As ludicrous as it might sound, Airplane Vs. Volcano (2014) is not as bad as the title might suggest. These “vs” films have been around for a long time but the Syfy Channel has had a huge hand at bringing every imaginable creature from Mega Sharks, Mecha Sharks, Crocosaurus’, sharknados, sharktopus’, pteracudas, and everything else to the screen. Now we see two inanimate objects go toe to toe when an out of control commercial airplane with scared passengers goes up against a newly evolving ring of erupting volcanoes.
Dean Cain is Rick Pierce who takes control of the commercial airplane when the newly erupting volcanoes kill the two original pilots sending the plane into an uncontrollable autopilot which won’t allow them to fly away from the ring of volcanoes as the natural disaster looms ever so worse. This film is less concerned with the volcanoes and more concerned with the mounting stress of the passengers of the plane who increasingly question Rick’s place as their pilot. The plane is a pressure cooker of opposing ideas on what to do in this crazy situation where any wrong action can lead to someone getting killed. When Rick’s mental ability is put into question the possibility of mutiny on the plane is just one of several problems facing the passengers on this plane.
Written and directed by James and Jon Kondelik this film is more concerned about the human drama placed upon people in the middle of a natural disaster. Now this does not an original film make as it is a story telling device that has been made popular ever sense George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) but it does show a sign that there was some forethought to the film. This is only a part of the two things that makes this film better than your average Syfy Channel movie. Cain and co-star Robin Givens (as Lisa Whitmore, a specialist on volcanoes) actually are pretty good in the film and very convincing. It’s on par for most stars to phone in their performances in these types of films but Cain and Givens never do and their supporting cast is just as good.
Surprisingly, in a film that is utterly bollocks there are a lot of qualities that make this an entertaining film (despite the ludicrous premise) and fun if you remember to turn off your “reality” meter and just go along for the airplane ride.