Into The Storm – It Can’t Top Sharknado – Review

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Photo Courtesy Warner Brothers

I want to be amazed by Into The Storm, but hasn’t Sharknado spoiled all disaster films for an entire generation? How can you top sharks flying through the air? That’s a bar that has been raised too high for us mere mortals to reach.

Set in the fictional Silverton, Oklahoma, where it is high school graduation day and you can practically smell all of the apple pies cooling on the window sills around town, Into The Storm features a cadre of stiff acting and a set of cliché characters you always can count on in a disaster film like this one.

We have the obsessed documentarian, Pete (Matt Walsh), who will stop at nothing to capture the greatest tornado footage ever seen on video (white whale, table for one).

Working on his team of storm chasers, we also have Allison (Sarah Wayne Calles) – the scientist who understands the true dangers they face, and who longs to see her 5-year old daughter again.

Then, bring on the concerned father, Gary (Richard Armitage), who has grown distant from his two high school boys, Donnie (Max Deacon), and Trey (Nathan Kress) after a family tragedy.

Finally, how about we toss in Donk (Kyle Davis) and Reevis (Jon Reep) – a couple of drunken, daredevil morons striving to become YouTube stars (that’s how you know Into The Storm is set in 2014).

When a series of tornadoes of ever increasing strength start touching down in Silverton, and a couple of them combine to become the massive mother of all tornadoes, who will survive?

Into The Storm is an average movie saved by a fantastic climax. Using that quickly tiring found footage trope, the audience is submerged into the worst day any of us could ever face as director Steven Quale and writer John Swetnam lay out a movie full of action, and short on just about anything else.

Swetnam and Quale give us the bare bones of a plot, because the real stars of Into The Storm are the tornadoes. Armitage, Walsh, Calles and the rest of the troupe don’t need to get very deep because this script isn’t asking for it. They are there to react in shock and horror as the trees, hail, cars and other matter start flying around (but no cows this time, that one has been copyrighted).

However, you can’t help but get sucked into this movie. After a slow start, the action is thrilling. Quale keeps upping the ante as each tornado becomes more powerful, destructive and dangerous than the last one, which leads to that over-the-top and almost awe inspiring climax. Thanks to some good special effects, these tornadoes are shocking and conclude with the most intense of them all.

If you don’t live in tornado country, Into The Storm is summer entertainment that doesn’t challenge the brain cells.

2_5waffles_smlInto The Storm is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense destruction and peril, and language including some sexual references.

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