Tension grows between a black civilian who is losing his neighborhood and the emergency responders who are furiously working to reroute the lava and save LACMA's art. The embodiment of every racist cop stereotype arrests the civilian for asking a firefighter what's going to happen to his home, and he, in turn, refers to the cop as Mark Fuhrman in a reference that would last throughout the ages.
20th Century Fox "You know the famous racist cop. No, the other one. No, the other other one."
After some more forced tension, the lava flow mercifully shows up. Another cop goes to free the citizen, who thinks he's about to be attacked for some reason, and says: "I'm about to be the volcano version of Rodney King."
20th Century Fox "Don't be ridiculous. I'd need at least three more officers for that."
They eventually put aside their differences and work together, because our petty differences only serve to divide us, when we should be focusing on the true enemy: nature. Volcano could have left it at that, but no. A reporter gets on camera to say, "This crisis has surely touched every one of us." Every one of us. Okay, we get it, good j--
Then we're treated to a shot where everyone's covered in ash. Why, with their skin concealed, every human being looks the same!
20th Century Fox
All right, we truly get it, movie: Racism is bad and we--
Then a passing officer carrying a lost boy asks what his mom looks like. The camera pans over the indistinguishable crowd.
20th Century Fox
There you go, finally, it's clear th--
Then the kid says "Look at their faces ... they all look the same."
Oooh wait. We didn't actually get it before. Now we get it!
20th Century Fox "Honestly, your mom's probably dead. Just pick a new one; I got volcano shit to take care of ..."
Shockingly, Volcano did not solve racism forever.
Saikat Bhowmik has a serious account at Twitter and an Amuzic (that's not a spelling mistake) YouTube channel. You can keep up with all of Mike Bedard's movie-related opinions by following him on Twitter. When he's not writing, Sam Hurley co-hosts the funniest movie review podcast you've never heard, now on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Stitcher. He also tweets unrequited appreciation at his fave celebs here. Jacob Lewis is the sole writer at It's All Clown Shoes.
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