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Eye on Film: Into the Storm

There’s something about disaster movies that Americans love.

There’s something about disaster movies that Americans love.  Especially when the disasters are realistic like freak weather patterns.  From A Towering Inferno, to Dante’s Peak and Twister, some love to observe natural disaster spectacles and wonder aloud about how effective they would be in similar circumstances.  With the Steven Quale directed film Into the Storm, the classic natural disaster trope is updated to include what could conceivably happen in the Midwest’s infamous Tornado Alley.

Starring Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh and directed by Steven Quale, Into the Storm centers on a group of storm chasers with little luck locating a storm. That is, until they stumble across a meteorological freak of nature in a small Oklahoma town. What occurs next is a test of human endurance and survivability coupled with those who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of a group of strangers. 

Sound familiar?

It’s the standard plot arc for just about every natural disaster film that has come along in America over the past 20 years.  But let’s start with the positive. 


The special effects were simply amazing as the Dolby Surround Sound standard in most American movie theaters reverberated through the speakers and the walls. They seemed to heave and shake as the super-realistic looking funnel clouds rotated up on the silver screen.  The manner in which the debris was tossed to and fro was a delight to behold. Richard Armitage, who plays Gary, was outstanding. Sarah Wayne Callies’ was believable as a meteorologist.


The problem?

The cliché and predictable storyline. Within a half-hour of the film you know who’s going to live and who’s going to die. While the same cookie cutter, human’s band together message exists as it does in movies like Twister, The Day After Tomorrow and dozens of other natural disaster films. We appreciate that Steven Quale tried to create a film that showed human resiliency at its best.  But the clichéd tropes were just too much to stomach for the film’s 90 minute run.

Too predictable and familiar, The Shadow League gives Into the Storm a C-.


 

 

 

 

Ricardo A Hazell has served as Senior Contributor with The Shadow League since coming to the company in 2013. His byline has appeared in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the South China Sea Post, the Root and many other publications. At TSL he is charged with exploring re black cultural angles of where they intersect with the mainstream.