is a gigantic pleasure cruiser owned by Anthony Heald (Silence of the Lambs) and captained by Derrick O'Connor (Lethal Weapon 2). Also aboard is a Femme Fatale, Famke Janssen .
There's only one problem. All this is taking place in the Dragon's Triangle, an area of the South China Sea where many ships have disappeared in mysterious circumstances. This is Poseidon Adventure meets Aliens . When the raiders turn up, there are no passengers - only blood. Like Jaws, we don't see much of the monsters. Of course, when we do get to see them (they're designed by Rob Bottin).
This was written and directed by Stephen Sommers . Although it's a straight-to-video action-adventure romp with a pack of B-list stars, you can certainly see how he moved on to do The Mummy . The Jerry Goldsmith score certainly helps add impact.
Tea Leoni plays an investigative journalist. She has to compete with her boss (the short-haired woman in Sex In The City) for stories, and also has a troubled relationship with her parents, Vanessa Redgrave and Maximillian Schell ( The Black Hole ).
Leoni investigates politician James Cromwell ( Star Trek 8: First Contact ), who has retired under mysterious circumstances. When she uncovers his concerns about an ELE (Extinction Level Event) she is pulled in and briefed by the US President (Morgan Freeman - Shawshank Redemption ).
As in the other Meteor Movie of 1998, the USA sends a space-ship to blow up the big rock with lots of nukes. Robert Duvall plays an Apollo-Era astronaut who is pulled out of retirement to pilot the space shuttle. Mary McCormack tags along as the token woman, and Kurtwood Smith ( Robocop ) is Ground Control.
A remake of such a famous film might seem unnecessary. However, there are some nice points. In a reference to the original book by L. Frank Baum , Dorothy's slippers are silver instead of ruby. The original film's technicolor process left the silver appearing grey, so the change to red was made. Another good point about the film is the music, with a list of songs that are not from the original film.
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