“Into the Storm” | Movie Review

Grade (C+)

A fun disaster film that boasts a weak story-line and thin characters but makes up for it by letting mother-natures wrath steal the show providing a fast-paced, enjoyable adventure filled with a few tense moments. 

“INTO THE STORM” chronicles the events that take place in the small town of Silverton as a massive storm-front sweeps through the region with tremendous devastation. A group of storm chasers following their radar technology arrive at the small town and become the only hope of helping a school principal find his lost son as the unprecedented storm wreaks havoc.

There seems to always be a place for disaster films in Hollywood. With the cutting edge special-effects of today, the sky literally is the limit when filling a film with over-the-top chaos sequences. The premise offers a simple recipe for eye-popping cinematic moments and common story-lines that can be related to. The storms are commonly the true star of the film while the actual cast members and script usually only fill in the time as a set-up to the next destructive scenario.

“Into the Storm” tells a rather thin story-line filled with characters that provide very little substance, although are well performed by the cast. With several highly cliche moments, and little to work with by means of dialogue or development, the cast did a solid job of carrying the pace of the film between the storm sequences. Not far in you can see the actors are present more to simply run from mother natures chaos as opposed to telling a compelling story to the point where this film could be easily classed as ‘turn your brain off’ fun.

The pace of the film was good and despite a generic set-up you are pulled into the story as the ominous feel of the approaching storm makes its presence known from the beginning of the first-act. With a series of quick characters intro’s that literally scroll their names across the film to tell you who they are and what they do to keep from fitting it into the framework of the script, you are up and running in the flow of the film.

The special-effects were great and fun to sit back and take in as they delivered many great moments that only seemed to improve off what “Twister” tried back in the 90’s. The well-framed visual set-pieces keep you on the edge of your seat and use the unpredictability of the storms to compensate for the highly predictable script. Like a good disaster film should you are intrigued by the level of devastation and can relate to the many situations throughout, which manages to hold your attention without the need to strong character performances.

On the downside the attempted comedic punches this film tried to give were on the annoying side and rather than using many outlets to deliver a laugh or two, the filmmakers seemed to go repeatedly back to the two ‘hillbilly’ characters and for me they really added nothing to the script. Their presence was a clear plot device and not a very successful one. They did manage to draw a chuckle or two early, but later in the film their place in the story seemed extremely forced and clearly missed its intention. Rather than drawing a comedic response it only seemed to damper the dramatic tone the film was trying to convey.

Overall “Into the Storm” was a fun film and not at all a disappointment, it actually delivered exactly what I expected from it. Had there been some more foundation to the script and more than simple cardboard characters this could have been comparable to “Twister” rather than seeming like a knock-off of it. The special-effects were high-quality and provide a purely visual thrill ride on the other hand and for that aspect it was fun to sit back and watch. It turned out to be a fun adventure that had you up in your seat many times with several eye-popping moments all played out to a recycled story formula.