Into the Storm
by Hope Madden
You have to kind of feel for a film about tornados that comes out right now. How could they have known when they began the years long trek toward a final product that SciFi Channel would launch a flick about a tropical storm that rains great whites on actors who stopped being famous in the Nineties? And even if they did know, who could have predicted its insane success? Or a sequel?
So, no, poor Into the Storm just marched along unaware, casting grade B heroic types, developing a mediocre script, and spending some cash on special effects. For what?
To bore us to tears, that’s what.
What is essentially a rehashing of 1998’s Twister with a little Jackass side plot, Into the Storm follows a two-van storm chasing team out to document the eye of a tornado – just film right up inside that bad boy, kind of a Dorothy’s eye view. With them, we chase some crazy cloud patterns to a wholesome small town where the high school graduation ceremony is about to take place – RIGHT IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST!
But wait? Where’s Donny, the assistant principal’s troubled son? He snuck off to film an environmental video with the girl of his dreams at that old abandoned warehouse – RIGHT IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST!
When there are this many tornadoes, there are lots of bellies.
Director Steven Quale’s storm scenes do look great. It’s just his relentless attempts to find a reason to put his characters in harm’s way that get a bit tedious.
He hasn’t exactly drawn on a cast that elevates the material. You’ve got that kid from iCarly (Nathan Kress), the dead (and not walking) wife from Walking Dead (Sarah Wayne Callies), and a full sized Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage, heroic as ever), none of whom particularly impresses.
Matt Walsh does, though, and not in a good way. Here’s a guy with a lifetime of excellent comedic character work under his belt, but a dramatic character arc – even a painfully obvious one – is still pretty far out of his reach.
But Into the Storm is not about weakly written characters or underperforming actors. It’s about living life for today. It’s about trusting your kids and appreciating what you have. It’s about the resilience of the human spirit. It’s about sharkin’!
You know what? At least Sharknado wasn’t boring.