DVD Review: Super Eruption (12), (89 mins), new on DVD from Blockbuster.

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You’d expect the looming threat of the end of the world to have a little less of a made-for-TV feel about it, but somehow Super Eruption manages to carry it off - the tale of a lone British scientist (Juliet Aubrey) battling local scepticism as she points out that the earth really is just about to move.

The park rangers in Yellowstone Park are initially having none of it, but once the punters start frazzling up in suddenly-boiling water, even they have to admit that volcanologist Kate has maybe got a point.

It’s certainly Kate who carries the film - probably simply because it is so good to see Aubrey in action again, an actress who probably hasn’t quite had the career she deserved after wowing us all in Middlemarch on TV all those years ago.

Helping also is the fact that this isn’t simply a mindless, breathless disaster movie. It throws plenty of incomprehensible science at us in a fairly impressive way. Making it all the more interesting, though, is the bizarre twist that comes when future-Kate suddenly turns up on present-Kate’s computer screen.

Future-Kate mismanaged the disaster and so condemned herself to all eternity trapped in a dark underground bunker with the surly park ranger. In the hope of wiping out this future fate, she’s now telling present-moment Kate just where she (future Kate) went wrong. If now-Kate gets it right, stuck-in-the-future Kate will presumably disappear.

Her only way out of such existential wrangling is to dangle herself down into the volcano and shove in something that - by some weird bit of scientific wizardry - will make the fizzing lava suddenly freeze.

Will she do it? Can there be any doubt? Even so, it’s a gripping and white-knuckle ride finding out.

Phil Hewitt

Rental courtesy of Blockbuster. For details of other new releases, see www.blockbuster.co.uk.