Into the Storm (2014)

I was really looking forward to this movie, and that’s probably what went wrong. I shouldn’t have gone in with such high expectations.

The trailers for Into the Storm made it look like this was going to be an amazing movie of epic proportions. I was very excited. I thought it was going to be like Twister for a new generation. I was very wrong.

I will fully admit that my high expectations were not met, and this causes a bit of bias on the review of this movie. I will try to look at my review as objectively as possible.

The most notable thing about this movie is that it follows a “found footage” type format for most of the time. There are three groups of characters that the audience is introduced to. One group is a team of storm chasers who are making a documentary with tornados. The second group is some teenagers who are in the A/V club at their high school, and the third group is a couple of southern thrill seekers who are trying to become YouTube sensations.

The quality of said found footage is decently well done. It’s no Cloverfield or Devil’s Due. Stabilizers were definitely used or the handheld effect was added in post. In any way, it’s not going to make you car sick. The problem with it is that the filmmakers didn’t just pick the found footage format and stick with it.

Through most of the movie, you know which character is running the camera that you’re seeing through. At random points in the movie, this completely changes, and the audience is seeing things through a classic all-knowing camera angle. The filmmakers use this every time they want to show just how big the tornado really is or they want to show off some other special effect.

The problem with this is that it’s distracting and sometimes confusing. I feel the movie would have benefitted from picking one style and sticking to it. Instead, you’re left with all of your characters in a wind tunnel while you’re seeing a dramatic wide shot of a tornado picking up a passenger plane. Who’s camera is catching that?!

Other than my obvious problems with the cinematography style, the story is a little slow. For there being some amazingly animated tornados on screen, it doesn’t feel as epic as it could. Maybe it’s the performance of the actors not really selling the danger. Maybe it’s the unbelievable strength of a man preventing a woman from being sucked into a funnel with his bare hands. Overall, it just doesn’t sit as well with me as I would have liked.

It is a disaster movie, and if you like those types of movies, then you will probably enjoy it. I personally wouldn’t recommend spending top dollar at the theater for Into the Storm, but if it happens to come your way you can give it a shot. I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw it on Syfy within the next 3 years.

 

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