Disaster films either come off as really cheesy, or really stupid. There’s not really an in-between in that realm, but every now and then, you get some films worthy of praise. Last year, we had both Gravity & All Is Lost. Just recently, we had Godzilla, Noah, and I guess Pompeii. They come in all shapes and sizes and that’s not even including SyFy originals like Sharknado. Unfortunately for any fans of Twister, this film is nothing like that and will probably leave you crying due to laughter, not due to fear.
In the state of Oklahoma, tornadoes are a bit of a regular thing and that means there are going to be many storm chasers out there, trying to get amazing footage. Pete (Matt Walsh) is filming a documentary about storms and he’s had some tough luck lately. His crew, including the intelligent Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies), the navigating Daryl (Arlen Escarpeta), and the filming duo of Jacob and Lucas (Jeremy Sumpter & Lee Whittaker), has missed many storms, but they have a hunch about one that’s headed to a small town, where a high school graduation happens to be occurring.
In this small town, Donnie (Max Deacon) and his brother Trey (Nathan Kress) are recording video diaries for everyone in the school and they’re set to record today’s graduation. Instead, Donnie takes off to record the love of his life, against the wishes of his uptight dad, Gary (Richard Armitage). None of that matters, however, after the biggest storm in history heads their way and destroys everything in its path. Everyone is filming this chaotic event and no one could prepare for the destruction that was headed their way. To survive, everyone will need to hang on for dear life and protect the ones around them.
Into the Storm is an absurd take on crazy weather events that come off in the most comical of ways. It’s not a stretch to assume that this film would be made by the same guys that did Sharknado because this film can’t help but dabble in the realm of corny dialogue and hilarious characters (whether that was intentional or not). I mean, this film isn’t all bad, but I was hoping for a lot more. With the budget and the effects that this film had, I was pulling for some more destruction and at least a few hundred deaths. Alas, I was let down.
On the plus side, the visuals and sound in this film were astoundingly awesome and all the pandemonium was great. Seeing gigantic tornadoes rip through schools and buildings like there were nothing, really emphasizes how destructive these things can be. The most insanely awesome thing in this movie is the tornado that catches fire and sucks people into it, burning them as they’re flung away. It’s completely ridiculous and amazing at the same time. That’s what this movie needed to be.
Now, to all the negatives (and believe me, there are many)! The whole found-footage aspect of this film makes no sense half the time, as many cameras are left behind and some phantom operator is following everyone. We get emotional confessions, captures of fragile people, and static footage of tornadoes. Not to mention the low-res imagery that gets destroyed when anything bad happens. The only reason the kids are a part of this is because they too have to document everything. I can buy the documentary team to some extent, but the kids filming was too far-fetched.
The dialogue in this film is borderline atrocious, as many people just state obvious facts, or they act stupid in scenarios that literally any thinking person could operate in. Cell phone coverage is always spotty, so you’d assume that no one would have service after cell towers got down. Well, some get lucky and some don’t and it really makes no sense. Also, is it not obvious that a phone stuck in water won’t be working? There’s also never enough reassurance about how “okay” people are after nearly dying.
In terms of what is shown, Into the Storm is such a tease. We see the beginning of destruction by the largest tornado in the history of mankind and then it’s back to the ole’ group of straggling survivors. At the head of the group, Walsh is the most obnoxious lead character with little to no emotion and he always jeopardizes the group and he has no regard for anyone’s safety. Armitage can’t hold his accent and everyone else’s eyes just get wider and wider whenever something happens.
Into the Storm brought me a lot of laughs, which was probably not their goal at all. It was so hard to take it seriously because they take things so seriously in the movie. Lots of the acting is stiff and the characters are all disposable, which is even more frustrating because there should have been a lot more deaths in this film. Instead, the film handles everything delicately and only a couple of people die (or so we are led to believe). There was a possibility for this film to become a cult classic, by divulging in awful, awesome deaths in the style of Final Destination. Instead, we got 747’s being lifted from the airfield in the small Oklahoma town (like that makes any sense) and one cool scene of a fiery tornado.
Into the Storm Trailer