Dante's Peak is, first, last and foremost, a disaster movie, and consequently it has been comparatively forgotten. But it is a very good disaster movie, one that, whilst containing all the key cliches and stereotyped disaster-flick elements, still manages to be inventive, exciting and visually amazing.
Pierce Brosnan (!!) plays a volcanologist sent to monitor seismic activity on a long-dormant volcano in the Cascade mountains (Mount St Helens, anyone?). Then scary things start to happen (I won't say what they are) and he becomes convinced that the volcano is going to erupt. Of course, nobody believes him, especially not his colleagues, who seem more interested in drinking cups and cups of Linda Hamilton's character's coffee. He still persuades them to call a town meeting to discuss escape plans. And, during the meeting, guess what happens...
Nothing happens and they all go home.
No, I was kidding.
The actors are generally very good, with Brosnan and Hamilton playing the lead roles without going over the top. The film also has a terribly sinister scene where they are all in a metal boat singing to cheer the kids up and they realise that some bad, bad things are happening to their boat. It's really quite scary.
Aside from the occasional blot on the geological copybook with some things happening that are scientifically impossible, Dante's Peak is great-and the special effects are incredible.