Cinema Review – Into the Storm

When a massive tornado threatens a small town, school kids, adults and storm chasers must find a way to survive. The trouble is, however, that humans cannot always control – or accurately predict – the weather.

It has been 18 years since Twister and evidently, the writer of Step Up: All In and the director of Final Destination 5 felt it was time that we all got scared of the weather again. As if living in Ireland didn’t give us all the weather we needed.

The cast is made up of Sarah Wayne Callies – who has experience in looking scared and running away from her time of The Walking Dead – Pete Walsh, Richard Armitage, Jeremy Sumpter and Stephanie Koenig. Everyone in the film does their job well, but they are given an underwritten script that focuses on the twee, the emotional and the oncoming storm, which is really the star of the show.

Screenwriter John Swetnam brought us one of the most ridiculously written movies of the year (so far) with Step Up: All In, and the dialogue in Into the Storm is not much better than his previous movie. The crucial difference though, is that it is better – even just slightly – and being faced with death gives the characters something to emote over. The dialogue is rather twee, however, and there are times when the film becomes predictable and familiar. As well as this, since there are so many, we never really get to know the characters, so when they are put in danger we are concerned, but never fearful for them, thus the focus shifts on the power of the storm, rather than the potential loss of characters that we care about.

Director Steven Quale tones down the melodrama from Final Destination 5, and while the situations the characters are in are completely over the top, there are some nice touches – such as drunken idiots chasing the storm to upload the video and become YouTube famous being swept away. Not all of the peril comes from the immediacy of the twister itself, much of the danger comes in the storm’s aftermath, meaning that the pace is kept up throughout the film.

Into the Storm is a film that suffers from having too many characters, and relying on spectacle to create emotion. That said, the storm scenes are terrific and although the emotion – when it does happen – is overplayed and slightly hokey, the film is still an entertaining watch, once you leave your brain at the door.

Rating: 2.5/5

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