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INTO THE STORM

SYNOPSIS:
Storm trackers, thrill-seekers, and everyday townspeople document an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes touching down in the town of Silverton, USA.

Review by Louise Keller:
Engulfed in a plethora of terrifying special effects, it's like being caught in the middle of a twister; the point of difference is that all the characters have hand-held cameras through which much of the action is seen. Audiences have long embraced disaster movies - from earthquakes to volcanoes, floods, tsunamis, tornadoes, avalanches - and that's just the climate-related ones. Perhaps it's the adrenalin rush or the courage of the characters that inspire us - or on a more basic level, it could just be the explosion of visual effects that play with our minds as millions of studio dollars are strewn across the screen. In any event, audiences know what they are getting and Steven Quale's film delivers as expected, providing a sense of immediacy and urgency as a group of storm chasers, daredevils and students are thrown together in terrifying circumstances.

The main story strand involves Silverton High's vice principal Gary (Richard Armitage) a single father and his two teenage sons Donnie (Max Deacon) and Trey (Nathan Kress). There are father son issues and Donnie, who is shooting a video time capsule, has a king size crush on Kaitlyn (Alycia Debnam Carey), a pretty girl who has never noticed him - until now. Also key is the team of professional storm chasers, who follow the weather charts from within a purpose built tank, obsessed to get the best, exclusive footage. Weather expert Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies), a single mother who can't wait to get home to her five year old daughter, is one of them. Then there are the daredevil stuntmen who want to get close - for the thrill of it. It is in the company of these characters that we spend the next 89 minutes.

Roads are shredded, roofs blown away, trees uprooted, buildings collapse, trucks and buses fly into the air like torn up paper. At one point planes soar into the air - and they aren't relying on the engine! All the while, the sound scape growls and rumbles as rain and hail fall, lightening flashes and twisters dance provocatively across the sky. The music score pounds relentlessly. The special effects are excellent as we bunker down with the characters, getting involved in their personal stories and plights. The tension is well paced and there are some scary moments as the crescendo of the storm escalates and lives hang in the balance. John Swetnam's screenplay is well paced, the cast does a good job in the context and Quale keeps everything together through the armchair chaos and destruction.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

INTO THE STORM (M)
(US, 2014)

CAST: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh, Max Deacon, Nathan Kress

PRODUCER: Todd Garner

DIRECTOR: Steven Quale

SCRIPT: John Swetnam

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Brian Pearson

EDITOR: Eric A. Sears

MUSIC: Brian Tytler

PRODUCTION DESIGN: David Sandefur

RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 4, 2014







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