Film Review: Into The Storm: Well Executed But Formulaic


Storm-Cover-PicA formulaic disaster movie in the vein of Twister, Into the Storm is narrated through the points of view of a group of storm chasers filming a documentary and a father and his two sons who get split up during a terrifying storm.

It’s the typical set up – a slightly angsty teen & his teeny crush are caught in a life or death situation. A vice principal, Gary (Richard Armitage), who is as infallible as he is surly, becomes the hero for all around. A young character actor is the first of the group to fall victim to the tornado. Single parent and scientist Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies) is besieged by guilt for having been away from her small daughter for three months. Mercenary storm chaser and doc filmmaker Pete (Matt Walsh) finds his conscience and redemption eventually.

All of them find themselves caught in the vortex of the biggest storm to hit USA, with speeds of 300 km in the eye. The town of Silverton is ravaged in a single day, as it’s ripped apart by an unusually large tornado.

There are several layers of guilt to be pealed back and an overt comment on human destruction of the planet and nature’s furious fight back. There’s a warning that things are only going to get worse – but fortunately there’s no sermon or montage of deforestation and thoughtless construction. However there is the unnecessary symbolism of a church as a safe shelter.

The relationships are creakingly awkward and the acting B-grade at best but the predictability, and plodding emotional scenes are compensated for by the special effects with believable depictions of darkness, rain, wind speeds, damage and disaster. The shots of lots people fleeing, being rescued, screaming and watching roofs get ripped off, cars sucked into the vortex and the burgeoning tornado are slick.

Capturing the modern obsession with YouTube instant fame, we see two dorks who keep filming themselves in the hope of hitting pay dirt with that video that will go viral. Will risking their lives in this tornado be their ticket to fame and fortune? If disaster movies are your thing, then watch this film to find out.

Rating: **1/2