Into the Storm is the perfect summer entertainment. At less than 90 minutes, this movie delivers the goods; including spectacular tornado scenes that are even better than those in The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Twister (1996).
As a disaster movie ITS is as good as it gets. There are no big stars to steal the scene, and no lengthy character development. There is just enough to get things going. Twenty minutes into the film, the storm arrives and the action never stops.
The film covers one day in the town of Silverton, Okla., during which the town is completely flattened by an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes. The story follows a group of storm chasers and documentary filmmakers with a virtual tank, ready to drive right into the heart of the tornado and lock itself down while the cameras roll. Comic relief is provided by a “Beavis and Butthead” duo, Donk and Reevis, who drink a lot of beer and film the disaster using cell phones from a pickup truck.
The disaster-filled day happens to be graduation day at Silverton High School. The rain starts right in the middle of the speeches, driving everyone indoors. Then the real wind shows up and classes are cancelled.
That storm passes, but we quickly learn that there’s another on the way – even bigger and more powerful. With all the warning systems down, only quick-thinking can save the day, and the ensuing action will keep the audience on the edges of their seats.
The movie is shot from the viewpoint of the people with ordinary cameras and cellphones. A lot of shaky-camera work and surveillance footage is woven into the film, but it all fits into the story. The director also knows when to use real cameras, to make sure we are able to clearly see what we need to see.
The movie was actually filmed in Michigan, and the twisters are so powerful and horrifying that I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire population of the state decides to move out. Anyone seeing this film will never, ever buy a home in Oklahoma.
The film’s non-stop special effects are as good or better than any disaster film ever made – truly an “E ticket” thrill ride. The editing is perfect and adds nothing extraneous. The pace moves like the twisters themselves. I still feel the whooshing.
While I went to ITS expecting little, it surprised me by providing a whole gaggle of excitement and entertainment. It gave a whole new meaning to the classic song playing on the radio on the way home: Chubby Checkers’ “The Twist.” I strongly recommend you see ITS. And you will twist. I guarantee it.
Rated 3.9 out of 4.0 reasons to say, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”