‘Into the Storm’
Assuming you’re buying a ticket for “Into the Storm” for rip-roaring tornado action, and not for deeply (or even reasonably) satisfying drama, there’s a good chance you’re going to walk away happy.
You just have to endure a lot of emotional hot air until the last, big, senses-rattling storm front rolls in.
This comparatively low-budget disaster movie, directed with an emphasis on destruction by Steven Quale (“Final Destination 5”), is set in the small, seemingly southern town of Silverton on high-school graduation day.
Teenage brothers Donnie and Trey (Max Deacon and Nathan Kress) are being forced to record a time capsule video of the event by their tough-loving dad (Richard Armitage, better known as Thorin in the “Hobbit” movies), who’s also the assistant principal.
Meanwhile, a crew of storm chasers headed by twister-obsessed documentary filmmaker Pete (Matt Walsh of TV’s “Veep”) are racing to Silverton, where they’re hoping an ominous-looking weather system will whip up some exciting footage.
And, of course, they get much, much more excitement than they hoped for.
First, though, we have to twiddle our thumbs while Donnie and Dad dredge up some father/son conflict and Donnie and dream-girl Kaitlyn (Alycia Debnam Carey) develop tender feelings at a nearby, abandoned hazardous waste factory and storm scientist Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies of “The Walking Dead”) butts heads with Pete and frets about how much she misses her 5-year-old daughter. Plus introductory dramatic details from a handful of other minor characters, all equally weakly written and half-heartedly performed.
It doesn’t help that much of the emoting is filmed hand-held, subjective-camera style, á la so many recent horror movies.
Fortunately, tornadoes start showing up early, if not often, first playing footsie with Pete and his crew before skipping away, then getting progressively more dangerous, beginning with a king-size twister that puts a major damper on the graduation ceremony. That one turns out to be the runt of the litter.
These are not whimsical, “Wizard of Oz” tornadoes, just to be clear. They’re big, mean, (even flaming in one case) monsters, the kind that toss around school buses and jumbo jets. Quale really knows how to spin them for maximum thrills, especially when he finally uncorks the most bodacious bad boy of them all for a long, truly hell-raising 20-minute finale.
It’s just a shame he couldn’t have arranged for it, or one of its predecessors, to suck up some of the extraneous drama.Tags: movies