This week Roland Emmerich's new film 2012 opened up in theaters. I saw this film and laughed my ass off because of how ridiculous the movie was. You can read my review for it Here.
I thought it would be appropriate to do a list of five other disaster films that I found absolutely ridiculous and laughable. The films I chose are all non-Roland Emmerich movies, otherwise the list would be full of them. I had my fun little Emmerich rant already with my 2012 review. So here are five of the many "Most Ridiculous Disaster Films Ever Made."
The La Brea Tar Pits turn into a volcano, it's up to a geologist (Anne Heche) and a Dedicated Emergency Management director (Tommy Lee Jones) to save Los Angeles from the river of lava now flowing down Wilshire Boulevard.
After a character points out early in the film that some volcanoes can erupt with the force of a nuclear blast, we find out that the one under LA is pretty small. It barely erupts at all! It pretty much just oozes lava down the street. And as we all know, lava destroys everything in its path and moves extremely fast… wait no it doesn't! On gentle inclines it moves at the speed of ½ a mile per hour! On a steep slop it maxes out at about 6 miles per hour.
How do you re-route a lava flow and send it harmlessly into the ocean? Simple: You blow up a huge building! Seriously? To save the city from a threat that can be easily out-walked, they knock over a large building, killing two people in the process.
There is a scene where a character sets a basketball on the street to figure out which way the ground is sloping, establishing firmly that Wilshire Blvd is the safest place on earth to be in the event of a volcano.
An old lady walks away from the lava that's engulfing her house, but she left her little dog inside! The dog, realizing that he's in no danger, runs over to the lava and barks at it.
When a large stormfront threatens to let loose a number of tornadoes in an area commonly known as the "Tornado Belt," it's up to a Storm Chaser (Hellen Hunt) and a guy with the regrettable nickname "The Extreme" (Bill Paxton) to put a bunch of little plastic balls into one of the tornadoes for the sake of science (storm tracking).
The movie is literally about people dumb enough to run right up to a tornado to try to stick their balls in it.
In an early scene, the main characters are stuck in a giant ditch with a tornado bearing down on them, and they don't even have time to turn on the machine with all those balls in it! So, they hide under a small wooden bridge. We'll go ahead and assume that it's perfectly normal for somebody to build a bridge over a ditch.
For the big finale, our protagonists actually pass through the eye of an F-5 tornado, a seriously insane dangerous tornado, and emerge completely unharmed because they hung on really tight.
Mother nature goes ballistic and a cool breeze starts blowing through city parks that cause peoples' brains to break, making them kill themselves with whatever it is they have access to at that moment in time. A science teacher (Mark Wahlberg) and his cheating wife (Zooey Deshanel) do whatever they can to outrun the death breeze that mother nature has unleashed on the world, making every one kill themselves in it's path.
The whole time that they are on the road, they eventually figure out they have to stay away from the trees. If they go into any green tree infested areas, they will have no choice, but to kill themselves. That's how mother nature roles! It all because the trees can release chemicals in the air and they are out to get revenge for all the pollution humans have caused in the world.
The whole freakin movie! It's about tree pollen provoking people to perform laughably spectacular acts of suicide for cryin' out loud!
When a gang of idiotic jewel thieves crash their car into a convoy of trucks loaded down with toxic waste and the resulting explosion blocks off a section of the Hudson Tunnel, it's up to a playwright (Amy Brenneman) and a cab driver who used to be the Emergency Medical Services Chief (Sylvester Stallone) to drag the few remaining survivors to safety.
Since the smoke doesn't seem to have any effect and even fire can't hurt these people, screenwriter Leslie Bohem tries to come up with a new excuse for excitement every few minutes. At first, it seems like rising water levels will add a sense of danger to the proceedings, but the water is so slow to rise that it turns out to be more annoying than an actual crisis.
Stallone eventually gets things rolling by blowing up a big-ass gas tanker, to try and slow down the water even more somehow. It almost seems more dangerous because Stallone runs into some unexplained technical difficulties and he can't get quite as far from the explosion as he hoped. But then he just jumps out of the way -- because jumping out of the way always works in an explosion.
As near as we can tell, his efforts have no noticeable effect on the rising water.
In the rare instances when there seems to be danger in the film, it tends to seem more confusing than anything. At one point a guy apparently falls through the road, just because he walked on it and it was wet (how the hell does this only happen once?) Then an old lady sits down and just sort of dies, presumably from boredom.
As the survivors make their way to safety, having successfully climbed a rickety staircase, they realize that the dog needs help getting up the steps! Bravely, Stallone risks his life to pull a damn dog up a flight of steps! The dog makes it! But Stallone ends up falling back into the water and has to find his own way out of the tunnel. It's safe to say, that was the dog's plan all along.
Everyone is able to get out of the tunnel due to the efforts of a bunch of pesky rats. The rats, who weren't in any particular hurry to leave the ever-so-slowly-crumbling tunnel, eventually swim over to our protagonists and kindly show them the way out. It’s like the pied piper only in reverse.
When a retardedly convoluted prison break results in one giant forest fire with four escaped convicts wandering around in the middle of it, it's up to an ornithologist (Suzy Amis) and some guy who parachutes into forest fires for a living (Howie Long) to stop both the fire and the convicts.
Interestingly enough, there are only 6 people that are anywhere near this fire! Only 6 people that could die, and four of those people are vicious criminals that need to be hunted down rescued and arrested!? Just let 'em die in the fire! It’s their fault! No need to risk anyone else’s life.
The escaped convicts, dressed up as firemen, and the ornithologist are trying to make their way around a particularly large fire on their way out of the forest. From above, Howie Long notices that they're wandering directly into the path of the very slow moving fire! They could be in danger within as little as a half an hour! So, he parachutes down to save them, or at least to advise them to walk in a different direction.
Characters frequently find themselves surrounded by flames only to wander away unharmed. A couple of scenes later, they'll find themselves in some perfectly safe part of the forest untouched by the flames, having easily out-walked the disaster.
What are some disaster movies that you would like to add to the list!?