As if one calamitous global crisis from China was not enough to last for a lifetime, China unleashes one more disaster, this time a film that aims to be the chopsuey version of America’s best disaster films Towering Inferno, Independence Day, Mars Attack and Contagion. Oh yes, let’s not forget the film that predicted a deadly virus attack long before Coronavirus.
Skyfire is a disaster on so many levels, I stopped counting after Level 11…or was it 12. Layer after layer this offensively gratuitous, catastrophe peddling putrid garbage in the garb of high-octane thrill, lays bare its (duplicitous) intentions in every frame. It opens with a woman and her little daughter caught in a volcanic explosion.
Just when I was wondering if all the lava had gone, the mother bid a tearful goodbye to her little daughter and perished in the eruption. Daughter grows up into a beautiful bombshell, or shall we say a volcanic beauty, who spends all her time fighting with Daddy or battling with volcanoes. While the Daddy issues (“Where were you when Mom died” makes as much sense as “Where were you when the World Trade Centre was bombed?”) are plainly boring, the scenes showing the volcanic eruptions are staged with all the seriousness and sincerity of Class 4 students staging a school play based on Home Alone.
The performances are plainly puerile while the single-note plot will leave you numbed with repetition: near-identical shots of fire bellowing out mountains with humanity running helter skelter. Still there are some moments that engage you, like the time the tycoon who owns the resort on the volcanic island, saves a little girl’s life.
Most of the time watching Skyfire is like eating chowmein with too much chilli sauce. Beyond a point the constant flow of lava on the screen becomes way too much to bear. If you are in the mood for a disaster film watch Contagion instead. It offers all the excitement of a civilization-annihilation disaster management cautionary tale without the intrinsic silliness of Skyfire.
Image source: IMDb