Disaster movies, even those so far from the stretch of reality, serve only one purpose: Entertainment. We can take flying cows, fiery, cyclonic forces and even caricatured characters, but what really is insurmountable is when the film about a natural disaster becomes an equally disastrous force all its own. Into the Storm is a destructive force that very nearly destroys our love of disaster films.
The story in these types of films are usually the least important aspect of these kinds of films, and Into the Storm is not the exception. A family and new friends are forced to survive a relentless natural disaster that has been thrust on them with little or no warning. With every film about a disaster, there is always a group of people that decide to chase it. I mean, it’s only unpredictable force so what possibly could go wrong? Those are always their famous last words in these movies. The entire concept of the idiocy behind amateurs chasing storms is parodied in this film with a redneck group who call themselves “Twista Hunterz”. This is one of the few things this film does right, and even then, the comedic relief they are intended to provide only has us rolling our eyes throughout the film.
The weak story in this film is only a byproduct of every other element failing to make it interesting. The writing is a minor step above a Syfy channel B-movie, with the dialogue seeming almost completely unnecessary to any character development let alone plot advancement. Like a twister set aflame, the writing is full of nothing but hot air. The writing is unable to give any character any sort of dimension so they just fall flat.
Nothing they do ever seems like it matters and every character is forgettable. They are nothing but very flat leaves in the wind, just being thrown around until they are propelled into their next situation. In this case, the only truly developed character is the storm because it is the only one of them that actually furthers the story in an way. Screenwriter John Swetnam shows us that he is more comfortable writing stories where the actual story isn’t as important as all the external action, much like he did in Step Up: All In.
Now this catastrophe of a film wasn’t all bad. Director Steven Quale does what he does best in this film, and that is kill people. One of the few saving graces in this film was the great graphics. The savage love child of mother nature and climate change is what kept this film engaging, and made it a step above a TV movie. Take away the benign dialogue and the completely convoluted attempt at a story, and Into the Storm would have fared much better as an amusement park ride than a real film.
RATING: ★★★ (3/10 stars)