Into the Storm Is a Delicious CGI Tornado Orgy

I am 100% aware of this movie’s many, many, glaringly obvious flaws. I do love dumb stuff about tornadoes, but not to the extent that I can’t recognize awful writing and uninspired performances. To get the most obvious stuff out of the way, I really could’ve done without the Jackass knockoff YouTubers. They were annoying as hell.

There’s also a bit of typical first act awkwardness you almost always get in a found footage movie where you’re left wondering, “Why the hell are they filming this unremarkable conversation that only exists to deliver exposition to the audience? Or having it in the first place when everyone seems to already know this information?” There are also more than a few distracting moments where it’s not really clear where a particular shot is coming from. Like, there’s no logical reason for there to be a camera in a particular location.

Really, almost all of this (except the last bit) could’ve been avoided if they took the Twister approach (any movie about tornadoes should probably have a pretty good reason for not just being a remake of Twister) and just had the whole movie be about storm chasers with maybe one non-storm chaser companion. They already made the movie feel a little like a mockumentary at times, why not go all the way with it and have like one journalist who doesn’t know much about tornadoes embedded with this storm chaser team, and then just have footage from other sources that the person making the “documentary” purchased or whatever? And then you’re just following one group of characters and maybe you flesh them out a bit better instead of unnecessarily having three totally separate groups of characters that the audience is clearly supposed to care about, but really probably doesn’t the way they’re written.

Really, when you get right down to it, I understand why they did found footage. Approaching tornadoes from a very grounded perspective should help emphasize the properties that make them so attractive to weirdos like me. The thing is, it never really feels like this movie takes advantage of that perspective the way it should, so it would be pretty easy to ditch the found footage aspect without losing much of anything.

Really, the only actually essential element of this film is the absolutely gorgeous CGI. In that regard, and only that regard, we’ve come a long way since the otherwise vastly superior Twister. On that note, a tornado sucking up a fire and becoming a fire tornado and then sucking up a person is one of the most ridiculously awesome sequences I’ve ever seen in a movie. And all of the tornadoes in this are just amazing looking.

In theory, I guess I should rate this a lot lower because it’s painfully obvious how easy it would be to make a drastically better movie with one or two super obvious tweaks. I mean, I basically outlined how to do it and I am in no way an expert. But honestly, I had so much fun with this, I don’t really care. Is it 100% indulgent, and does it fail to deliver on pretty much any other level? Yes, but keep in mind why butts were likely in seats in the first place. There is just one thing this film absolutely had to nail, and it nailed it. It’s dumb, it’s fun, and I demand to know where my sequels are.

(B-Rank)

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