It’s like a Twister sequel! with worse actors… and a forced found footage gimmick… still interested?
“Into the Storm” follows a storm chasing team as they document the worst storm in the history of mankind as it pummels the small town of Silverton. The story is shown through the eyes and lenses of a high schooler’s family, some local thrill seekers, and a film director who will give up anything to get the shot of his life, and let’s be honest here, that’s what this movie is really about right? The awe and wonder of the power and destruction of mother nature at its worst. And on that note Into the Storm actually does deliver.
The storm stuff in this is a devastatingly beautiful spectacle. Scene after scene brings us new looks at the destruction and consequence of massive tornadoes, each one with new storm superpowers to show off. Tired of a basic tornado? Well this one multiplies! and this one breathes fire! and this one has adamantium claws! OK I may have made that last one up, but the point is the movie does a pretty amazing job through digital effects and sound editing to really make you believe these storms are real… Now If only they could have used the same digital skill to make the actors feel real too.
Yeah, other than the disaster stuff there really isn’t much here to like. As mentioned the acting is awful, feeling staged and bland compared to the madness going on around them. Among which, you may recognize the actress who played Lori on “The Walking Dead” in the cast giving her trademarked deadpan performance even as the apocalypse seems to happen around her. Of course, it’s not like they are given much to work with as they have to operate in this completely staged “found footage” gimmick so that somehow there are always cameras rolling to capture just the right shot and moment. All of which is really just an excuse to get more awe inducing destruction on the screen. Speaking of which, to get serious for a moment, it’s hard as someone who lives less than an hour from Joplin, Missouri to not feel a little bit icky about these filmmakers taking gleeful delight in these images and moments. Even though the movie does attempt to offset that with a few lame conversations about lives lost, it still in some ways feels a bit insensitive when so many have lost so much to storms like these. Especially when it’s obvious from the lame and lazy setup and story that there is nothing much more to this movie than the spectacle of it to begin with. It’s a missed opportunity to find heart in the destruction and offer some needed depth.
At the end of the day, “Into the Storm” delivers exactly what you might expect, incredible storm effects that look amazing on the big screen… and little else. If that’s all you need you might have a great time, but for me the forced plot and documentary concept, not to mention a bit of insensitivity, downgrade this storm to a C.