Picks and Pans Review: On Hostile Ground
updated 06/12/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/12/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT
You can criticize this TV movie about a sinkhole threatening to suck down New Orleans's French Quarter during Mardi Gras (très inopportune). You can say it follows the shopworn disaster-flick formula in which an honest expert warns of the danger but the powers that be refuse to listen. You can mention that former Northern Exposure cool guy John Corbett gives an indifferent performance as the lone truth-teller, geologist Matt Andrews. (Frankly, Matt's not persuasive enough to talk the politicians into putting safety first.) You can note the near-total absence of New Orleans accents—an aural reminder that the thing was shot almost entirely in Canada. But do not disregard mitigating evidence that the filmmakers were having a bit of fun with genre clichés. At least nine times, someone says, "Oh, my God!" on seeing a sign of impending doom. And some of this dialogue can't be funny by accident. "This is Mardi Gras—Fat Tuesday!" sputters one civic leader. "That means you can't have it on a Wednesday or a Friday!"
Bottom Line: Not worth getting hostile