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Rental Corner: “Into the Storm” so bad it’s almost entertaining…and I wish it was

It sucks on so many levels....its not even funny

It sucks on so many levels….its not even funny

“Into the Storm” has the makings of a movie so bad, it’s good. The formula is there. The characters are stock, the science is ludicrous and out there with one or two scenes of over the top action that almost made me consider recommending it just for its stupidity. However, “Storm” has some strikes riding against this factor as it tires to be an emotionally gripping story admits an absurd premise as the biggest storm of the century rips through Oklahoma in the most bizarre way possible.

We are talking about a storm so ridiculous that not one, not two but six funnels can appear at the tip of the hat and tear through a small city. A school is attacked once and left standing so it can be swept away by a tornado the size of Texas which doesn’t make sense seeing the building was able to take so much damage compared to a paper mill that is demolished to nothing but rubble. Even more strange is how two southern hicks can get sucked up into a twister and yet come out alive before the end credits roll. There’s even a moment when a tornado is set on fire thanks to a gasoline spill. The laws of psychics are pushed too much here.

Matt Walsh plays Peter Moore, the leader of a gang of storm-chasers as all the statistics just so happen to point to one small town just as a high school graduation is going on. Most of the time, we see him ride around in an armored “Tornado Intercept Vehicle” that looks like it was taken from the set of a Mad Max sequel. His wish is to somehow get up and close to a tornado just to get footage of the inside of the storm. Never has there been such a self pretentious motivation other than study the massive story or at least see how these giant weather monsters act. Its just get good footage and become famous.

If the movie was about him, I would be fine. But apparently some human drama is mixed in as Richard Armitage is the Vice Principal to a high school and fathering two sons who get trapped in the windy mayhem. Its cliched and unneeded with the mopey dad trying to get over the past while the sons play off of something like a Disney sitcom with the quiet shy brother and the other one who is loud and obnoxious. For the time there were on screen, I could care less for how underdeveloped and poorly written they were. They only exist to add drama and it backfires considering the uneven mix of over the top destruction and melodrama.

But the biggest nail in the coffin is the way this movie was filmed. “Into the Storm” tries to pass itself as a found footage movie with people running around with jittery cameras and security footage added in to show the environment. But its done wrong when we cut to some wide shots in certain points when we know there is nobody in that area to film such an angle. A good example is when one of the sons is in the paper mill trying to film a video and it would cut to a camera from a far distance to show what the place looks like without any indication that it was security footage. Every thing is framed neatly so you can see everything that goes on without implication or ambiguity.

In fact, there is no need for this to be a found footage movie. Its already too polished to be considered a found footage movie as we cut to cameras that have the same clear quality. Nothing about it feels amateurish or even gritty. And don’t even get me started about the “Jackass” wannabes that try to get in on the stormchasing action. While I’m glad they don’t appear as much and they are not in the movie for much long, their scenes can be described as pointless annoying comic relief that doesn’t amount to squat. If “Into the Storm” was just about the self absorbed Peter, I would have considered it at least a decent movie with some promise. But with a film that is trapped between serviceable popcorn entertainment and cliched melodrama, it gets so overstuffed to the point it just plain sucks.