When I first saw the trailer for this movie I was more than a little exited, I’m a sucker for the big world ending disaster movies and had been looking forward to seeing this for sometime.
The film unfortunately starts with a drizzle, it takes a good 20-30 minutes until it starts to pick up a breeze, I know a film has to introduce characters and back story but it was all a bit generic… College kid fancies girl of his dreams, annoying older brother and ‘bit of a dick’ father making his life all that much harder. It also spends some time explaining why the camera is shot through the eyes of the storm chasers and there lies my biggest gripe with the film.
‘Point of View’ style… (Yuk). We see this style pop up from time to time (Blair Witch, Cloverfield, Chronicle) It’s just not to my tastes, It pulls me out of the film and I struggle to stay engrossed. There is a scene in the back of the storm chases van where Allison Stone (Played by The Walking Dead’s – Sarah Wayne Callies) is talking about missing her kid and you can see the other camera man behind her also recording the exact same conversation which NEITHER cameramen would ever actually record, why would they? They’re chasing storms not making a reality TV show. For me it just feels like a cheap way to film it and even though that other camera man is meant to be sat behind her my brain says “Wait a minute you can see the cameraman in this shot… Oh yeah it’s the films gimmick” – It pulls me right out of the film experience.
Also the film sticks with the ‘Point of view’ filming almost right the way through until it all goes a little crazy and no one in the right mind would be filming… they’re busy trying to stay alive and rescue people. So to ensure you actually see some of the action it flips to normal filming, wide panning shots of (very impressive) destruction. If the director is so intent on giving us these daft shaky camera shots.. shouldnt it stick with that? If not just film it properly!!
With a tiny budget for a disaster film (estimated around $50,000,000) It does do a great job with the effects, The storms looks powerful and relentless.. as the film progresses they get bigger and bigger and certainly keeps you on the edge of the seat, It doesn’t quite match the bigger blockbuster films for overall quality (I did notice a few ropey effects on my 65″ TV) but I was very impressed with what they achieved considering the budget they had to work with.
I enjoyed the film, Some of the acting is questionable, some scenes are far too predictable and its very hard to care about some of the characters however once the film gets going its hard not to get sucked up by its special effects vortex, It’ll spin you around for a good 90minutes and end just before its outstayed its welcome. If you’re looking for a brainless thrill ride then buckle up and enjoy.