Star Rating:

Into the Storm

Actors: Jeremy Sumpter, Sarah Wayne Callies

Release Date: Saturday 30th November 2013

Genre(s): Thriller

Running time: 89 minutes

It’s been nearly twenty years since Twister, and the closest Hollywood has come to having a tornado movie since then has been small parts of The Day After Tomorrow, and… well… Sharknado. Tossing them all in together along with Blair Witch camerawork, Into The Storm is essentially The Twister After Tomorrow plot-wise, but swipes Sharknado’s so-horrendous-it’s-hilarious level of entertainment.

Character-wise, we’ve got some scientific storm-chasers, a widower high-school vice-principal who with two teenage sons, a couple of self-confessed thrill-seeking rednecks, and an entire town’s worth of tornado fodder. Some of the acting isn’t the worst (Matt Walsh is essentially playing another version of his character from VEEP) while others are hysterically bad (Richard Armitage, we’re looking your way), but they’re all just set dressing for the special effects.

Director Steven Quale was second unit director for James Cameron on Titanic and Avatar, before upgrading recently to helmer of Final Destination 5, but judging from how little he seems to care about the actors, he should probably demote himself back down again. His eye for destruction is pretty great, and the different action scenes – One Twister! Two Twisters! A Fire Twister! The Big Daddy Twister! – means they never get dull or repetitive.

They do, however, get ridiculous. Between straight-up ripping off the plot-points of Twister (the storm chasers want to see the eye of the tornado, to save lives somehow) and The Day After Tomorrow (distanced dad has to save trapped son, along with his would-be girlfriend with a cut leg), Quale has to direct a uniquely cheesy and clichéd screenplay – from the writer of Step Up 5, no less! – which has characters who are supposed to be scientists doing some INCREDIBLY stupid things. Quale matches this IQ level beat for beat, by having his actors respond to tornadoes like they’re the world’s most mediocre rollercoaster rides.

This perfect storm of bad acting, red cheddar dialogue and actually pretty decent action sequences makes Into The Storm the most entertainingly bad movie of 2014 so far.