INTO THE STORM: A Completely Unbiased and Spoiler-Free Review.
by Abby for RichardArmitageNet.com
Is it possible for a fangirl to write a fair and balanced review of a movie starring her favorite actor? I’ll say it upfront: I’d gladly pay money to watch Richard Armitage read the phone book aloud for two hours, preferably in a Yorkshire accent. That being said, I pledge to do my best to set aside all Fangirl Bias in this 100% spoiler-free review of “Into the Storm.”
“Into the Storm” tells the story of a single day in an Oklahoma town where massive tornadoes wreak havoc and destruction upon the inhabitants. It’s a wild roller coaster ride with several storylines - a dad searching desperately for his son, a motley crew of professional storm-chasers, and a couple of goofball rednecks with wannabe-stuntman YouTube aspirations.
There’s a found-footage flavor to “Into the Storm” (think “Blair Witch Project,”) and mercifully it’s a light touch. Sarah Wayne Callies (“Walking Dead,” “Prison Break”) is believable, energetic, even bordering-on-sassy in her role as a storm-chasing climatologist. Richard Armitage (“The Hobbit”) is stoic as an unlikely-hero high school assistant principal who’s struggling to connect with his teenage sons, played by newcomer Max Deacon and “iCarly’s” Nathan Kress.
“Is that, is it a....FLYING COW?”
Attention parents of teenagers: “Into the Storm” is a great, fun movie to go see together and then discuss afterwards. If you get my drift.
“Tawk amongst yourselves...I’ll give you a topic.”
Standouts in the cast include Deacon, who NAILED the American accent (I wouldn’t have believed this guy is British if I hadn’t spoken with him on the red carpet moments before seeing the film.) Deacon is riveting onscreen: he gives a tender, nuanced performance in what could easily have been a clichéd role. I also enjoyed Matt Walsh’s (“Veep”) performance tremendously; his character, obsessively chasing storms in a tricked-out Pontiac Aztek, has what is arguably the movie’s most interesting arc. Kress shines brightest in his comedic moments - he made me laugh out loud several times.
In fact, overall, this movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that’s a very good thing. Is there suspension of disbelief? Heck yes - it’s a popcorn movie! These tornadoes will blow you away (sorry) and the FIRE-TORNADO was so freakin’ awesome, I can’t even.
The special effects are mind-blowing. At no moment does it scream “CGI,” probably because director Steven Quale used a lot of old-fashioned “real” effects (wind, rain, debris), only bringing in the CGI big guns when he absolutely has to. Together with brilliant sound effects and sound editing, the whole spectacle makes for quite a thrill ride: at times, I really felt like I was there, immersed in the tornado. See it in a theater with Dolby Atmos if you can, and get ready to peel your jaw up off the floor.
I will reiterate: “Into the Storm” doesn’t take itself too seriously. Why should it? When I go to see a summer popcorn movie, I don’t expect Strindberg - just entertain me. And oh how it does. “Into the Storm” delivers pure adrenaline entertainment.
“Into the Storm” opens Friday 8th August in the US and Wednesday 20th August in the UK, from Warner Brothers.
Abby is a Connecticut-based mom, wife, and fangirl. Follow her on twitter @AwkwardCeleb.