Oldies are Goldies. Isn’t that what people usually say? Isn’t that even kind of the motto of the nostalgic and nearly melancholic state the world seems to be in lately? People seem to long for the good things they remember from the past. For me, the ’90’s and early 21th century’-movies have always had a special place in my heart. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen ‘Notting Hill’ and ‘Titanic’, but also ‘Forrest Gump’, ‘The day after tomorrow’, ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ and so many more. So it’s no surprise that even though there’s also a difference in rating amongst those older movies, I liked ‘Dante’s peak’. Because it does stick to the same principle of why I like these films so much: their no-nonsense, straightforward way of storytelling and directing.
I feel like these older movies can never do me wrong, ’cause even though some might be really predictable, they always have an actual decent story to tell. So why is it harder to do so nowadays? Is it because everything has been told and we need to find new ways to make movies interesting? Or are filmmakers afraid of not being special enough to stand out? Whatever it is, it results in sometimes really interesting and great modern movies, but unfortunately more often in really crappy ones as well.
Amongst those older pics there’s a broad category that I never plan on watching, but still always keep me watching to the end when I do come across them on tv. I have a weak spot for disaster movies. Two nights ago I was planning on going to bed before midnight, so that at least one time in this new year I would not have to snooze my alarm a million times before having the courage of getting up. But while writing a previous review, ‘Dante’s peak’ started on the background. And so yes, I watched the first scene, immediately knew what kind of movie it was and that it would have a happy ending, but still I felt the urge to see it. And the thing is that it’s not about hoping for a happy ending, since you already now for a fact they’ll have it.- I mean these films are more predictable than the fact that at least one of my uncle’s or aunts will be drunk on every family gathering. – But the experience is about rooting for characters on their journey towards it – and the guessing game of who will die of course ;).
In this case I felt like they had really creative ways of bringing the tension. The scenes with the couple in the hot spring and the boat on the acid river are genius to me. It’s just a great, simple, but well put together storyline. Another thing I like is how, unlike with a lot of other disaster movies, the screenwriters managed to get a good balance between the tension and the romance. Sometimes with these films there’s a faint effort to add some romance on the side, resulting in some improbable love declaration at the end. But here the ‘bonding’ is built up in a good and well founded way and also the ending is not too majestic. It seems more like a way of expressing their relief toward each other.
Usually I’m not that big of a fan of Pierce Brosnan. I’m probably still traumatized from his acting skills in ‘Mamma Mia’ – that was also starring Colin Firth. I still can’t believe he did that. – But in ‘Dante’s Peak’ he actually does a great job. It’s also a little bit in his characters personality anyway, but still he showed some solid work without overacting. Actually all the actors did. Linda Hamilton, but also the kids, did a really good job at keeping it lowkey and not overdone, which is one of the dangers in this genre.
I think it’s fair to say that if you’re into old movies that are about telling a story without too much hodgepodge, – Do english speaking people actually use this word? I translated it from my language and it sounds really odd. 🙂 – you’ll really enjoy this one. Of course it’s no Oscar-winning film and a lot of the teenagers or others loving those new blockbuster thrillers will probably think this whole review is highly overrated (proved by the IMDB-rating). But I guess to that I can only say: too bad for them they weren’t born a little earlier or just can’t enjoy the basics anymore.
Feel free to laugh at my grammar/ spelling mistakes, but then please also correct them afterwards – I wasn’t born speaking English 😉
Have a great day/ night!