Film: INTO THE STORM
Cast: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Nathan Kress, Jon Reep, Lee Whittaker, Arlen Escarpeta, Max Deacon, Jeremy Sumpter
Director: Steven Quale
The destructive spectacle of nature cinematized in the film under review makes us aware of our helplessness. As the Bard said so aptly in The Tempest, “we are such stuff as dreams are made of and our little life / Is rounded with a sleep.”
Mostly, we cannot choose how and when, but the eternal “sleep” of victims of the titular tempest is wrought by the most horrific violence. At least, nature is objective and makes no distinctions, no distinctions at all. When wind and rain and hail burst forth from dark and cloudy skies to wreak havoc on the good earth, everyone one suffers.
And when the only salvation lies in flight, as some of the secondary characters in this film know, others, doltish ones at that, manage to survive. Perhaps I’m being judgemental but what can you say about thrill-seekers who seek to embrace the storm? I say to myself: Never underestimate the power of stupid people to survive.
Pete (Matt Walsh) though is far from vacuous. He’s a professional documentary film maker with a small group of storm chasers under his wing tracking the tornadoes threatening the region and the little town of Silverton in particular. When a member of the group wants out, Pete sweet-talks him into staying on. Pete longs to be inside the vortex, in the eye of the storm. To document it for posterity. Is he being brave or fool-hardy? Let me leave it to you, gentle reader to decide.
You might like to know that the deadly quartet of twisters that plough through the film were inspired by a real chain of hurricanes that ravaged parts of the United States. One of Pete’s assistants, a meteorologist named Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies, The Walking Dead and Prison Break) Stone makes a reference to Hurricane Katrina.
Intriguingly, when the superstorm strikes its destructive path, there are no outpourings of prayers, not even when the group led by widowed schoolteacher (Richard Armitage) takes shelter inside a church. True, everywhere, everyone tries to help, but the only story of remarkable courage is that of the self-serving Pete. In the end, though, it is not the (sadly one-dimensional) characters who stay with you but the spectacular special effects in sequences of grim devastation. Be afraid. Be very afraid. And pray.