Into the Storm is a movie that has effects so breathtaking, it really does to twisters and tornadoes what Gravity did to space. And that’s an achievement.
I got to see an advanced screening of the film Into the Storm tonight, and I am excited to present my thoughts on it to you guys. I don’t know if there’s an embargo on reviews for it or not, but since my screening pass said nothing and since I didn’t have to sign anything, I’m guessing it’s okay… This review may be taken down and reposted later if it’s embargoed though…
Anyway, Into the Storm is really about an ensemble of teenagers, two of those teenagers’ father, and a group of storm-chasers who experience all of these different and dangerous twisters somewhere in the Midwest. And that may sound very vague, but I feel as though most anything else I add to the plot could spoil some aspect of the film for you guys, but that’s basically what you guys need to know. Also know how I was going into this film: I had seen the teaser trailer of just the destruction sequences with the “This is the sound you’ll hear,” thing onscreen. And I thought that it looked intriguing. Then today before the screening I saw the other trailer with more characters and more destruction, but still looked a little vague. I thought that vagueness was because the studio wasn’t confident enough with the story to publicize it a lot but I was wrong. The story in this movie is alright, and the characters… Well, they’re there.
At the center of the story is this team of storm-chasers who are really looking for a break. They’re about broke and need another documentary to be released soon, so they go to this town in the middle of nowhere in which they think a tornado is going to strike. And then there’s also two boys, Donnie and Trey, and their father. The main boy, Donnie, was okay in this movie. He was shy and kinda quirky so the audience has to relate to him. He wasn’t special by any means but he was functional for the movie. Then there’s his father, who’s supposed to be emotionally distant. The issue I have with the father isn’t the actual character, but the actor. I felt towards the father the same way I felt towards all of characters in the movie and that was that they could have been played by anyone. Dylan McDermott could have been the father and it would have been no different. But then there’s Donnie’s brother Trey who I hated in this movie. The movie is really well written until this guy comes up. This is a PG-rated blog so I won’t use the word I’m thinking of to describe him, but Trey is just your typical snobbish, up-on-himself, selfish dude that just has these stupid jokes for throughout the movie. He does those Michael Bay one-liners and even does a “I’m narrating someone else’s conversation and my dub is funny” thing. He finally drops the comedic act about 3/4 in and actual becomes relevant, but that brings the movie down. And speaking of bringing the movie down, there are these two rednecks in the movie. I don’t know why they’re even in the movie. I’ll tell you why they’re supposed to be in the movie: they’re supposed to be the comic relief. But in the end, they just make all southerners look like idiots and drunks. The way I see it, if those two weren’t in the movie, the movie would be no different. Like at all. They contribute NOTHING. Then there’s this ensemble of otherwise useless characters like the main kid’s love interest. Her character is weak, and so are pretty much all of the other forgettable actors.
And speaking of contributing nothing, I’ll just quickly describe my gripe with the “found footage” element of this movie. Yeah, this movie is quickly alternating between found footage and a live cinematic movie. There are some uses where the found footage really works, and it’s kind of like in Super 8 where we see 2 or 3 shots from the kids’ camera. But then there are parts where it seemed like the movie couldn’t decide if it wanted to be found footage or not, and left it for us to decide. Then there are a few points where you’re led to believe the film you see is a documentary, but again, there are these wide scenic shots that aren’t taken at all in the plot and just take you out of the film. There is one scene in the beginning where the kid is shooting a vlog, and there it’s okay to use the found footage. Other than that, it should only be used in this other spoiler of a scene that would be using it in kind of a 127 Hours situation. I’ll probably do a spoiler review of this where I mention what scene that was.
But those are my negatives, and now I’ll go back to my positives. Lori from The Walking Dead was fairly likable, despite her weird backstory and motivation. The script was solid enough, that any inconveniences can be more or less forgiven. There are a lot of physics things though that you question. This isn’t a spoiler since you see it in the trailer, but remember when the airplanes are lifted up off of the ground? Yeah that doesn’t seem physically possible. That and a few other instances that I’ll discuss in a possible spoiler post.
But then the real star of this movie is the Effects Guy, or Team. Good Job Effects Guy or Team. These are some of the most real effects I have ever seen. They will blow you away (pun totally intended). As I said at the beginning: what Gravity did to space, this movie does to tornadoes with less of a plot and way less acting. There are certain shots at the movie where you’re actually tensing up, worrying that the tornado is coming for you. I saw this movie in IMAX too, and the screen made the effects all the more stunning. Yes: I got to go to this movie one month before its formal release, for free, at an IMAX screen and I got a T-shirt that reads, “I Went #IntoTheStorm”. That’s pretty awesome in itself.
I was pretty torn on what to grade this movie because I thought the effects were fantastic, the actors weren’t good and the script was alright. It kind of reminded me of The Day After Tomorrow only with a lesser script and not as good acting. Better effects though! My mom took me to the screening (shoutout if you’re reading!) and on the way home she and I were really roasting the movie and saying what didn’t make sense and what was just stupid. Based on visual effects, this movie is easily a perfect score. But based on directing, acting, writing, the things that make it, ya know, a movie, it’s about a 2.5/5. NOTE: though no part of the review has changed, the score has. I’ve thought over the film and wanted to revise my fresh rating of a 3/5 down to a 2.5/5. Originally I thought that Into the Storm was a 3/5, but after reading the review over, I was thinking, “why did I give this a positive score?” That’s why I hate giving just a one number score to summarize the review. I apologize for changing this rating in a rather significant way, but that is my final and changed opinion. If you’re still in the mood for a visually-good movie, then this is it, but if not, then check out Guardians of the Galaxy for the (insert number here)-time.
Are you guys gonna see Into the Storm? Whether you have or haven’t, are or aren’t, let me know down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.