Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the drama “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Theatres), the psychological thriller “St. Maud” (digital and on-demand), Robin Wright’s directorial debut “Land” (in theatres), the cheesy action flick “Skyfire” (VOD) and the dark comedy “Breaking News In Yuba County” (VOD).
If action with a side of cheese is your thing then “Skyfire,” now on VOD, might be a Gouda film to put on your movie queue. If not, this is nacho thing.
Set on an island in the Pacific Rim, smack dab in the middle of the Ring of Fire, an area known for volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, the story begins with vulcanologist Meng Li (Hannah Quinlivan) building an early warning system. Her boss, entrepreneur Jack Harris (Jason Isaacs), is a mirror image of Hammond from “Jurassic Park.” Hammond built a theme park where cloned dinosaurs ran amok. Harris’s vision is for an opulent resort at the base of an active volcano.
What could possibly go wrong?
When Harris and his wife JiaHui-Dong (An Bai) invite influencers and investors to luxuriate in the amenities offered in this tropical paradise, Mother Nature kicks up a fuss, spewing red hot lava over Harris’s best laid plans. On top of that, Meng Li’s estranged father shows up just in time to dodge the fireballs falling from the sky.
“Skyfire” is unapologetically cheesy. In best queso scenario (OK, I know these puns are not so grate so I’ll stop now) it should be watched with no expectation except the promise of good, mindless fun. It’s loud and proud, a movie that fills the screen with implausible action and character reactions. By the time it gets to the underwater marriage proposal it’s a contender for the 2021 Special Achievement in Silliness award.
And that’s OK. Veteran action director Simon West, he of “Con Air,” “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” and “The Expendables 2” among others, keeps things lively as giant Styrofoam boulders fly through the air and lava carpets the earth.
Imagine the rumble of 70s disaster flicks like “Earthquake” with the nature-gone-wild plot of “Jurassic Park” and you’ll get the idea.
“Skyfire,” China’s first big-budget disaster movie, is by no means a disaster. It’s an unabashed popcorn flick that revels in its melting pot of clichés, a fondu of clichés if you will, as much as it does its preposterous storytelling.
“From the director of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Con Air, we bring you Skyfire – a Chinese disaster action mega-production.
“Tianhuo Island, located in the world-famous Pacific Rim volcanic belt, is as beautiful as a paradise.
“The idyllic location almost makes people forget that it’s in the area also infamously called the “Ring of Fire.” When the volcano erupts, the fate of the people on the island is in the hands of a geologist and her father.
“The film has Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter series, Peter Pan, The Death of Stalin), Chinese superstars and is filled with action shots. So, get yourself some popcorn, maybe a good drink or two and enjoy some giant explosions. Because what else is there to do in life?”