Film Review: Failed ‘Twister’ Knockoff ‘Into the Storm’ is All Eyes, No Heart

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CHICAGO – Early incarnations of “Godzilla,” for example, were so memorable because of the characters and its story. The “special effects” were laughable, but the films caught on despite it because they had heart.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

Fast forward to today when the reverse tends to happen. Many films overprioritize their special effects but forget to begin from a quality script and craft memorable characters. Without starting there, all you’ve got is an exotic Lamborghini on the outside with a lawnmower engine failing to chug it along. Though Hollywood is currently addicted to eye candy, special effects should be a complement rather than a replacement.

“Into the Storm” is directed by Steven Quale. We’ve only seen him in the director’s chair once before at the helm of “Final Destination 5,” but he also served as a visual effects supervisor on “Avatar.” “Into the Storm” opens with a tense and well-executed introductory scene, but goes downhill from there.

The film is written by John Swetnam and truly that’s where the problem lies. He’s a young Hollywood buck who has only inked one film you’ve never heard of (a 2013 horror film called “Evidence”) and now this film along with “Step Up All In.” Surprisingly, both of these 2014 films actually released on the same exact day (Aug. 8, 2014). His three films so far are all over the place. With “Into the Storm,” this guy was in over his head and was the wrong writer for the job.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Into the Storm”.

Drawing comparisons to 1996’s Oscar-nominated “Twister” with Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, “Into the Storm” falls victim to what most people thought it would: It’s all eyes and no heart.

“Twister” prioritized its story and characters first with special effects second. “Into the Storm” reverses the formula and focuses so much on special effects that it fails to find the foundation of a rich story and memorable characters. Some 18 years later, I still remember Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton’s complicated professional/personal relationship and the lady (Jami Gertz as Dr. Melissa Reeves) who got in between and stood no chance to relate.

“Into the Storm” stars Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Arlen Escarpeta, Max Deacon, Nathan Kress, Jeremy Sumpter, Kyle Davis and Scott Lawrence from director Steven Quale and writer John Swetnam. The film is rated which is rated “PG-13” for sequences of intense destruction and peril and language including some sexual references. It has a running time of 89 minutes and and opened on Aug. 8, 2014.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Into the Storm”.

Matt Walsh as Pete in Into the Storm
Matt Walsh as Pete in “Into the Storm”.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Into the Storm”.

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