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Twister of Fate

Into-the-storm-movie-review
Warner Brothers Pictures

MOVIE REVIEW
Into the Storm (2014)

“Into the Storm” imagines a tornado outbreak — including an EF-5 on the enhanced Fujita scale — wreaking havoc on fictional Silverton, Okla, in Tornado Alley. A team of storm chasers on a fruitless documentary project (among them Matt Walsh, Sarah Wayne Callies and Arlen Escarpeta) arrives fashionably in a Titus tank, while the vice principal of a local high school (Richard Armitage) attempts to locate a missing son (Jeremy Sumpter) and his classmate (Alycia Debnam-Carey).

We’ll leave film’s scientific legitimacy to professional meteorologists to assess, although the one played by Ms. Wayne Callies herein certainly casts doubts on the plausibility of this parade of cyclones. Since the film eschews the 3-D gimmick de rigueur for all Hollywood tentpoles, the only thing that separates “Into the Storm” from “Twister” made 18 years ago is its found-footage trope, utilized most memorably by “The Blair Witch Project,” “Paranormal Activity” and “Cloverfield.” As such, the entire endeavor is a total, um, disaster.

John Swetnam obviously wrote the screenplay with a found-footage film in mind, which would have been ingenious since this premise hadn’t previously been attempted in the disaster genre. Unfortunately, director Steven Quale doesn’t grasp the concept. Much of the film isn’t even filmed in POV, so there’s no telling how the extradiegetic footage could ever be “found” since there was apparently nobody shooting it.

Aesthetically, the film also looks like a big-budget Hollywood spectacle rather than a documentary or even a home video. In fact, Mr. Swetnam’s script seems woefully dated, specifically circa 2008 before iPhones had video camera capabilities. Such a natural disaster would be fodder for YouTube videos, yet none of the characters ever get out their smart phones.

With calamities such as the May 2011 one in Joplin, Mo., still fresh in memory, is it ever an opportune time to turn these into entertainment? Just saying.

Comments

I saw this film last night at Comic-Con in San Diego.The entire cast, director, and producer were present which indicates to me that they were both proud and enthusiastic about the film.

This film does for twisters what the film Gravity did for space!

It really did feel like we were taken into storm to experience being in the eye for the very first time in our lives. It didn't feel like C.G.I. graphics.

The storms looked very real. The feeling was genuine due to the superior sound technology used to make it feel like sounds of flying crashing debris all around the theatre.

The final storm scene will be worth the price of admission. It was free for us during Comic-Con in San Diego).

The huge airliners that are lifted up into the sky were incredible and at one point the audience is taken up into the sky to witness the calm clear skies through the eye.

The film opens with a young group of students facing an ominous twister then cuts to various folks trying to live their lives in a setup to having us want to care about whether we will care if they will survive or not later in the film.

The funniest group is the Jack-Ass style of rednecks trying stunts for YouTube hits which only number 525but for them that's viral. The film then cuts to the storm chasers and their wickedly outfitted vehicle designed to endure the high winds. It's a very snazzy little battle tank.

The chasers don't always agree on how best to find storms, but they are surprised by a hail storm at one point, which starts the initial stages of the coming doom.Not everyone survives, but we did care whether they did or not which to me says that they did a great job of wanting us to care especially the Jack-Ass stunt guys who cross paths a few times with the actual storm chasing team which was hilarious for some reason.

You will enjoy this film which is meant to be enjoyed on a large screen with powerful sound which cannot be experienced as well in your living room.

A fun thrilling ride into The Eye of The Storm!

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