EMINE – ‘Into the Storm’ swirl, swirl, swirl

‘Into the Storm’ swirl, swirl, swirlSteven Qualeandrsquos andldquoInto the Stormandrdquo is a typical disaster film whose sole aim is to create a spectacle for the audience. If youandrsquore looking for a story, thereandrsquos a plastered yarn inserted here that is intended to make us care about its characters but doesnandrsquot quite get there.

Thatandrsquos quite a shame, because back in 1996 Jan De Bontandrsquos similarly themed film andldquoTwisterandrdquo actually achieved the combination of a decent narrative with special effects and even boosted the careers of actors Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. Yet for Istanbulites who have actually had the odd chance to experience a mini-tornado in the city this summer, andldquoInto the Stormandrdquo could provide them with the summer blockbuster extravaganza theyandrsquore looking forSet in the town of Silverton, Oklahoma, this tornado movie puts together all the typical plot elements of the genre.

Gary (Richard Armitage, Thoren Oakenfield of andldquoThe Lord of the Ringsandrdquo trilogy) is the responsible vice principal of the local high school, living with this two sons Donnie (Max Deacon) and Trey (Nathan Kress) after the tragic death of the boysandrsquo mother Itandrsquos graduation day at the school, but it looks like a massive twister is headed for town.Meanwhile, documentary filmmaker Pete (Matt Walsh) is in the area with his camera crew, trying to capture footage for his film Pete is accompanied by meteorologist Allison (Sarah Wayne Collins of andldquoThe Walking Deadandrdquo) who has already had it with his Machiavellian attitude of treating his crew like minions for the sake of getting the perfect shot.

Also in the picture are two local hillbillies whoandrsquore trying to become YouTube stars by shooting videos ala andldquoJackassandrdquo by performing childish stunts.Unbeknownst to the characters, the storm is bearing down on the town with a vengeance.

Itandrsquos an unprecedented mega-tornado that is nothing like anyone has seen before. It first hits the high school graduation ceremony, causing students and parents to scatter, taking shelter in the school building, but Vice Principal Gary is worried because his older son Donnie is nowhere to be found.

Allison and Pete are still trying to capture the perfect shot for the documentary, but the storm comes to play havoc with them as well. All characters eventually come together in order to save themselves and their loved ones from total destruction.

The real star of the film, and the only thing that genuinely holds our attention for long, is the special effects, which are, frankly, among the most convincing examples of CGI craftsmanship weandrsquove seen of late. A handful of twisters enter and exit the story, all varying in size, speed and ferociousness.

There is one twister which even catches fire and looks like a vortex out of the seventh level of hell and, honestly, itandrsquos mesmerizing.As the storm destroys almost every building in the town and carries off huge cargo planes among other objects, it is easy to imagine that the end of the world really is coming.

The cinematographic style of the film makes liberal use of the found footage technique, lending an extra dimension of believability as the characters are shooting with their own cameras from their points of view. A variety of shaky shoulder shots, running shots and odd angles are scattered throughout in order to lend an authentic, visceral feel.

This technique worked wonderfully in andldquoCloverfield.andrdquo However, in this film it occasionally seems contrived and, thus, feels alienating.

The unsophisticated script does not kill off any of the main characters, but still does manage some collateral damage inflicted on minor characters and every 10 minutes some nameless person is flying off into the air after being seized by the stormandldquoInto the Stormandrdquo has some memorable moments but it doesnandrsquot rate with classic disaster movies such as andldquoThe Towering Infernoandrdquo and andldquoThe Day After Tomorrow.andrdquoMuch like the storm it depicts — it arrives, it fascinates, it imposes, it swallows and then suddenly itandrsquos over Once you see the clear blue skies, the rainy day is simply forgotten.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman