18 August 2014
INTO THE STORM- Review
The action takes place in the American town of Silverton, as high school students anxiously prepare for graduation. Video club president Donnie is tasked with filming the proceedings by his vice principal father Gary when a tremendous tornado levels parts of the town. Gary and his other son Trey are separated from Donnie, who finds himself trapped and in terrible danger. Teaming up with a group of high-tech storm chasers who are shooting a documentary about the superstorm, the family struggle to reunite and survive the mildly apocalyptic weather.
You get a taste of what you're in for from Into The Storm in the film's cold open, which looks for all the world like the beginning of a slasher movie. You half expect the adult characters to impose a curfew to save their kids from "that twister" that's after their youngsters. Some have enjoyed this film on the basis that it embraces its own stupidity, but it's plain to see from the straight-faced, mirthless delivery that they were even clueless about not having a clue.
Admittedly, the special effects are very impressive, crafting a more effective impression of the weather as an old-timey movie monster than I can remember seeing for a long time. The difficulty lies in the fact that you don't really care for many of the characters. Richard Armitage actually puts in a terrific non-Thorin turn as Gary, a character who is constantly making sure everyone is alright and seemingly competing for Teacher Of The Year even before catastrophic storms fall upon his students. He reaches such a Superman-style level of competence that you're never really afraid for his safety, but Armitage's performance is about the only thing to latch onto in a film that huffs and puffs so vehemently.
There are other highlights, especially involving Matt Walsh's James Cameron-esque documentarian, (Quale was a protege of the famously tempestuous Cameron) but the rest of the cast are utterly lumpen. I'd like to blame typecasting for the fact that Sarah Wayne Callies seems to have been playing the exact same character since Prison Break, through The Walking Dead and into this movie, but that wouldn't be the only other thing to blame for the rubbish performances. John Swetnam's script only has a nominal story to keep the special effects going, with far less concern for the characters/cameramen. Going to such lengths to have the characters keep filming, it's a film that still drops in the huge aerial money shots seen in the trailers, apparently just to placate an audience who are by that point bored with such a soggy narrative.
Into The Storm is showing in cinemas nationwide from Wednesday.
If you've seen Into The Storm, why not leave a comment below?
I'm Mark the mad prophet, and until next time, don't watch anything I wouldn't watch.