The town of Silverton, Oklahoma is about to have a very rough and windy day. An unprecedented number of tornadoes are coming down on it threatening lives and causing a lot of destruction. Fortunately in between seeking shelter and trying to help fellow residents a bevy of cameras are recording the action for the benefit of disaster fans everywhere!
When I first saw the trailer for Into The Storm I had a gut reaction that it would be a pretty dumb movie, populated by bland characters and the only redeeming thing in it would be the ‘golly gee special effects fun’ of watching tornadoes tear through buildings and scoop up big heavy things.
And right I was! These storm chasers might have trouble predicting tornadoes, but I can smell a forgettable disaster movie months away!
Let’s get these characters out of the way. There’s Vice Principal and strict Dad Gary (Richard Armitage) who’s too rough on his sons Trey and Donnie (Nathan Kress and Max Deacon). There’s a lot to be done for today’s graduation ceremony that the two have to record, but Donnie wants to use the time to spend some time with his high school crush Kaitlyn (Alycia Debnam Carey.)
Meanwhile the storm chasing team led by Pete (Matt Walsh) is really gung ho to film some tornadoes and get his armored tornado transport rig into some action. He’s been giving single mom weather tracker Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies) a hard time because she can’t find him one! Until finally she does – lots of them!
The graduation is canceled, Gary has to race to find Donnie, Pete is sporting around in his Titus with his crew filming, Allison is floored by this unprecedented weather activity, oh and did I mention two redneck wannabe Youtube stars are also running around recording their own footage having a grand old time.
There’s really not much to get engaged with by the human part of this, but I wasn’t too surprised by that. I was hoping at the very least Callies would be pretty decent in this and she is for the most part. She’s given little to do though, other than to keep saying “I’ve never seen anything like this before!” and she does that good.
But come on admit it, if you’re watching Into The Storm you just want to see tornadoes. That’s the big selling point of all this. And yeah you get to see them. That’s obviously where most of the attention and money went into with this. They look pretty good too. They hold your attention.
But there’s a lot of corny story and characters to sift through to get to those parts. At a certain point there’s a unique fire tornado who a character meets their demise by – and I couldn’t help but laugh. That shows how much I was invested in these characters’ safety. You’re better off watching a highlight reel.
Oh and then the presentation of the movie being viewed through handheld cameras and the popular ‘found footage’ angle. Maybe my mind started to drift, but I could swear during certain parts of this that was dropped.
There are certain scenes and shots where it seemed like that whole thing was broken and we were no longer watching it through some kind of camera that’s being held by one of our characters. It really doesn’t matter though. The found footage thing didn’t really add any additional realism to anything and they could have easily just dropped that.
Really if they wanted to do that ‘through the viewfinder’ experience and make a more unique disaster movie, I would have preferred seeing it be told through the eyes of the two rednecks as they sit back and hoot and holler at the windy conditions their drinking in.
When things subside it would have been more entertaining to watch them try to figure out how to get more beer now that the local store got scooped up by a twister. There could have been some dumb amusing antics between the two before the next tornado touches down, instead of clichéd melodrama with all these other characters.