'Into the Storm' review: Storm chasing film blows around a lot of hot air

Into the Storm

Into the Storm

Rating

2 Stars2/5

Liz Braun, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:10 PM ET

If it's a carnival ride you're after at the movies, look no further than Into the Storm. Although devoid of character development and hobbled by wooden dialogue, this collection of fantastic weather-based effects is exactly the kind of spectacle that makes perfect sense for summer viewing.

There's something to be said for guilt-free gawking as giant tornadoes reduce entire towns to rubble; factor in the air conditioning and a bucket of popcorn and you've pretty much achieved nirvana in terms of brainless entertainment.

Into the Storm is centred on a team of storm chasers doing their level best to film a documentary about twisters and supercells. Matt Walsh is the impatient head of the project. Sarah Wayne Callies is the academic meteorologist. They're accompanied by a few young cameramen who fulfill the cannon fodder roles in this type of angry nature thriller.

They are travelling part of the time in Titus, a special military tank/truck that can get through any tornado intact. Just the thing to film the actual eye of a storm …

As our intrepid experts race toward the killer storms in tornado alley, another group runs just as hard to get away. Richard Armitage plays Gary, a single father and the vice-principal of a high school in the town of Silverton — a place about to be hammered by storms (and on graduation day, yet.) His sons are played by Max Deacon and Nathan Kress.

Gary has to protect the entire senior class and their proud parents, and meanwhile, one of his sons has disappeared. Max Deacon's character has gone off to film a school project with a girl in his class, and they've been trapped in an abandoned building. So much to do, so little time to race against.

Somewhere out on the periphery of the story, Kyle Davis and Jon Reep play a Jackass-inspired pair of village idiots who go after the storm in their own demented way. They too are filming as they go; Into the Storm provides itself with endless found footage to display.

All the pertinent parties converge when a series of storms rolls together to slice and dice the town of Silverton. Who will live? Who will die?

You won't care. You will, however, be pleased with the storm footage and the attendant chaos and flying cars. The storms here fling airplanes around like matchsticks, to coin a phrase. Did we mention that cliches abound?

Into the Storm has some thrilling sequences and several awesome effects, but it's clumsy overall. Efforts to tie together all the disparate characters and their stories are fruitless; mostly, this is a dark and stormy night, and not much more.

That doesn't mean it's not entertaining.

Twitter: @LizBraunSun

liz.braun@sunmedia.ca


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