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Into the Storm


Stars: Matt Walsh, Sarah Wayne Callies, Max Deacon, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Richard Armitage, Nathan Kress, Jeremy Sumpter

Director: Steven Quale

A billion-dollar 'B' movie with sensational special effects, a relentlessly drumming soundtrack and characters it's hard to care much about. And don't sit too near the screen for handheld camera sequences (alleged 'found footage') that will make your head spin.

The film introduces us strangely to its dramatis personae as if they were real people. They are the twister-hunters in their tornado tank: obsessed Pete (Walsh), data queen Allison (Callies) and their three cohorts. In nearby Silverton, we meet highschoolers Donnie (Deacon) and his brother Trey (Kress), currently filming the run-up to graduation day at a college where their distant widower father (Armitage) is vice-principal.

And there's a couple of drunken rednecks, who provide the comic relief.

Predictably slow to get under way, the film equally predictably comes to life with the arrival of the biggest tornado ever seen (well, it would have to be). Houses, cars and trees are tossed through the rainswept skies like toys and dolls' houses.

Donnie and his girlfriend (Debnam-Carey) are trapped underground in rising water, while the high school graduation ludicrously goes ahead outdoors in the face of the mother of all storms, and Pete remains determined to get the ultimate money shot: the eye of the tornado.

Effects have come on a bit since Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton and Philip Seymour Hoffman chased the Twister in 1997, though that remains the better film; a more cohesive whole than the spectacular carnival sideshow on display here.

David Quinlan

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Colour by FotoKem/Print by Technicolor.
89 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 19 Aug 2014