"I've never seen anything like this!"
Following his work in Final Destination 5 director Steven Quale takes us Into the Storm so we can experience what it would be like to be in the path of several tornados as they destroy an entire town. The visuals aren’t really fantastic but they do provide some excitement and thrills as we see these tornados coming together and lifting whatever comes across its path. I did enjoy some of the scenes where we see an airport being recked and several planes being sucked into the tornado, but there isn’t anything else this film has to offer. It doesn’t live up to the mother of all tornado films, Twister, as much as it tries to. Twister may not be a perfect film, but at least it incorporated the human element. In Into the Storm there isn’t any character development whatsoever and we never care for the people on screen. Kind of like one of the character’s in this film the only goal is to film and experience the tornado from within. In order to make the experience a bit more realistic, Quale decided to direct this film using found footage so at the beginning of the film we are introduced to several characters who are explaining to us why they are actually walking around with their cameras. So the opening thirty minutes or so take place to justify why there are so many cameras in order for us to get different angles of the tornado in different parts of the city. I honestly didn’t feel like there was a script for this film because the sole purpose was to film these tornados ripping apart a city while the characters looked at each other screaming “I’ve never seen anything like this” over and over. Unfortunately Quale, we have seen this before many times and there was nothing original or engaging about it. So I’ll give the film some credit for the visual effects, but the script brings it down. Into the Storm is simply tornado porn that feels like a movie you would catch on the SyFy channel.
I mentioned that the script was weak and of course that doesn’t help build the characters, but the performances weren’t all that solid either. We are first introduced to a team of tornado chasers led by Matt Walsh’s Pete. The other familiar face in this group was Sarah Wayne Callies who plays the scientist in charge of predicting where the tornado will strike. TV fans will recognize her from the Walking Dead and Prisonbreak series. The other group we are introduced to is a family that is making video capsules of themselves. Max Deacon and Nathan Kress play the two High School sons who are raised by their father, played by Richard Armitage, who also happens to be the Vice Principle of their school. There was something about Armitage’s face that reminded me of Hugh Jackman. I guess the film was so uninteresting at this point that my mind was drifting. The third group of characters we are introduced to are a couple of redneck daredevils (Kyle Davis and Jon Reep) who are trying to become Youtube sensations by doing all sort of crazy stunts. These characters are introduced for comedic purpose and we get the familiar redneck comic relief from them. They were probably the best thing about this film other than the storm set pieces.