Awfully Good: Airplane Vs. Volcano

Airplane Vs. Volcano (2014)

Director: James Kondelik, Jon Kondelik
Stars: James Oster, Dean Cain, Robin Givens

JimmyO saves Superman. And some other stuff happens with an aircraft and some volcanoes.

I love JoBlo film critic and resident stud James Oster (aka JimmyO) almost as much I love bad movies, so it's as if AIRPLANE VS. VOLCANO was made just for me.

It's like looking at identical twins!

Bias admitted, I do think this movie falls on the "good" side of The Asylum scale, along with their recent enjoyably bad flicks like ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS ZOMBIES and SHARKNADO. It's not a classic by any means, but there's enough ridiculousness and action throughout that it kept things light and entertaining. Obviously, it was shot over a couple of days on the one or two sets at their disposal, but I will say that The Asylum's once laughable special effects are getting better. The fire and volcano CGI is actually pretty decent here.

Dean Cain puts himself to sleep every night by watching SUPERMAN RETURNS.

Despite hilariously being billed as "Based on a true story!," you know AIRPLANE VS. VOLCANO is science fiction right off the bat, because it features a plane full of calm people who are friendly and nice to each other. Even the stewardess provides adequate service with a smile. (Clearly, they're not flying Delta.) All the pleasantries are soon forgotten, however, when the plane begins to experience violent turbulence. The pilot says it's just an air pocket, but passenger Dean Cain knows it's not an air pocket. (Mainly because he says, "That's not an air pocket!")

"Ben Affleck? Jesse Eisenberg? DEAN CAIN SMASH!!!!!"

In the cockpit, the pilots soon discover that instead of a runway, the plane is about to land in LIQUID HOT MAGMA. Obviously, something is not right here. They continue to dodge fiery boulders before accidentally getting killed by volcano electrocution. Luckily, Superman himself, Dean Cain is there to rescue everyone. (Ironically, Supes is only an amateur flyer in this movie.) Cain bursts in to the cockpit and immediately starts ordering around the staff and air marshal and messing with the plane's controls. Nobody asks him who he is or how he's qualified to operate a flying machine. (Again, they must be flying Delta.) A geeky guy with glasses declares that he also "needs to know what's going on," so the marshal takes him to the cockpit, once again without asking him any questions about himself. He tells Cain that he's "studied volcanoes" and knows exactly what's going on outside. His expert advice: "Don't fly us too close or you'll cook us." Thanks, scientist.

JimmyO's dressing room was right outside the set.

It turns out shifts in the Earth's tectonic plates are forcing submerged underwater volcanoes to come to the surface around Hawaii, popping up instantly out of nowhere. There are the requisite scenes of people at the beach scrambling to run away from a deadly lava tsunamis, as well as a fun disaster sequence at a military base where people get burned alive by raining fire and magma bombs. The real action though, is up in the air.

With no pilot, low fuel and literally hellish conditions outside, Dean Cain spends the rest of the film trying to keep everyone alive. When the plane is too heavy and tossing luggage doesn't help, he boldly decides to fly into an incoming lava asteroid in order to knock off one of the engines and lighten the load. When one of the remaining engines gets clogged, they send a man outside the plane to fix it. (Don't worry, they secure him with a rope made out of seatbelts. Nothing can go wrong there.) And because the volcano isn't big enough of a villain, the film introduces Crieger, a vaguely Middle Eastern-looking man who man who wants to stir up trouble for no reason. He randomly gets up, decides that Dean Cain can't be trusted, and convinces everyone to revolt and throw him out of the moving aircraft.


Enter JimmyO to save the day. As tensions mount, Jimmy's character Bob comes out of the airplane lavatory at the worst possible moment and is ordered by Crieger to open the door and toss out Dean Cain. Like a true badass, he steps in between the villain and Superman and refuses, even when threatened with Liam Neeson's broken glass brass knuckles from THE GREY. Just as Jimmy is about to stab the bad guy with his mohawk, the air marshal finally steps in and relieves the intrepid film critic from his role as midair hero.

Meanwhile, on the ground, Robin Givens' volcano expert (or "vulcanist") is working with the military to try and save everyone. Unfortunately, the army general in charge refuses to send his troops in to a dangerous situation, so a young soldier goes behind his back to send a rescue plane. Of course, this plane gets blown up by lava. But before he can get arrested for forging his commander's signature, the soldier plays a tape of everyone on the plane saying goodbye to their loved ones. Not only does the general change his mind, but he personally flies a plane to save them. (I'll let you guess how that turns out for him.)

Take a shot when you spot an Arrow in the Head shirt!

Back on the plane, the air marshal is getting so desperate he ties a parachute to a raft and tries to make the women and children jump out. [SPOILERS] The end of the film is essentially a video game with a bunch of fighter planes dodging CG volcanoes and shooting down flying lava balls. The roof of the plane gets ripped off and people are sucked out, but this gives the military a chance to create the world's most badass zipline to rescue the passengers. Not content to just make it out alive, the Army decides they also need to kick the volcano's ass out of spite. So they pack the airplane full of explosives (which they always carry on their aircraft, just in case) and the film ends with DEAN CAIN SUICIDE BOMBING A VOLCANO. <<<< YES.

Thank God Jimmy O (presumably) made it out alive for the sequel.

[A volcano appears through the clouds] "That's not the runway!"

"That’s a volcano!"
"Good lord!"

"Can you tell me what your situation status is?"
"Sure. We lost both our pilots. We nearly crashed. We nearly blew up. And there's this guy up here who's super close to a psychotic meltdown. Oh, and we're flying in a ring of volcanoes. Thoughts?"

"Your shores are the new Pompeii."

"I minored in Genius, but I majored in Awesome!"

"What are you… nuts?"

"Oh my… you are a big bitch."

"We packed the plane with 200lbs of explosives. You have to hit the center of the volcano. Good luck!"

During some turbulence, a lone drink cart slowly rolls down the aisle and hits a guy's arm and everyone onboard freaks out.

A very tense scene featuring Dean Cain suspensefully trying to flip a switch.

A poor guy gets burned alive and his friends try to pull him up but instead just rip the skin off his arms. Whoops!

[SPOILERS] Dean Cain suicide bombing a volcano. [/SPOILERS]

And of course, JimmyO's heroic cameo.

JimmyO keeps his clothes on. Though you can email me if you want to see those pictures from Comic Con.

Better than JOE VS. THE VOLCANO! Buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:
  • Someone gets burned alive
  • Robin Givens says something sciencey
  • The stewardess screws something up
  • A child vomits unconvincingly
  • The filmmakers do a Michael Bay-style panning shot
  • Someone does a fancy handshake
Double shot:
  • Every second JimmyO is onscreen

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.

Source: JoBlo.com



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