When it comes to weather-related disaster movies, we have to admit you would be hard-pressed to find one with more stunning nature as destructor visual effects than those featured in Into the Storm.
But, does that a movie make?
The first 30 to 45 minutes of the movie are pure exposition, setting up our emotions so that we care about these characters that are about to be thrown Into the Storm. We meet Richard Armitage’s Gary, the vice principal at a Silverton, Kansas high school, and this is graduation day. We learn that his wife has passed and his oldest teenage son is still hating on dad and the younger teenage son is just left of indifferent.
Then there’s Sarah Wayne Callies’ Allison. She is a meteorologist, who specializes in extreme storms. And given that it is tornado season, she is with a storm chasing group led by Matt Walsh’s Pete. Things aren’t going well for their crew. It's been too quiet for a world where major storms strike all the time. Then, Allison sees what appears to be tornados stacking up in Silverton like bowling pins.
Everyone’s paths will cross as this series of storms brings hell on earth in the form of tornado after tornado, even four arriving at one time with the strength to lift airplanes from the local airport, as teased in the Into the Storm trailer.
The viewer will feel enough compassion for the characters to stay along for the ride, and yes, the ride is quite enjoyable. And to answer our previous question, it is actually enough to make a movie worth watching. Director Steven Quale has helmed a master class in using special effects throughout a disaster film that never forgets that there are people caught in the middle of the chaos.
And what Into the Storm does do well is make the audience feel like you’re on a rollercoaster. There are ebbs and flows, and they’re as radical as those extreme rides at the local amusement park. I’ll tell you what, if there was a movie that was perfect for those 4D movie houses that are just starting to pop up across the county, Into the Storm is it!
The highlight (beyond the effects) of the entire movie experience, our Into the Storm review has to reveal, is Callies. She grounds this thing in a reality and manages to capture the rarest of female characters in an action-heavy summer movie.
She is a single mom and it pains her to be away from her daughter, but work is on the road and it’s how she makes her living. You feel her pain and you especially feel her distress when what it is that she focuses on for her career -- the weather -- is what could permanently take her away from her precious child.