Into The Storm (2014)

Into The StormIn North Oklahoma, a group of teenagers are killed when a freak tornado engulfs their vehicle. The incident has drawn an assortment of thrill-seekers and meteorologists to the area, including a team of celebrity storm chasers lead by Pete Moore (Matt Walsh). They aren’t having the best of luck, with resident scientist Allison Stone (Sarah Wayne Callies) leading them on a fruitless goose chase around the state. On her final warning, she directs the team to Silverton, and is promptly fired when the storm passes without making contact with the ground. Their actions are premature, however, and moments later hail stones the size of golf balls start raining down around them. At the local high school Donnie Fuller (Max Deacon) is preparing to help his father (Richard Armitage) record the year’s graduation ceremony, but after a falling out decides instead to help a girl he likes (Alycia Debnam-Carey) shoot a short film on the other side of town. When the tornado finally strikes, Donnie’s father, and his brother Trey (Nathan Kress), set out to find him.

It seems like an awfully long time since Mother Nature had any real effect on the box office. Sure there has been the occasional atmospheric anomaly (Hereafter; The Impossible; The Day After Tomorrow) but for the most part audiences have been more likely to experience an alien invasion or maniacal supervillain than a natural disaster. Things were different in the 90s; catastrophes came in twos, whether volcanic or astrological. The film that started it — and in many ways the exception to the trend — was Twister, a movie that not only set the template for the disaster movie but became synonymous with tornadoes themselves. Tornadoes were no longer the gateway to Oz, but a destructive force capable of leveling buildings, killing livestock and upsetting Helen Hunt.

Into The Storm may have a lot in common with Twister, but a lot has changed in the intervening years. A single tornado is no longer worth the price of admission — heck, just last year a film called Sharknado went straight to DVD — so the filmmakers have had to dial things up considerably. Cue firenados, supernados and superdupernados capable of lifting jumbo-jets as though they were cows. Believability — always the first victim in these films — here doesn’t even make it to the title card. This is the sort of film where the experts get most of their information from the weather channel; where a tornado can lift an armoured truck but not its detached forward bumper; where it is possible to be whisked into orbit by the largest funnel in recorded history and live to tell the tale.

Inaccuracy and inconsistency are the least of Into The Storm‘s problems, however. Audiences are accustomed to making giant leaps of logic, of suspending their disbelief, but only when the film in question is worth the effort. It’s not just that the science doesn’t add up; the film itself doesn’t make any sense. Like many films released recently, Into The Storm uses a found footage format, or at least it does on occasion. The filmmakers have even cast a cameraman — nominally named Reevis — to be responsible for second unit, yet even once he is accounted for (about half-way through the film when you realise there are more people in the truck than there should be) there are still images and whole sequences that cannot be explained.

And yet, despite its best efforts, Into The Storm is still perfectly passable. The cast is terrible (one can only assume that in the Hobbit films Richard Armitage’s beard does all of the acting), the effects are unconvincing (I’m pretty sure “watching Twister” constituted 99% of director Steven Quale’s research) and some characters are forgotten for entire acts (the continuity person was clearly off that day) but it’s still an entertaining watch. What’s more, it’s almost emotional. There’s a scene set in a ruined paper mill, between Deacon and Debnam-Carey, that’s surprisingly moving. It doesn’t last, obviously, but it’s remarkable nevertheless. Perhaps relatedly, it is also the shortest round in an 89-minute game of “identify the cameraman”.

Notable for slightly more than being the big screen return of Peter Pan (Jeremy Sumpter’s IMDb page lists other movie projects since 2003, but none that I’ve ever heard of), Into The Storm is probably the best worst movie that you will see this year. Well, expect for maybe A New York Winter’s Tale, anyway. It’s terrible; tremendously so.

2-stars

 

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

One Response to Into The Storm (2014)

  1. Nostra says:

    Haven’t seen this one but looking at your score it isn’t one I’ll be checking out anytime soon!

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