There’s not been a really good tornado-based film since 1996’s Twister – and now there’s still not been a really good tornado-based film since 1996’s Twister.
The special effects are undoubtedly the best thing about it – with most of the stand-out bits being in the pretty decent movie trailer – but it’s got a B-movie feel when it comes to the clunky dialogue and clichéd plot.
When the budget is used up for the effects, then you’ve got no money left for A-list stars, with Brit star Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) and The Walking Dead actress Sarah Wayne Callies (as the only recognisable faces) doing themselves absolutely no favours by being in this – and they’re no Bill Paxton/Helen Hunt who gave Twister a ‘heart’.
The acting isn’t ‘Sharknado’ bad, but the rest of the cast is made of unrecognisable youngsters plucked from nowhere, who try their best at playing second fiddle to a deadly cyclone – and we’ll probably never see them again.
Armitage stars as stereotypical movie widower Gary – struggling to connect with his teenage boys Donnie (Max Deacon) and Trey (Nathan Kress) – and is seemingly more bothered by his vice principal duties at Silverton’s High School, where he’s preparing for the graduation ceremony.
But unfortunately there’s a freak weather front heading their way – being followed by storm chaser Pete (Matt Walsh), meteorologist professor (Callies) and their crew – and when Donnie goes off the grid with his school ‘crush’ Kaitlyn (Alycia Debnam Carey), Gary will stop at nothing to literally go through the eye of the storm to find his eldest son.
As an unprecedented onslaught of erratic and deadly cyclones start to tear the town apart, there’s a few noteworthy dramatic set-pieces thrown in – including a couple of rip-roaring deaths (for those who like that kind of thing) – and it generally deserves credit for some surprisingly lifelike computer-generated visuals.
Sadly though, other human-generated effects – like when people cling for dear life to car doors as they’re dragged into the air – look like something you’d experience on a ‘backlot tour’ at one of Orlando’s theme parks.
To top it all off the dialogue is really quite abysmal, with comedic touches generally falling flat – bar a couple of unintentionally laughable emotional moments that don’t really work.
And through all this everyone keeps filming, and the equipment doesn’t get damaged through a storm of biblical proportions.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the worst film you’ll see all year, but the only winner here are the visual effects team – and that’d be the only real reason to see it.
If you want to go into a storm you’d probably have just as much fun standing outside the next time it chucks it down…
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Cast: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Max Deacon, Alycia Debnam Carey, Nathan Kress & Matt Walsh
Running Time: 1 Hr 30 Mins
Director: Steven Quale[youtube id=”A_kj8EKhV3w” width=”600″ height=”350″]