Dante's Peak Pierce Brosnan Linda Hamilton
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Credit: Universal Pictures

Chosen One of the Day: Pierce Brosnan, action geologist

Contributed by
Jun 4, 2019

There is a long, storied, and honorable tradition in the world of cinematic action and adventure, in which heroes rise up as paragons of bravery and intelligence and utter hotness.

It is the tradition of the sexy scientist who is also an action hero.

It takes many forms. From the swashbuckling, whip-cracking, crooked smile-having archeologist turned treasure hunter, Indiana Jones, to the fast-driving, danger-seeking joy of Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt in Twister, to, yes, even the entire cast of the seminal classic The Core, each of us has been charmed and delighted and found ourselves reaching for a cold glass of water as a result of the irresistible combination of death-defying stakes with an advanced degree.

But we would be remiss if we did not raise our thirst quencher in honor of the peak example of this always welcome trope of the action genre. I speak, of course, of Dante's Peak and of Pierce Brosnan: Action Geologist.

When Brosnan first appears as Dr. Harry Dalton in the 1997 film, we know we’re in for a ride. Not only does he enter the scene as someone likely to find themselves stunt driving away from a killer volcano, but his is a tragic hero who loses his love to the dastardly eruption. Neither we, nor late-'90s era Linda Hamilton, could stand a chance against his piercing eyes (pun fully intended), far too much chest hair, and utter insistence that the active volcano upon which we made our home was really an evil mountain ready to consume our bodies even as he consumed our hearts.

This was, after all, a man who not only understood all the tiny signs of an impending, town-destroying eruption, but one who was kind and fun and who liked kids and animals and who was willing to race up an erupting volcano to save both children AND an old woman (who later dies in the worst, most nightmare-inducing way). Really, it’s just not fair to all the other, non-action hero animal- and child-loving geologists out there looking for a date and realizing they’re just NOT Brosnan enough.

Who knew the USGS could be so sexy?

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