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Into The Storm - Review

Into The Storm

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

STEVEN Quale’s Into The Storm is very much a triumph of special effects over substance – but only a minor one at that.

Inspired by past disaster flicks such as The Day After Tomorrow and, in particular, Twister, the film sadly embraces most of the worst traits of those films too – namely, banal dialogue and thinly sketched, stereotypical characters.

That it now exists in the shadow of real-life natural disasters such as Katrina further casts a cloud, particularly as the film is clearly more interested in exhilarating than it is counting any real cost, emotional or otherwise, despite some contrived attempts.

Hence, the film unfolds as an unprecedented storm hits a US town and follows several of the people caught up in its path. These include Richard Armitage’s widowed dad, estranged from both teenage sons, yet inevitably called upon to save one of them (the sensitive boy with a crush); a storm chasing documentary crew whose leader (Matt Walsh) will risk everything and everyone to get the money shots, and one of his crew members (Sarah Wayne Callies) who is as desperate to prove herself as she is to be reunited with her five-year-old daughter. And then there’s a pair of YouTube obsessed adrenaline junkies who continually flirt with the dangers presented by the storm in a bid to generate more views for themselves.

Quale’s film struggles to make you care about any of these characters, not least because it’s so obvious what is going to happen to them.

It’s therefore down to the effects to save the day and, to be fair, Quale does have some impressive devastation in his armoury, having clearly learnt from his time working with James Cameron on films such as Titanic and Avatar (he has also directed Final Destination 5).

Among the visual highlights are a fire twister and a widescreen shot of several 747s being swept along in the tornado path. But even then, Quale doesn’t always get things right given his decision to let a lot of the action unfold from a found footage, first person standpoint that impairs your vision while also making you feel nauseas.

It means that despite the best efforts of all concerned to try and deliver the most authentic portrayal of a twister-charged super-storm yet committed to film, the ensuing film will leave you feeling less than blown away.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 89mins
UK Release Date: August 20, 2014