Our second movie this week I chose from the Netflix library after reading a review over at Keith’s movie blog. Skyfire (2019) is China’s first big-budget disaster film. Written by Wei Bu and Sidney King it is directed by Simon West who gained his action chops directing Con Air. The Expendables, The Mechanic etc, and put them to great effect for this movie.
The plot is basic, Jack Harris (Jason Isaacs) has built the first phase of his theme park & hotel complex on a volcanic Island. As you do. The Volcano does what volcanos do, and the movie is all about how the characters survive (or not) when it blows. There are some quaintly acted relationships going on, Li Xiao Meng (Hannah Quinliven) is a volcanic expert working on a way to predict lava flows, who is estranged from her Dad, another volcano scientist Wentao Li (Wang Xueqi) but must come together to save the people on the Island. Shawn Do and Amber Kuo playing an engaged couple who help Meng and Li, they have a lovely underwater scene, fully clothed of course! The movie is mostly Chinese spoken, with subtitles, and the script is a bit hokey at times, or at least the translation is. The CGI is phenomenal, if you want to know how a volcano blows and how lava reacts then this is the movie for you, they did a great job of making it look real. The characters have an old fashioned feel to them, respect for your elders, chasteness before marriage, politeness to all and the like, but it was charming and quite refreshing. Even Isaac’s character, ostensibly the ‘baddy’ for building there in the first place and then ignoring the warning signs pointed out to him, turns out to have redeeming qualities in the end. Sometimes cliched, only a little bit derivative, this is a thoroughly enjoyable movie and family friendly, a bit like Jurassic Park but with a volcano instead of dinosaurs. Apparently it’s to part of a trilogy if it does well, and I hope it does as I’d like to see where they go with this next.
Fraggle Rating: High Octane Entertainment for all.