Film: Into the Storm
Cast: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh
Director: Steven Quale
Genre: Action, Disaster
Hailstorms as big as golf balls, multiple twisters, mile-long tornadoes, never-ending rains, buildings blown to pieces... this movie is a senseless compilation of all this and much more. Wait, didn't John Cusack's 2012 paint a similarly scary picture of doomsday? Even The Day After Tomorrow before that? Add Twister, The Perfect Storm, Sharknado, Sharknado 2, and many more to this never-ending list.
Before anything, first the synopsis.
Well, no cookies for guessing this one with a tell-all title like that. People indeed go 'into the storm'. Some make it out alive while many are crushed, drowned, flung in the air and even burnt (yes, burnt in a storm). With so many different ways in which you can die, no wonder this movie is made by Final Destination 5 director, Steven Quale.
Into the Storm is shot with a melange of hand-held cameras with a lot of amateur jerky movements to give it the feel of a home-made videotape, perhaps to recreate the effect we last saw in Cloverfield.
Richard Armitage (whom we last saw as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit) plays father to his two sons who are assigned the task to film a convocation ceremony of a local high school. We also have a crew of professional storm chasers who do it to collect important data and also because it is "fun" to chase a lethal, massive tornado that'll swallow you whole with the blink of an eye.
As if this junkie behaviour wasn't enough, there is also a duo of the quintessential dumb American men: forever high on booze, all they want to do is to post videos of their stupidity on YouTube and be famous. They are like Shakespeare's 'fools', offering moments of light-hearted fun at their own expense in between what is clearly a movie full of tense situations.
About 20 minutes into the movie, we see the first tornado: it destroys the school, and wreaks havoc in the town. This, as they say, is the beginning of the end. Out come all the 'big ones' one after the other. Like a video game from the 90's, first you deal with a single tornado and when you survive it, they set loose many little villains (about half a dozen twisters at once). If you survive these too, the real deal, the 'boss' (a seriously giant and scary tornado) comes in to make sure you don't make it to the princess's castle.
There is nothing in the name of a story in this movie. A family is trying to cope with the loss of their mother and another woman is trying to give more time to her child, a heartless scientist is keeping his passion for storms above the concern for his team members. All these nuances are added to give the movie some depth but it doesn't really go as planned. This makes the movie suffocating and even pretentious (wow, pretentious because of the emotional part but not for the burning tornado) after some time.
But then another tornado starts developing and we forget all the crying and sobbing and sit up straight for more storms and tornadoes and crushing and dying.
Watch the movie only if you are a fan of meaningless disaster flicks. We have another suggestion: go easy on the soft drinks with this one. Though the movie is just 90 minutes long, but all the rain and water will definitely not help. Better safe than sorry, no?