A film is about mainly two groups of people. A family who are having problems, not only because one of the son’s not getting over his mothers death, but also because of tension between him and his father. The other group is a team of storm chasers who haven’t got a decent shot of a tornado thus far in the season. There is also a pair of daredevils who are little more than the comedy element. When the town they are all in get hits by numerous tornados, the groups converge on each other, and have to work together to survive.
The film is told from a first person narrative, using numerous hand held cameras. The son of the family is in the AV club and his father has asked him to make a time capsule for the leaving class, and of course the storm chasers have numerous cameras. The reason being for the first person narrative is that it makes the film closer to real time, and adds to the tension in the film. It brings an element of suspense to the film and ups the danger.
With the groups of people, it is obvious that they are different. Some of them are just trying to get through the day, some of them are desperately wanting to chase the storm, and it’s interesting to see how different people react to not only the storm, but the danger they are put into because of it. Some of them shy away, whilst some of them step up. It’s also interesting to see how the people react to each other, and how they just seem to trust each other, which is only something that people in a crisis can know.
But at the end of the day, the film does little to change the genre of the disaster film. The characters are under developed to say the least. They are little more than 2D character, whose arc’s are obvious. There is very little different from other first person narrative films (in fact some shots seem to be homages to other first person films.) There is little point to having the daredevils, and serve little more than broad comedy from the stereotypes of them being dumb rednecks. The characters are so bland that you actually start to root for the tornados. The CGI on the tornados is decent enough but again, nothing which hasn’t been seen before.
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Warner Bros Pictures
22th August 2014
Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Arlen Escarpeta