First Hit: Exciting visuals, uninteresting story and the plot, although predictable, was weak.
Pete (Matt Walsh) is a premier tornado hunter. His job is to move his armored truck into position, the tornado’s path, and film the experience including what is in the eye.
His team, including scientific tornado finder Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies), has had a series of bad luck calls and they’ve just missed getting their job done. The pressure is on. Gary (Richard Armitage) is a widowed father and high school Vice Principal. His boys Donny and Trey (Max Deacon and Nathan Kress respectively) are struggling with his parenting skills and style but have taken to his suggestion that they video their lives. They all get caught up in the largest tornado in history which descends on their town of Silverton.
For some comic relief and to give a different slice of life, the film includes two guys who do stupid things and survive all the havoc. I did think the visuals were done really well but I didn't care about the characters. It seemed to be the film was derived because there was great technology available to the producers and storms would be fun to do so; “let’s create some sort of story that includes young people and parents realizing they need to care more about their kids while fighting a common problem."
Walsh is mediocre as the man who needs to get a tornado on film to justify the expense of building his tank like tornado filming truck. Callies’ character was uninspired and not interesting. She feigned to be a weather and climate scientist but nothing about what she said was anything you don’t hear from a weather person on network TV. Armitage appeared to be really be trying to be engaged with his character and film, but that was the problem, you could see his acting. Deacon and Kress were the best parts of the film in their own way. As brothers there was the tension and love which always lives between brothers. John Swetnam wrote the script which had its failings from being interesting. Steven Quale used visuals very well. I loved seeing the funnels starting, stopping and finally coming into fruition. I felt the sense of power of a tornado, having been through one in Oklahoma many years ago. It is tense and powerful and over in a heartbeat.
Overall: Outside of the visuals I just didn’t get interested in the characters or story. I just wanted to see the tornadoes.