By Jack Rico
The “1-4-0″: #IntotheStorm is a Twister knockoff that offers some great VFX natural disaster scenes, but ultimately falls short on story and acting.
The Gist: The most powerful tornado in history tears through the fictionalized town of Silverton where three factions of people – a family of three, two thrill-seekers and a documentary crew looking to get into the eye of the storm – will all encounter the wrath of the most furious twister ever seen.
What Works: Perhaps some of the most compelling parts of this first-person handheld camera style film are the intense, edge of your seat, VFX disaster scenes and the occasional peppered humor of the dialogue. I would be deceitful if I didn’t concede that the action sequences weren’t fun, almost in a theme park like experience.
What Doesn’t Work: In movies such as this, a huge portion of the budget goes mostly to the VFX (visual effects). This leaves the studio with a scarce amount of money to hire a quality director, actors and top-notch screenwriters, and alas, it reflects in the production. Apart from the highly-fun mother nature events, this movie teeters “Into The Laughable” (pun intended). Much of this unintentional comedy falls on the shoulders of director and screenwriter Steven Quale and John Swetnam who decided to implement an abundance of dramatic elements which most of the actors couldn’t pull-off. I know what they were trying to do, they wanted to infuse the film with heart, but most of the times, when emotional drama meets a VFX action movie, the results are not always agreeable. Not just that, also when bad writing meets subpar acting, it is a disaster… of the cinematic kind. One evident torturous example took place in the screening I was at. The audience was having a riot with Max Deacon and Alycia Debnam Carey during a “very delicate” near-death scene. Instead of crying and being emotionally frail, mocking and derision entailed.
Pay or Nay? If you don’t mind paying for a Universal Studios Theme Park movie-like experience, then this film will satisfy you. You’ll also probably ignore most of my criticisms. Yet, if you’re searching for a quality action movie along the lines of Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes or Edge Of Tomorrow, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
Rated: PG-13 for sequences of intense destruction and peril, and language including some sexual references.
Release Date: August 8, 2014
Screenplay: John Swetnam
Director(s): Steven Quale
Starring: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Film Genre: Action | Thriller