It all begins when a team of professional storm chasers with a string of recent misses come upon the mother of all storms in Silverton, Oklahoma. It starts with some totally unexpected golf ball sized hail. Then the rain intensifies. Finally the first tornado touches down causing significant damage while bringing joy to the storm chasers including two goofy local guys who see themselves as storm chasers but whose only talent is a complete absence of fear.
As a result of the first tornado two of the local teens are trapped in an abandoned building and their ultimate rescue becomes a central part of the story. But while in most typical circumstances one tornado is about all any community can expect in any given day, it becomes quickly clear that Silverton, Oklahoma is about to set an all time record for natural disasters. Not just one more tornado, but rather multiple tornadoes soon arrive on scene to the complete delight of the storm chasing team and to the utter horror of the towns’ folks. In the end there is one final twister with a size, power and scope never before seen. Wind speeds are exceeding 300 miles per hours lifting Boeing 747 jetliners off of the ground with no engine assistance required. That scene alone stretches the film’s credibility over the top. Seriously, how many Boeing 747 aircraft would you expect to find in a small Midwestern town? Cessnas and Pipers at a local general aviation airport perhaps, but giant jetliners – not likely.
Then the ongoing efforts to rescue the two teenagers also folds into an unbelievable level of obviously staged horror with a predictable outcome. Because the film makers go just a wee bit too far several people in the audience actually began to chuckle in the face of what should have been stark terror. And the conclusion I felt was weak and even somewhat silly.
All that said it is an entertaining movie and it has already won one award, the “Golden Trailer” award for sound editing. Overall the cinematography is captivating and the relentless onslaught of nature’s wrath is truly awesome. The locations for filming this story about Silverton, Oklahoma were in and around Detroit, Michigan. Now that takes real imagination and the results are excellent. So despite its flaws it is a worthy film and in many ways fun to watch
Copyright 2014 Ron Irwin