"Into the Storm," directed by Steven Quale, is a disaster-laden film focused on the town of Silverton. When a series of abrupt and unpredictable tornados touch down on the small town, several of the townsfolk get caught in the middle of the chaos. Among them are vice principal Gary Morris (Richard Armitage) and his teenage sons Donnie (Max Deacon) and Trey (Nathan Kress), a group of storm chasers led by Pete (Matt Walsh) and guided by meteorologist Allison Stone (Sarah Wayne Callies), and hillbilly thrill seekers Donk (Kyle Davis) and Reevis (Jon Reep).
The story is largely shot as a found footage film, as the three groups caught in the disaster are all recording their lives for their own purposes. Pete is shooting a documentary focusing on tornados, the hillbillies are shooting their own hijinks as a way to become YouTube famous, and the teenage boys are filming as part of a time capsule school assignment. The camera footage is sloppy at times, but it’s done much better than the early summer family flick, "Earth to Echo." That film isn’t the only one "Into the Storm" can be compared to. Obviously said, it’s "Twister" meets "The Day After Tomorrow." The storyline is actually a carbon copy of both those films intertwined.
That doesn’t mean "Into the Storm" was a bad film, as it had its good moments. The visual effects are actually quite believable, although seeing a large cow figure flying across the screen was a bit cliché. The graphics were attention grabbing, and the suspense managed to make viewers care about what was happening. Also contributing to that care was the acting and the characters. The film did a good job of slowly developing its four main characters (the brothers, their dad, and Allison). The acting of two of those characters was quite superb. Deacon and Callies both did a wonderful job at giving an emotionally driven performance, which definitely helped viewers care about what was happening to them.
Disaster films like these often run the risk of causing an audience’s mind to wander, only to be brought back by something alarming happening on screen. "Into the Storm" had those moments, but made a valiant attempt at keeping the consistent attention of its viewers. It was suspenseful, emotionally driven, and a visual stunner. What it wasn’t, however, was inventive or something new. While the storms in the film blew everything in their paths away, they are unfortunately unlikely to blow viewers away. The plot is just too predictable, which ironically juxtaposes the actual storms in the film. While it isn’t a must-see, it’s still an enjoyable-see, and one that manages to elicit some emotion. So, it isn’t entirely a disaster—though for those living in Silverton, it sure was.
Final grade? B-