A collection of plot-holes and bad scriptwriting
Marketed in Japan as Deep Core 2002, I should have been warned, but as it starred John Rhys-Davies (recently: Gimli in LotR) and Rutger Hauer (replicant in Blade Runner), I thought this disaster-movie should be better than Deep Core. It was, but not a what I consider 91 minutes well spent either. The characters range from unbelievable to ridiculous, and the actors, well-aware this is B-movie fare, don't put any effort at all into the portrayals. This would be perfect movie for the likes of Michael Dudikoff, so I wonder why he was not in it.
The film pays loving care on details, such as the Los Angeles Metropolitan Subway System (complete with New York Transit Authority's "M" logo). There is also ample usage of stock footage, some of it ripped from Terminator 2, Dante's Peak and Daylight and the 1991 L.A.Riot.
The plot is pretty simple: Chinese nuclear tests have started a chain reaction by setting the pacific plate in motion, which will eventually lead to the extinction of human life on Earth. Luckily, this has been discovered by a clever and beautiful scientist, who also figured out a way to save the Earth: Nuke Los Angeles! (Yeah, right!) Her father (Davies) has come to the same conclusion, and so the president (Hauer) is convinced within minutes to to what is necessary. However, to have any effect, it has to be done within 3 days.
Now, I do not believe it is possible to evacuate a major city within two days, but this is exactly what happens, as the bomb-team drives through an almost lifeless city two days later, after being flown to LA in a private jet. Now add the fact that the team-leaders' daughter has been kidnapped by a religious nut and still is within the city limits, two father-daughter plotlines, and one member of the team working against them for absolutely no reason at all (apart for providing some action at the films climax), killing the team-members, and trying to stop the setting of the second bomb, he just is an asshole without any motive. The whole movie is a set-up for the punch-line that the hero tries to set of the bomb, while the villain tries to stop him. Ha-ha!
Why I watched it? A friend bought the DVD, saying this was the movie he wanted to buy when he mistakenly bought Deep Core two weeks earlier. He was mistaken again... Don't waste you time.