Who knew that tornado movies could be so incredibly cheesy? Clearly, Hollywood did, as they’re serving up a disaster movie that will even make your popcorn taste extra corny.
Into the Storm follows several different characters as they experience a series of deadly and massive tornadoes in Oklahoma. We first meet teenager Donnie (Max Deacon), who is filming a video capsule for his high school. He gets interrupted by his typically obnoxious younger brother, Trey (Nathan Kress), and his dad, Gary (Richard Armitage), who also happens to be the high school vice principal. Their mother passed away a while ago, and it seems she left their family “broken.” Gary isn’t very empathetic toward his boys, and Donnie takes that hard.
We later meet a documentary film crew made of professional storm chasers. Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies) is the expert at tracking storm activity, but lately hasn’t had much luck on predicting their movements. Of course, they’ll be right in the thick of things later on with the epic tornado storm hits the town they’re in.
Eventually, the storm chasers, Gary and Trey find each in the midst of the storm to work together to save Donnie who is trapped in a collapsed building across town.
Into the Storm gives us not just a storm, but every single cliché imaginable. The recycled characters and subplots make this “intense” movie lighter and less enjoyable. While I was tense during the tornado sequences, which were surprisingly well done, the rest of the movie diminished the effect it had. You know who is going to die; you know who will live. The blatant predictability of the film’s story takes some of that suspense away.
Armitage and Callies are the most recognizable faces in the film. Armitage stars in The Hobbit films, and Callies notably starred in The Walking Dead. Callies is the better of the two, since her character is much more interesting than a high school VP who ignores his kids. Also, I couldn’t help but be distracted by Armitage’s deep voice and American accent. That man is made for Middle Earth, not Oklahoma.
One of the cool things I must admit about watching Into the Storm is the found-footage style. The movie is made of “footage” that the characters are shooting themselves, like Donnie’s video capsule or the storm chasers’ documentary. Half the fun is trying to figure out which camera they were using in each scene.
Into the Storm is definitely not the worst movie I saw this year. Not even close. If you’re looking for mindless, cheesy terror, it delivers.
Rating: 5/10 stars
INTO THE STORM is now playing in theaters.