Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Into the Storm’ Review: Starring Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies & Matt Walsh

There are two things you can count on if you go to see Into the Storm. One is that the special effects are pretty wild and incredible; and two, it is not Twister, even though it desperately tries to mimic qualities of the original tornado film. If you go into the theatre knowing these two things, there is a good chance you will enjoy Into the Storm for what it is: a fun B-movie with extra cheesy dialogue and some intense natural disaster action scenes.

Set in northern Oklahoma in the small town of Silverton, Into the Storm follows several different people as tornados and cyclones strike the town during a treacherous 24-hour period. We meet Gary (Richard Armitage), a vice principal at the local high school and his sons Donnie (Max Deacon) and Try (Nathan Kress). Gary is getting ready for the Senior Graduation later that day and has asked his eldest son Donnie to videotape it. But Donnie has other plans and they involve helping his longtime crush Kaitlyn (Alycia Debnam Carey) on her video project.

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Meanwhile professional storm chasers Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Pete (Matt Walsh) along with several crewmembers are scouring the area video-taping every second of the storms in order to make a documentary that they hope will save lives in future storms. As the tornadoes strike in and around the town of Silverton, the events bring all of these strangers together as they fend for their lives in the biggest storm any of them has ever seen.

Into the Storm tries to develop its human storyline in the very beginning by providing some backstory with Gary, the single dad raising his two teenage sons and Allison, the dedicated storm chaser, who has been away from her five-year-old daughter for over three months. But the human storyline of the film just isn’t as strong as it wants to be. When the storms really pick up in the second half of the film, that’s when Into the Storm discovers its stride and takes us on a roller coaster ride as we watch the storm chasers and regular people battle it our for their lives.

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It’s impossible not to compare director Steven Quale’s (2011’s Final Destination 5) Into the Storm to 1996’s Twister, a film that perfectly balances the emotional human storyline with the extraordinary storm one. The overly cheesy dialogue and convoluted plotline near the beginning hurts the film overall, while the amazing action sequences in the second half bring it up, if only for a little bit.

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