Friday, August 15, 2014

Movie Review: "Into the Storm" (2014)

Movie"Into the Storm"
Director: Steve Quale
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minute
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A group of storm chasers making a documentary film about tornadoes travel to Oklahoma to find footage of tornadoes. Meanwhile, a teenager named Donnie (Max Deacon) is shooting a video time capsule for his school with help from his brother Trey (Nathan Kress) at the request of their father and school vice principal Gary (Richard Armitage). Donnie blows off filming graduation to help the girl of his dreams Kaitlyn (Alycia Debnam Carey) by shooting footage for her internship at an old abandoned factory. At the same time, a huge storm hits their city wrecking the school and trapping Kaitlyn and Donnie in the factory. Gary and Trey must travel across town to rescue them and along the way meet the storm chasers who decide to help Gary get to his missing son, while they shoot footage of the storm of the century. 

"Twister" for the win. Always and forever.
This movie lacks Bill Paxton. It lacks Helen Hunt. In fact, it lacks any talent whatsoever (sorry Lord BilboOakenshieldLegolas). FOR GOD'S SAKE, IT HAS LAURIE (from "The Walking Dead," in case you didn't get our disgust). We're surprised she didn't ask the tornado to go inside!!! /end rant

When a movie comes out that so blatantly looks like another film, there's really no choice but to compare it to the earlier movie, in this case, "Twister." In many ways, this is a very similar story. It's about storm chasers in Oklahoma who pursue tornadoes, except these chasers don't have anybody with the instincts of "the extreme," and at first they actually seem pretty bad at their jobs. They do have a bitchin' vehicle though, called the Titus, which pretty much looks like the damn Batmobile except covered in cameras and with gigantic planks that dig into the ground and can withstand 170 MPH winds. It is also shot in a more found-footage style, which we often find distracting but wasn't too bad in this film, and at least it didn't take away from anything during our viewing.

When we first saw the trailer for this movie, we weren't sure about the special effects because they appeared to be low quality, almost the lazy made-for-TV graphics we have come to expect from a "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus" type of film. We can now say that the trailer did not do the film justice. The effects were rather good even though they don't offer anything new in the way of disaster films...except for the fire tornado, that was freakin' amazing. All the storm scenes are quite exciting and intense, and the destruction also is amazing, too. Most of this film's $50 million dollar budget was probably split between Richard Armitage's salary, gigantic trucks they got to destroy and the special effects. Everything in between the storms and the story in general are pretty mediocre; this includes the acting, the dialogue, the cheap attempts at laughter, and the obvious albeit poor attempts to tug at your heartstrings. We found ourselves not caring about what was going on between the characters as we were just waiting to see the next wave of devastation. It does help to see a film like this on the big screen because it will likely lose a lot of its effect on a smaller screen, that is unless you have an amazing home theater system.

For being a movie where we didn't have many or any expectations, this was a decent viewing experience, though we still prefer "Twister," always and forever times two. It's not the sort of movie that was made to be life-shattering or mind-blowing even necessarily remembered at all, but it was a decent attempt nonetheless.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 20%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "The To Do List"

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