In the 90's, it was all the rage for studios to develop competing projects on the same subject. Think about "Armageddon" vs "Deep Impact". A similar battle at the box office broke out IN 1997 between Universal's "Dante's Peak" and this Fox entry, VOLCANO.
Tommy Lee Jones stars as a divorced Dad and head of Emergency Services for Los Angeles.
His vacation with his daughter is interrupted when a volcano emerges out of the La Brea Tar Pits.
More of an overwrought drama than exciting thriller, VOLCANO suffers from predictability and its insistence on featuring every disaster flick stereotype imaginable.
Anne Heche is her usual annoying self as the requisite scientist, Don Cheadle is Jones assistant, Keith David is the frustrated policeman and poor John Corbett (Northern Exposure) is wasted in an underwritten role as a selfish yuppie with a huge new apartment complex that forgot about lava flows when it chose its "location, location, location".
The special effects are serviceable and get better as the film goes, but when you think "a volcano in LA!" you can think of 100 better ideas than anyone came up with here.
Jones is a great actor that does what he can with a bad screenplay and lackluster direction by Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard).
A bit boring, more than a bit dumb and definitely the lesser of the two volcano films, we'll give VOLCANO a D and call it Dante's Peak 1, Volcano 0.