Hollywood’s latest disaster movie is arriving with relatively little fanfare – but this tornado-chasing thriller is the closest thing to a summer blockbuster capable of literally blowing you away.
A series of extreme weather events is set to tear into the town of Silverton.
For a school putting on a graduation ceremony, the forecast is a major nuisance.
But for professional storm chasers, the cyclones could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to focus on the eye of a storm.
Don’t think of this as this year’s best holiday season movie, able to outperform Guardians of the Galaxy or its nearest rival Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
But, pound for pound, Final Destination 5 director Steven Quale has made the popcorn film of 2014 that punches most above its weight.
By all means go in expecting to see Twister (1996) reinvented.
The good news, though, is that you should also come out thinking that you’ve seen the renaissance of older child, family-friendly action movies.
Into The Storm’s predictable plot is carried along by clever, sustained and believable effects that really are special.
The script doesn’t rely on profanities to reach the finishing line, as per The Inbetweeners 2.
Nor does it try to ram a politically-motivated global warming message down our throats.
Best of all, its little-known cast – led by British star Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield from The Hobbit films) – never overshadows the sheer joy of the thrill of the chase.
Almost two decades ago, Speed director Jan De Bont paired Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton as a nearly-divorcing couple of storm chasers trying to create an advanced warning system by getting dangerously close to tornadoes.
The effects were good for their time, but Twister itself was cloudy and dull by comparison. The Speed effect had sped away.
Into the Storm is much more sparky and fun, with a team of filmmakers using a vehicle loaded with stabilisers and cameras to try to get inside a storm.
Other characters are amateur ‘Go Pro’ mini camera users looking for laughs.
The overall effect is to toss Twister into a mix of Paranormal Activity, Blair Witch, Jackass and Thunderbirds filming styles – with plenty of thrilling and genuinely comedic results.
Never saddled with the desire to be anything other than what it is, Into The Storm is a quick blast of fresh air.