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Movie Review: 'Into the Storm'

'Into the Storm'
U/A; Action;
Director: Steven Quale
Cast: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh, Max Deacon
Rating: 

Movie review: 'Into The Storm'
Still from 'Into The Storm'

Someone watched 'Twister' and 'The Perfect Storm' on the telly back to back, and an idea popped into their head. 'Let's mash up both those movies together, add in a dash of Roland Emmerich and sell it to a big studio'. For some reason, the idea worked. The studio bit the bait. The results are kind of disastrous.

'Into the Storm' is a hilariously silly film with terribly acting, zero characterization and a B-movie narrative. Yet, it has some truly gorgeous special effects. The contrast is jarring, and at most times unbelievable. Generally you get both awful acting and CGI at the same time. I can't think of one movie where the FX are world class and the rest of the movie an Asylum level travesty. In that way, this film kind of breaks a new record.

'Into the Storm' isn't sure what it wants to be. It's too serious for its own good, yet ends up playing out like a really high-end version of 'Sharknado'. It stars Richard Armitage from 'The Hobbit' movies, and the entire budget of this movie seems like his paycheck from one of those films. Except for the mildly scary shots of the tornadoes, everything about this film looks cheap – the actors, the extras, the lines and even the 'drama'. The story is exactly the same as in 'Twister' – a huge storm arrives to wipe out a percentage of humanity, and a bunch of people spend two hours of the movie dying and trying to escape in various ways.

Now the problem is 'Twister' was a 90's film, and in that zone and genre it still works. It's hard to take a 90's style film in 2014 seriously, especially if the movie takes itself so seriously. What's worse is director Steven Quale employs a found footage mantra in the film to try to make it different from 'Twister', but halfway through he just abandons the POV camerawork and pretty much gives up trying something original. You can see shots of people, cars and planes getting sucked into a tornado only so many times. The first time is cool, but it soon becomes tedious to watch, if the characters are not worth giving a tinkers cuss about. If you're looking for an interesting tech demo, make sure you see this film. If you're looking for a good movie, look elsewhere. One thing is for sure – the CGI team deserves to be hired by a studio for a well-written movie.

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