Saturday, August 9, 2014

Into the Storm Review

Just under two weeks ago, there was this fantastic movie that came out on the Syfy Channel called Sharknado 2: The Second One. Scoff at it if you want, but I was thoroughly entertained. I almost wrote a review for it, but for one reason or another I decided not to. The Sharknado movies are a love or hate relationship and if you know how you felt about the first one, you are going to know exactly how you feel about the second one because it's pretty much the same thing. But now that Into the Storm has been released, Sharknado needs to be brought up for comparison. Here's why. There's no denying the fact that Sharknado and it's sequel are BAD movies. They are SO bad. But here's the thing, they know they're bad. And that's what makes them good. The people who made Sharknado weren't trying to make a good movie, they were trying to make a bad movie. And because I knew they were trying to make a bad movie, I was able to turn off my brain and enjoy the movie. The reason I bring this up, outside the obvious fact that both are about tornadoes, is because Into the Storm was also a bad movie. But the problem here is that the people who made Into the Storm were trying to make a good movie, but failed. And because I knew they were trying to make a good movie, most of the movie painful to watch. This is probably sounding really confusing to you, but I hope it makes sense to at least someone. If not, oh well. Let's just move on and talk about why Into the Storm was bad.

Given all the negative buzz towards the movie, I went in with fairly low expectations. I just hoped that I would be entertained by this tornado disaster movie. The biggest problem that this movie had was the fact that there wasn't enough tornado. I think we got almost halfway through the movie before we even saw a tornado, not counting the useless opening scene of course. Now I know what you are thinking. If you remember my Godzilla review, you'll remember that I argued that the best monster/disaster movies are the ones that save the monster or the drama for later. And that's true. But in order to pull that off, you have to have a good solid story to go with it. If you have that, you get emotionally attached to the characters, you are moved by their story, and then when the disaster happens it is simply heart-breaking and/or epic. The problem here with Into the Storm is that it tried that approach, but failed miserably. It failed miserably because it tried to follow too many people. Had they stuck to one vantage point, it could've been great. But no. We followed a group a storm chasers. We followed a dad and his two sons. We followed a school full of people. We followed two idiot dare devils. Then we had an off-shoot with one of the sons running off with a girl. Too much. Had they picked one of those stories and gone with it, it could've worked. But they didn't. And on top of that, they tried to spend equal time with everyone and that made for way too much story. Thus they didn't have that much time for the tornado scenes in the movie, so they were too short.

Yes, I will admit that when we did get to the tornado scenes, they actually were pretty awesome. That's why this movie isn't a compete waste of time. If in theory you were to buy this movie on DVD, you could fast forward to the scenes with the tornadoes and skip over all the useless, convoluted story lines and you could have a good solid 20 minutes of entertainment. But in that lies a big problem when we are looking at the movie as a whole. Why would you buy this movie just for that? Pointless. You might as well go find a disaster movie that is actually well done. There are plenty of them out there. You could even go watch the old 90's movie Twister if you want a tornado movie. And since tornadoes are pretty cool, I'm sure there's a documentary you could watch that would be more worth your time.

The other thing I have to mention is that this movie is done found footage style. As I said when I reviewed Earth to Echo, that style can be really good. I thoroughly enjoyed movies such as Chronicle and Cloverfield because of the fact that the found footage is done really well. But found footage done bad or done when it's not needed has the ability to completely ruin a movie. Earth to Echo is an example of a movie where the found footage isn't needed. Into the Storm is a movie where the found footage is simply done all wrong. If you are going to do found footage in a movie, it makes sense to only follow one camera. Remember how I talked about the fact that there are a ton of different story lines all shoved into this movie? Yeah, each story line has a different person holding a camera. And in some cases, like the two idiot dare devils, there are two cameras in one scene. Thus we are constantly jumping back and forth among like a dozen cameras and it just gets in the way. And then you have several times in the movie where it decides to not do found footage. And that's even worse. Either do it or don't do it. Don't flip back and forth between found footage and no found footage. That defeats the whole purpose of a found footage.

Overall this movie tries to be an epic, found footage, disaster movie with tornadoes, but it just ends up being a disaster of a movie. Too much story. Too many story lines. Not enough tornado. Poorly used found footage. Because of all this, when the tornadoes did hit, I was so sick of the characters that I wanted them to all get sucked up in the tornadoes. That's bad. The movie tried to be emotional towards the end, but because the rest of the movie sucked, I was just facepalming during the emotional scenes, wanting it to stop. Going back to Sharknado one last time, if I were to grade those movies I would do so based on their intentions. They were trying to be the type of movies that were so bad, they were entertaining and they succeeded and based on that they would both get 8/10. Into the Storm was trying to epic, but failed and wasn't even entertaining. Thus my grade for it is a 6/10.

No comments:

Post a Comment