Movie Reviews

Movie Review – Storm Chasers: Revenge of the Twister – Kelly McGillis Has Sunk to Roles Like This?

Written by Jeffrey Wynne
Directed by Mark Sobel

I think I ended up with this movie by mistake when I was looking for some documentaries about my favorite subjects: the weather and natural disasters. Thinking this actually had something to do with that subject on a credible level, I added it to my queue. Just goes to show you should pay more attention to those little descriptive blurbs.

Kelly McGillis is Jamie Marshall. She’s a storm chaser along with her husband, Jim. He’s up in a plane during a particularly bad storm when his plane is struck by lightning and he’s killed.

When a tornado touches down in Colorado, she’s asked to come to look at the scene and investigate the storm. There she meets Will Stanton (portrayed by Wolf Larson), a FEMA field coordinator, trying to help the town and residents displaced by the storm. The two don’t quite hit it off at first, so you can pretty much guarantee where their story is going. They are forced to work together as Jamie investigates the path of the storm.

Without a decent, quiet room to be had in the town, Jamie decides to camp out. While camping with her instruments, she gets some unusual readings as another storm seems to brew. She soon discovers a restricted site run by the Energy Department. When she tries to get closer to see what’s there, she is chased down.

The script is pretty predictable, although there are a few surprises. Just when it looks like Jamie has figured out the cause of the storm, it takes a twist. The relationship between her and Will is completely, one-hundred percent predictable. There are no surprises there at all.

The problem is that despite the name Storm Chasers is little more than a romance set against the backdrop of a natural disaster. It’s Speed. It’s Twister. It’s every movie that’s had a romance blossom in the middle of some disaster. The only difference is they do it better.

Kelly McGillis is fine in her role. She’s convincing and does the best with what she’s got. I question her choice of roles, that’s all. I’d never seen Wolf Larson before but he is fine in the role as the hunk who woos the chick with a huge chip on her shoulder. He also deals with some other scenarios involving another woman and pulls it off with some conviction, although at times it seemed to me that he realized how much all of this relationship back-and-forth was detracting from the central plot. The supporting cast is fine as well. Names such as Liz Torres, Adrian Zmed, and James MacArthur are the ones some might recognize.

The effects aren’t all that great and make it quite obvious this is a low-budget film. Scenes of the “storms” building in are quite obviously CGI. It looks more fake than most of the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. That’s when it became obvious that the whole relationship sidebar had likely been expanded to make up for a lack of a budget for special effects. What the heck, you have the actors there already, add a little bit here and there and you can slash the scenes where special effects are needed.

Storm Chasers is a movie no one needs to see. Although the actors do the best they can with the material they’re given, the writing is just too horrid. It strays from the title subject way too much to have any credibility as a disaster film, and the romance is terribly predictable. There’s no point in viewing it.