There’s a ridiculous amount of fun to be had with director Simon West’s Skyfire. The film takes Jurassic Park, blends it with Dante’s Peak and adds-in some Chinese Five Spice for a rollicking rollercoaster ride of a movie. It’s silly as hell, but it’s exactly what you want from this type of disaster movie.
Hannah Quinlivan is Meng Li a young volcanologist still reeling from the death of her mother during an eruption on the island paradise of Tianhuo, located within the Pacific Rim’s notorious ‘Ring Of Fire’. Li has unfinished business with the volcano and she knows that bad things are going to happen when Jason Isaacs’ Jack Harris opens a holiday resort/theme park on the side of the hot rock. Things begin to heat up and the lava starts to flow when the dormant volcano starts to wake-up.
Skyfire is a chinese production and all of the film’s cast speak their native tongue in the film. The only western actor is Jason Isaacs who plays the South African businessman who is more interested in plying the resort’s tourists with free drinks when the volcano erupts rather than evacuating them. One of Hollywood’s great villains, Isaacs chews the scenery with gusto but he makes sure that his character is more than a money counting man in a suit. In fact Skyfire has no bad guy, only nature’s wrath.
Plot and character motivation in Skyfire is wafer thing but Simon West knows how to shoot action having directed the likes of Con Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and The Expendables 2 – and he ensures there’s plenty of spectacle to be had. CGI effects sit alongside the practical as West orchestrates action set-piece after set-piece – the best of these is a thrilling high speed monorail rescue. It defies gravity but it’s hugely thrilling.
As entertaining as it silly, Skyfire is a rollicking action-adventure film. It’s energetic and well staged and definitely worth ninety minutes of your time.