This movie is no Sharknado, but…
It has the same one-dimensional characters and bad acting. Lucky for all of you that are going to see it this weekend, it does have some fun special effects.
It’s another one of those movies that tries to use the home video footage that various people take (The Blair Witch Project started this trend). It started fun enough with the variety of characters. Two brothers ribbing each other on a home video diary their dad and vice principal of the school (Richard Armitage) wants them to make. There are a couple of red necks that do stupid stunts hoping for lots of hits on YouTube. They do bring some comic relief. Yet the fun that started this thing out quickly dissipates. You realize just how bad the acting performances are and the one-dimensional characters are frustrating. The screenplay has no character development and just goofy exposition, mostly by actor Matt Walsh, who was so fun as the boss in Ted. He’s the storm chaser that is so mean to his crew, we’re counting down the time until a tornado sucks him up.It was almost 20 years since we had Twister (which wasn’t that good a film), and the special effects have gotten better. Instead of a cow flying by, we get school buses and airplanes in a rather powerful scene. Yet it seems the movie could’ve given us more thrills. Rarely are you on the edge of your seat.
There’s a side story that has Donnie (Max Deacon) bailing on his dad and not filming the graduation ceremony, so he can help a cute classmate (Alycia Debnam Carey) he’s been pining for. She needs a project done that involves filming. This means they’ll get trapped and either be rescued, fall in love, or maybe both.
The storm chasers have a vehicle called Titus. It looks like the vehicle Jim Carey drove in Dumb and Dumber, combined with something out of a Schwarzenegger flick. When we’re shown the various features on it, and how it can plant itself into the ground so it can’t be sucked into the tornado – we realize exactly what’s going to happen later in the film with said vehicle.
There’s a horribly lame story involving weather-watcher Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies). She had to leave her 5-year-old daughter as she went on this month long escapade. Now, I wasn’t moved when I heard the tacked on story Sandra Bullock gave us about her kid in Gravity, so when this mom skypes with her kid…there’s nothing all that moving about it. Now, if a tornado came and took the child away, maybe we’ll get emotionally invested.
Director Steven Quale is the man behind Final Destination 5 and screenwriter John Swetnam wrote the dance movie Step Up: All In (also opening this weekend, so yes…there is hope for screenwriters everywhere). Anyway, listing those two movies gives you an idea of the quality you’re getting here. The cast was at a Comic Con screening of the movie and mentioned wanting a realistic and nature feel for the film. Strange that it felt wooden and like one of those cheesy disaster movies we got in the 70s (The Towering Inferno, Poseidon Adventure, Airport).
This is one of the rare times I can gripe about a movie not being shot in 3D. What a wasted opportunity. In a disaster picture that’s all about the destruction and things flying through the air – why not have glass and metal flying at the audience?
I’m going to be generous on the stars here, because I’m rating it on a curve with other disaster movies. Therefore, it gets 2 stars out of 5.