Disaster films have always had their place in the history of film making. Almost annually, there is always at least one film of this nature that addresses some form of devastation or natural based calamity that debuts to satisfy moviegoer’s appetite for destruction. In 2014, Into the Storm debuted in relative anonymity. This was one of the more recent attempts to satisfy or hunger for chaos, calamity and bedlam.
Into the Storm is a jaded, maligned experience that attempts to invigorate some interest into the oft told disaster movies by implementing the use of the reality based first person perspective. It’s a promising premise that was squandered as a result of poor camera choice and a lackluster script. The film stars Richard Armitage (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies), Sarah Wayne Callies (Faces in The Crowd), Matt Walsh (Ted), Max Deacon (I, Anna), Nathan Kress (Game of Your Life), and Arlen Escarpeta (Final Destination 5).
The film creates a good sense of mortality and urgency. It effectively puts the audience in desperation mode establishes the tone needed for the film. It feels one part Twister, one part high school video, one part reality show. Into The Storm attempts to converge the three but with minimal success. Consequently, it effectively does some of what it sets out to do. In terms of disaster films, there are rarely any that knock your socks off story wise. But then again, that’s not truly what the audience goes to see walking into this type of film.
The early moments of the film attempts to establish character but is completely uninteresting. The storylines in the film aren’t that interesting or creative. It’s mostly stereotypical, boorish characters that don’t really help you to establish any level of affinity for them. Much like other films of this nature, Into the Storm’s characters are disposable so that by the time the destruction starts, we really want them all to die. The film takes a while to warm up and fully engage the audience. However, once the destruction begins, it’s well worth the wait.
One of the film’s biggest drawbacks is the decision to use this popular, modernized first person camera perspective to induce a fresh wrinkle to the disaster movie genre. However, like so many modern films that use this, it feels out of place and completely unnecessary. In spite of the use of the camera angle in the majority of the film, when it veers away from the usage of that abysmal first person camera, Into the Storm features some great cinematography and special effects. You really get a great outlook on the tornado and how it ravages the town. You almost feel there. It is clearly the reason and the best aspect of the film. It absolutely displays the devastation first hand. Great usage of cinematography that makes the most of modern technology. Nearly all of the cinematography one ups Twister which is one of the standard bearers for this types of movies.
None of the main characters are portrayed by recognizable actors. As in most of the films that utilize this camera angle, the actors aren’t any of the big names that make many of the films. In addition, none of the performances are memorable or worth going into detail about.
Into the Storm doesn’t wow its audience in any way. It’s a relatively pedestrian film by most accounts. Conversely, in comparison to other disaster films, it’s fairly decent. Clearly the reason that anyone will watch this is for the devastation and for what it is, Into the Storm is top notch. Nearly no other film captures the devastation and calamity. The sheer level of destruction and catastrophe is enough to make the film worth watching. Climax is nearly good enough to redeem the lackluster moments. Film gets better as it goes the longer you watch it. While not great it’s entertainment, it’s endurable.