Under the Volcano

Director: John Huston
Year Released: 1984
Rating: 1.0

It takes a lot for me to 'turn off' a movie (or leave a theater), since I'm delusional and think things will get better eventually, and so for me to have turned this off about ten years ago it really had to have irritated me. I'm a little more patient now, and not liking the fact I didn't see the rest of it back then decided to give the Criterion release another go. Even now, I think my younger self was onto something: after twenty minutes in, you have a good idea of what's going on and exactly what's going to happen. Part-time British consul and full-time alcoholic Geoffrey Firmin (Albert Finney, acting like he's still in The Dresser) can't forgive his wife (Jacqueline Bisset) for cheating on him and is determined to waste his days away in booze ... and his tolerance is amazing. The book is highly regarded, but you wouldn't know it by this adaptation: Finney takes up virtually the entire screen, nervously ingests enough tequila to send an entire sorority to the hospital and shouts somewhat poetic musings on life - the rest of the cast just watches him. Eventually, he does die, and afterwards, Huston shows a mountain/volcano. How positively ... literal.