Thursday, August 7, 2014

Into the Storm - 2 stars

Into the Storm is a disaster … movie about a small town in Oklahoma getting ravaged by the biggest tornado storm in history.  It’s a found footage movie, like Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield or Paranormal Activity which means that everything we see in the movie is being filmed by one of the characters.  

There are two groups of characters in this movie.  One is a group of storm chasers who are making a documentary, and the other is a pair of brothers in high school.  It’s graduation day, and they have been assigned to film everyone they can to make a video time capsule.  So this explains why there are so many cameras around. 

The problem with the found footage genre is that the video needs to make sense with the story.  In the case of those other movies, they started by telling us that something happened and this video tape was found, and we’re now watching what happened to them.  But this movie gives us no explanation why we’re watching this footage.  And since there are obviously a lot of cameras used, someone had to go and edit all the footage together.  It’s just a big waste of time.  The filmmakers realized this as well, and an hour into the movie they abandon the gimmick entirely.  They were probably hoping we wouldn’t notice.

It’s obvious that very little time was spent writing this story.  The back story to the brothers is that their mom is dead and their dad is the assistant principle at their school.  He’s played by Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield from the Hobbit movies), and whenever he gets upset, his accent slips.  In the most hamhanded way possible, they quickly inform us that they don’t get along with their dad.  The storm chasers are led by Pete, a very strict taskmaster who has no concern for the safety of his team.  He’s just interested in getting the best tornado footage ever filmed.  Sarah Wayne Callies from the Walking Dead is also on his team, and she has a 5 year old daughter at home.  We know this because every 5 minutes she brings her daughter up and talks about how bad she feels that she’s not at home with her.

The only reason to see this movie is the tornados, which are very cool.  CGI has come a long way since Twister, which was released back in 1996.  Make sure you see it in a theater with good sound.  It’s really impressive in a theater with Dolby Atmos.  But the story is badly written and acted, and the emotional moments didn’t work at all.  When the movie wanted me to cry, I was just laughing. 

No comments: