Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tammy

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Even though I didn't like Tammy, I still think Melissa McCarthy is adorable and I still love her.



 

Tammy – 2 out of 5


I like Melissa McCarthy (which I stated in my Disclaimer) but there was something about the trailers for Tammy that really didn’t make me feel like I needed to rush out and see the film.  Now, after watching it, I realized that I made the right choice.

Tammy's robbery or a screen shot from The Asylum's version of The Purge?
He's trying to send her to Hell with his mind, isn't he?
Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) is down on her luck.  She got fired from her job at a fast food joint, her car is wrecked from an accident with a deer, and she comes home to find her husband (Nat Faxon) having a romantic meal with the neighbor (Toni Collette).  Tammy decides to say “eff that noise” and resolves to leave the town behind her.  However, after a visit to her mother’s, Tammy ends up taking her grandmother Pearl (Susan Sarandon) with her and they decide to go and give Niagara Fall’s a gander.  Along the way, Pearl hooks up with a random guy she meets at the bar (Gary Cole), Tammy meets a quiet man named Bobby (Mark Duplass), Tammy ends up destroying a jet ski, parties with a lovely lesbian couple (Kathy Bates and Sandra Oh) for the Fourth of July, she robs a fast food joint to get bail money for her grandma (Pearl gets arrested, by the way), and Pearl and Tammy end up learning a little more about each other.

What a waste...Tom Green would already be humping this thing and half the cast of
Jackass would already have it eaten most of it and started peeing on the rest of it...
Was the dance really for comedic purposes or just
to eat up time?
Tammy has its moments that are amusing but it never gets as funny as other works that Melissa McCarthy has been a part of.  A lot of the humor is just Tammy being stupid or clumsy and McCarthy dancing to the latest Top 40 hit.  I’m not entirely sure why Tammy had to dance, throw up gang symbols, and do The Robot before she went into the hamburger joint to rob them but it really didn’t bring much in the form of comedy…probably because that was the trailer to the film—and so was the ensuing robbery.  Which, actually, is a very small part of the movie and really didn’t have much to play in the story until the end?  And that brings up my next complaint…

"I'll swallow your soul!"
I like Mark Duplass but I can't be the only one who
thinks he looks like Sam Eagle from The Muppets.
Tammy feels like it has no idea what it wants to be or even what it wants to have as its story.  The trailer made the film look like a heist/getaway comedy where Melissa McCarthy robs a wannabe McDonald’s and is on the run with her grandma and that was what I was expecting from the film but the final product is a blended mashup of repetitive comedy and shoehorned drama with no real set direction.  I can get behind a movie about a girl having a terrible day and deciding to flee with her grandma for a road trip comedy but the film feels like it forgets it is about two people trying to get to the Falls and just inserts random sequences of a girl and her grandma.  Meeting Gary Cole and Mark Duplass’ characters, getting arrested, the lesbian Fourth of July, the robbery…all of this feels completely slapped together and none of it really feels connected to the journey to Niagara Falls.  Ultimate the destination and Mark Duplass’ character come into play at the end but while the story is running on its rails, it feels like it has no clue where the path is taking it.

"Yeah, if I could just drink this beer, that'll be great.  Thanks."
I like Melissa McCarthy and find her very funny.  She stole the show in Bridesmaids, had a great scene in This is 40, and was a lot of fun with Sandra Bullock in The Heat.  However, in Tammy as Tammy, McCarthy lacks the charm and timing that she’s proven she can bring.  Matters aren’t helped by the piss-poor material of the script and story—which, sadly, was written by her and her husband; the director of this film, Ben Falcone.  In the past, McCarthy has played the foul-mouth miscreant nicely but this time around she is a swearing, uneducated, and very clumsy buffoon and it just didn’t come off as amusing or natural for her.  McCarthy is naturally endearing for me and there’s a charm about her that I find adorable but Tammy was a character that had little likable about her and it served more as a disservice to have McCarthy portray her.

I like to imagine the screeching of a Pterodactyl is currently coming out of
her mouth.
For some reason, I think only Kathy Bates can pull
off the Easter colored shirt with a fucking skull ring.
The movie didn’t end up a total waste of my time because it does have an occasional amusing moment, Susan Sarandon was very good in it (although she kinda looked like my aunt and that freaked me out a little), Kathy Bates has a great few scenes, and the budding romance between Melissa McCarthy and Mark Duplass was actually one of the best things about the film because it was sweet, tender, and came off less like a typical romcom and more like a legit romance forming in real life.  However, the story is very sloppy, a lot of great actors are wasted on bit parts (like Nat Faxon and Toni Collette), and Dan Aykroyd shows up at the end of the film as Tammy’s dad with no real indication that the character’s father ever really had a part to play in the story or even existed beyond the inescapable truth that a sperm donor in some definition of the word had to exist in order to create Tammy.

Smile or hoping the people around you can't hear you are passing gas?
Writer's Block 404:  Caption Not Found.
Tammy had the potential to be a decent or great comedy thanks to the fact that two very funny people were responsible for it—both McCarthy and her husband Falcone wrote it and Falcone directed it, as well.  However, it was their first film they wrote and created together and the sloppiness of the characters and story show that.  It has a few moments that make it watchable but not enough to make it an average-worthy film or something that is middle-of-the-road.

Hmmm...Lesbian Fourth of July parties seem pretty awesome!

Blended

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Is it normal to cry a little when you are trying to work up the strength to watch an Adam Sandler film?




Blended – 1 out of 5


I will never understand why Adam Sandler’s movies make so much money.  It’s been a long time since I’ve watched anything by him that didn’t make me hate the world and the unforgiving God that would allow such films released onto an innocent populace and the critical response to each and every passing film he releases every year seems to grow worse and worse.  However, he makes bank at the Box Office due to a possible deal he made with a crossroads demon so they keep being made…it’s only a matter of time before the demon comes to collect, though.  Until then, we have to deal with another Sandler film.

I've come to fear this man.
Ha!  Adam Sandler doesn't understand girls so his daughter has
a boy's hair cut and is mistaken for a man.  That's hilarious and
I am, I totes swear, in no way being sarcastic.
Jim (Adam Sandler) had an unsuccessful blind date with Lauren (Drew Barrymore) but fate isn’t ready to close the book on these two yet!  In a premise that can only be found in the world of parody or a really bad 70s sitcom, Lauren and Jim end up taking a prepaid vacation to Africa with their children.  Wacky hijinks ensue as Jim tries to man-up Lauren’s sons and Lauren tries to feminize Jim’s daughters.  And, wouldn’t you know it, their initial animosity towards each other melts away and they soon find themselves falling for one another!  Cue the pop music and dance sequence!
Did you think I was fucking around about the dance sequence?
I’ve been pretty hard on Adam Sandler and his movies as of late.  Stuff like Grown Ups and its sequel, Jack and Jill, That’s My Boy, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry I just found to be awful and very hard to digest (I’m not even sure they can actually even fit the definition of comedy).  However, there was a time I found the guy very funny.  His days on SNL were great and I love such films as Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore.  I really like The Wedding Singer and Big Daddy has its moments that made it alright.  Little Nicky is probably the start of his downfall from comedy but it was decent.  I also really enjoyed him in the animated Hotel Transylvania and he was great in the drama Reign Over Me.  However, it seems that he just no longer cares and is out to pump the world full of poorly thought out and generic comedies…

Yes, we remember Big Daddy, too, Blended.
But maybe…

This scene was integral to the story and is, in no way, a lame joke.
A part of me thinks this is one elaborate plan from Adam Sandler and he is making all the people who pay the money that blows up the Box Office with his stinker films look like fools.  I’ve never met another human being who said, “Yes, Grown Ups was hilarious and I will gladly pay to see the awkward sequel filled with what looks like deleted scenes clumsily edited together into a film” but they are out there and I now truly, honestly believe Adam Sandler is making fun of them by producing, starring, and releasing ever increasingly shitty films.  Meanwhile, he’s laughing all the way to the bank because people are paying money to watch him half-ass a comedy.  Or, he just doesn’t honestly give a fuck and is making crappy films for no reason whatsoever other than there is a mysterious market for them.

Ha!  She drank a cup of French onion soup because the buffalo shrimp was too
spicy!  That's comedy and I am in no way being sarcastic a second time.
Ha!  They both drive the same white mini-van.  It has
to be love now!  Still not sarcasm.
Compared to the last few films Sandler has been in, Blended isn’t really that bad—that’s not me saying it’s good, that’s just me saying it’s a little easier to watch than Jack and Jill or a Grown Ups film.  The film is still painfully unfunny and almost every scene ends with a hack punchline but at least Sandler isn’t in a wig being a woman and doing a stupid voice.  Additionally, the film is basically a collection of repeat gags done the entire running length of the film.  Callbacks are not necessarily a bad thing but the gags are barely funny to begin with so the repeats do little to improve the laugh count.  Finally, the film suffers greatly from an overly weak premise.  In all honesty, the film felt like a failed pilot to a remake of The Brady Bunch with the only real distinction being they decided to eliminate one of the Brady boys.  I'm assuming this would be explained by a Hunger Games-esque battle between the children.

Rob Moran was granted an escape from his appearances in Farrelly Brothers movies
to have a small part in this film with his Steve Buscemi/Christopher Walken hybrid friend.
One thing that surprised me about Blended was the fact that Adam Sandler was actually kinda easy to deal with.  He was very subdued and wasn’t trying to act like a doofus in an effort for a desperate laugh…that honor actually went to Drew Barrymore.  Barrymore was unbelievably unbearable in Blended and looked like she had no idea what she was doing.  Her over-the-top mannerisms, inability to even make laughing look natural, and the odd eye and head movements she did made me wonder if Barrymore wasn’t abducted by aliens before she went to set and one of the beings from beyond the moon put on a Barrymore suit and tried their hand at imitating a human actress.  Her performance was so cheesy and groan-inducing that I wondered why the director said, “Good.  That take is a keeper.”

"Laugh Laugh Laugh.  I am laughing and I'm not forgetting how humans
behave!"
Even more surprising in this film was the fact there were a few (granted, two or three) moments that I actually laughed.  Sure, they weren’t hearty gut laughs and were barely chuckles but even the slightest sounds of “Ha Ha’s” coming from my lips during an Adam Sandler film are almost miraculous.  Remember those callback gags I mentioned?  Yeah, some of them weres kinda funny but one had me every time it came up.  Terry Crews has a small part in the film where he plays a singer that works at the resort and will occasionally show up with a group of backup singers to provide a musical punchline to certain scenes.  Crews and his natural goofiness shines through and actually brought a lighter moment to a film that is drowning in mediocre comedy.

Crews...often way too good for the project he is in.
Even with the scenes that made me giggle with Crews, Blended is still a pretty abysmal film.  I mentioned how bad Barrymore is but she isn’t helped by the kid performers who all come off as either unconvincing or unable to find what exactly is funny in a scene, Kevin Nealon pretty much reprises his role from Happy Gilmore but somehow making it less memorable and more annoying, and Shaquille O’Neal is around and being completely needless in a few scenes that could have easily been left on the cutting room floor.

I dunno...maybe losing Shaq and adding more Crews might have saved the film.
As far as Adam Sandler movies go, Blended isn’t as bad as it could have been.  The premise is pretty stupid but it’s not That’s My Boy-stupid.  The acting is horrible but it didn’t look like all those scenes in Grown Ups where a cast of real life friends can’t even make their friendship look authentic, and the comedy is pretty bland—but it has a couple of amusing moments.  The reality is this film could have been a lot worse.  It’s still wasn’t watchable or even remotely entertaining for me but at least it isn’t a Jack and Jill sequel.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Horns

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! At no point do I make a "horny" joke in this review.  I deserve a fucking medal!





Horns – 3 out of 5



We all have a little evil in us.  Even the best of us—the ones who feed the homeless, rescue stray cats, and go out of their way to pick up stray LEGO bits from your carpet so you don’t step on them while venturing blindly in the dark and half-drunk from sleepiness—even those people are capable of having some darkness around them or forced upon them.  For example, the food they fed the homeless was probably those cats and, not to mention, they clearly broke into your house in order to pick up those LEGOS.  However, what if the evil inside you is supernaturally granted to you so you can solve the murder of your girlfriend?  Imagine how many cats you could kill and feed people then!

Of course, Daniel Radcliffe could never be evil...he's too adorable.
The horns took away his powers to get super drunk
and turn his floor into a ceiling.
Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) had the greatest gal in the world.  He thought he was going to be with Merrin (Juno Temple) the rest of his life but she had other plans.  One night, when Ig was going to propose, Merrin mysteriously breaks up with him and, after they part ways in a storm of shouting and hurt feelings, Merrin is found raped and murdered.  Not surprisingly, Ig is blamed for the crime.  Desperate to clear his name and regain some sort of civil standing in the community, Ig wakes up one morning to discover horns have unexpectedly grown on his temples.  Ig suddenly finds that he can bend people to his will be giving them permission to enact their darkest desires and he quickly decides to use this new found power to locate the real killer.  Soon, as the pieces start to unravel and the yarn begins to fit together, Ig learns that his powers are growing and he can now use them to not only find out the truth but makes those who have wronged him or even flat-out falsely accuse him pay for their transgressions.  However, no amount of supernatural abilities or stylish horns can prepare Ig for the truth and who really killed the woman he cared so deeply for…

Turns out she was just murdered for her hair by wig poachers...which is a
thing I made up and applied to the film.
For the most part, Horns is a decent film.  The acting is really good, the story is interesting, and the few instances of special effects are really well done.  However, there is a single problem that harms this movie and keeps it from being something more than just an average experience.

"Average?  With these perfect eyebrows?"
"I turned my head and cough almost five minutes ago, Doc."
The trailer for Horns made the film look like a dark comedy and the final product was that…but it was also a heavy drama, a horror film, and a supernatural crime thriller.  The overall tone and vibe of the movie changes with literally every scene.  One second Ig is using his powers of suggestion to get a horde of reporters fighting in order to get an exclusive with him or accidentally convincing an old man to pull his pants down in order to show everyone his penis and then the next minute Ig is weeping over the lost of his girlfriend or his overall feeling of isolation and frustrations over the battle he fights for innocence.  During this you laugh and then find yourself crying with him.  Then, after that, the film will take on a horror feel as Ig takes his revenge on someone who wronged him in the investigation and then, the next minute, he’s using his powers to get to the bottom of the crime.  Having a film jump genres is all well and good but the film lacks balance and is constantly shifting tones.  It makes the film feel jumbled and chaotic.  Strange when you consider that this was directed by Alexandre Aja…who directed Piranha 3D.  He kinda nailed the comedy and horror mixing with that one, in my opinion.

He takes the word of the Lord very seriously.
"Ha ha, we're friends and having fun.  What were we
talking about?  Oh yeah...the death of my girlfriend."
The lack of a cohesive tone is really the only drawback the film has.  While it is a big drawback and ends up making the film just okay, everything else about the film is still really good.  The story is definitely an interesting one and the acting in the film is very choice.  There isn’t a single cast member that isn’t pulling their weight or slacking.  Whether it be the drug addicted brother of Ig played by Joe Anderson, Ig’s tormented parents by James Remar and Kathleen Quinlan, the waitress who claims Ig is the killer played by Heather Graham, the grieving father of Merrin played by David Morse, or the man who is taking upon himself to try and clear Ig’s name through the legal system played by Max Minghella.  Everyone really does their roles quite well.

Oh, she works at a dinner called "Eve's" and it has an apple for a symbol...
very subtle.
The highlight of the cast, however, was the lead actor Daniel Radcliffe.  Radcliffe will always be Harry Potter to me.  Try as I might, I have a hard time seeing him as anything but.  That’s no knock on his acting because he’s come a long way since his days at Hogwarts.  That being said…I still only see him as the bespectacled wizard.  It’s hard not to because once an actor gets put in a role that ends up becoming a piece of pop culture, it’s almost impossible to see them as anything but that role.  And when that role is played ridiculously well, it becomes even that much harder to separate the character from the actor.  Peter Weller will always be RoboCop, Harrison Ford is always going to be Indiana Jones and Han Solo, Christopher Reeves will always be Superman, and Nicholas Cage will always be Not The Bees! guy.  That being said, Radcliffe was incredible as Ig.  He was able to ride the constantly shifting tones and be whatever the scene needed him to be.  He was wickedly funny at times, sympathetic and touching at other times, and was all-around captivating as the hell possessed justice seeker.

Ice Cube saw this and immediately asked, "There snakes out there dat big?"
Horns probably could have been far more entertaining if the movie kept a balance between the constantly shifting tones it possessed but, as it is, the film is entertaining.  It never gets boring and is capable of being amusing, touching, and engaging.  Additionally, Daniel Radcliffe is quite impressive to watch and helps keep the film from becoming mundane or muddled from its lack of tonal balance.

Brick Mansions

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I wonder if there is a prequel called Log Cabins?






Brick Mansions – 3 out of 5


I wanted to start this review talking a little bit about Paul Walker.  I’m not going to blow smoke and say I was a huge fan of the man.  I wasn’t.  He wasn’t a phenomenal actor but he was a part of a franchise that is a big guilty pleasure of mine; The Fast and the Furious.  He was a pretty boy who was passable at best with most of his performances.  However, it was a tragedy when he passed.  Aside from being a normal part of existing, death is still a tragedy and the guy was young and had so many more Fast and Furious films for me to have fun with.  Sure, some people don’t like those films and didn’t like his acting but celebrating his death would just be weird and the antics of an asshole in every sense of the word.  As the F&F franchise grew, Walker started to grow on me and I saw him becoming more than a pretty boy dude and see he was starting to head somewhere with his acting skills.  Sadly, fate had other plans and we can’t see where he could have gone to.  So, now that I started this review on a bummer note, let’s get to the synopsis.
We'll miss those beautiful blue eyes...
The title of the film is behind the Mayor...clearly that's
an Easter Egg.
A few years from now Detroit will be such a shithole (well, in fairness, it is now) that the project housing there is walled up and the riffraff is left to fend for themselves.  Inside the walled locale, a resident named Lino (David Belle) is desperately trying to live a normal life and clean up his neighborhood but after the local crime lord, Tremaine Alexander (RZA), kidnaps his ex-girlfriend, he finds himself teaming up with a very dedicated cop named Damien Collier (Paul Walker).  Things only go from bad to worse when Lino finds out that Collier was sent in to stop Tremaine from setting off a bomb he got his hands on.  Now it’s time for them to parkour the shit out this situation and stop the bomb, stop Tremaine, and save Lino’s ex.
Did the police force pay for Collier to take parkour lessons?
That fireball took a very specific route...and I'm sure
his ankles will be fine when he lands.
Brick Mansions is a remake of a French film called District B13 that David Belle played the same role in.  Full disclosure:  I’ve never seen the film or even heard of District B13 until I watched this film and I am disappointed that I wasn't able to loudly proclaim to hate remakes when this film was hitting theaters (or do we only do that when we remake popular American films?).  That being said, I actually wanna see the original now.
I'm pretty sure that wall is real in Detroit.
Walker, seen here doing his impression of his favorite
scene from Terminator 2.
Mansions isn’t the best action film to be produced but it was still plenty entertaining.  The story is solid (although, a little silly and 90’s-ish with the bomb thing) and it works for what it is.  The action is satisfying and offers up some cool parkour shenanigans (even though my fatass could never be able to do it, I think parkour is pretty neat—and yes, I said “neat”).  Finally, the acting is pretty good and it might be one of Paul Walker’s strongest performances.  However, there are some bad points…
So...does doing parkour mean you just leap and pray for the best?

The only real complaint I have (HA!  I fooled you, I made the last paragraph sound like there were numerous bad things but there was only one thing I didn’t like) is the fact I have a very hard time taking RZA seriously as an actor.  He’s not the most convincing and most of his delivery is as sleepy as his appearance. 

 
RZA looks like he's never slept a day in his life.
Wait...Lino's girlfriend knows parkour-fu?  Did she really need saving?
Additionally, and I’m not saying this to be mean, the fact his voice has the same speech patterns of a two year old doesn’t help.
  His L’s come out like W’s and he ends up sounding wike he is just a widdle guy.  It’s hard to take him seriously as a crime lord when he sounds like he is on the verge of saying, “I wuv you this much” and requesting ice cream around the next bend.  However, as his character develops and he moves farther away from being a supposed tough drug boss, he is a little more bearable than I’ve seen him in other films.

I can't hate on him completely because that golden gun is pretty cool.
I'm not so sure we needed to see a shirtless Kurgan.
Brick Mansions didn’t wow me or send me falling to the floor begging for the pain to end—instead, it was an enjoyable action film that may not be the greatest example of its genre but was enough to not get boring and be very satisfying.  Sure, RZA still isn’t a very good actor but his time being distracting is limited.  Additionally, Walker gives off a great performance as Damien Collier and his partnership with David Belle is definitely a fun one that keeps the movie just lighthearted enough where it won’t take itself too seriously.  This was Walker’s final finished film he worked on before he passed and he did it quite well.  Not a bad exit.

And the movie ends happily ever after...with Lino teaching kids to parkour.

Into the Storm

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! The prequel will be called Intro the Storm.





Into the Storm – 3 out of 5


Natural disaster films are pretty damn silly.  It’s hard to not laugh at the ridiculousness of films like 2012 or anything really made by Roland Emmerich.  However, with all the implausible weather and “natural” occurrences (even with Climate Change, The Day After Tomorrow is still pretty ridiculous with its science…and don’t get me started on The Core), the films are kinda fun and I would push over an entire horde of old ladies to play someone in those films—preferably someone who dies a ridiculous death.

Richard Armitage is giving the "what do you think, audience?" look.
Imagine all the porn you could watch with those screens...
Silverton, Oklahoma is just a normal town with normal things going on normally.  However, the residents are unaware that Mother Nature has decided to say, “Fuck this area in particular” and unleash a devastating storm that will contain the worst, largest, and probably least sexy tornado in all of existence.  During the calm before the storm, high school Vice Principal Gary Fuller (Richard Armitage) is trying to get his unruly sons organized for the upcoming graduation.  He’s charged his boys Trey (Nathan Kress) and Donnie (Max Deacon) with recording the ceremony and making a video time capsule for the school (and there you have the “found footage” aspect explained).  Meanwhile, a storm hunting team (more "found footage" explanation), led by a driven veteran of storm chasin’ (Matt Walsh), stumble upon Silverton thanks to their expert Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies).  They soon find themselves mixed up with helping the citizens of the town instead of researching the storm and it becomes a fight for survival against the homicidal wrath of Mother Nature and her rage ‘nadoes!

Optimus!  Hurry, get out of the way!
No, Optimus!  NOOOOO!!!!
Into the Storm isn’t the most memorable natural disaster film I’ve seen.  There’s no real praise worthy sequences that stick with you after the credits hit—well, beyond the teaser trailer that showed the mega-tornado picking up the 747’s and setting them free—and the characters really aren’t very deep.  However, the movie is kinda fun because, at the end of it all, it’s shit getting fucked up by weather. 
Hmmm...tornadoes have tails.
That one plane looks like he's having fun.
The “found footage” element in the film feels, often, forced and didn’t really help the film out in any way.  In fact, it often took me out of the action because you are passively watching the weather endanger the lives of the characters and aren’t in there experiencing the actors’ reactions like you are in other films.  It ended up creating a massive disconnect with the characters and the drama and that really hurts the film because you already have characters that barely have much depth to them to begin with.  It also provided an extremely lazy way of introducing the characters by simply showing them and having their name and occupation underneath.  It gave the film a slight mockumentary feel and that was something I could have got behind but this element is only utilized in the beginning and end and was almost entirely absent the rest of the time.  Add this to the times when the film abandons its “found footage” element here and there and you have a movie that feels like it really doesn’t know how it wants to present itself.
Here we go again...another movie reinforcing the stereotype that tornadoes
are aggressive.
"One piece of data I've collected is that the pressure
created from tornadoes causes spontaneous bowel
emptying."
The acting in the film isn’t really terrible but when the film is pretty much Richard Armitage (who is unrecognizable to me without his Thorin Oakenshield beard and attire) yelling that he wants to protect his sons, Nathan Kress from iCarly just sort of being in the background and seen holding a camcorder occasionally, Lori Grimes from The Walking Dead rarely mentioning how she has a daughter and hates being away from her before going back to spouting off weather-y stuff, Matt Walsh being super dedicated to recording the fuck out of shark-less tornadoes, and Max Deacon doing very little as Donnie and being backed up even harder with doing nothing by Alycia Debnam Carey as the love interest of him, acting really wasn’t something you look for in this film. 
This.  This is what you are looking for.

Awww.  That one plane is photobombing the other.
All you really need is some minor defining characteristics and names and then you let them run around in the rain and wind.  Sure, Twister did a dynamite job at making the characters endearing and interesting but this film was fluff from the get-go.  Drama, tension, character development…you knew that shit was going to be accidental if it appeared at all and, for what it is, these characters work and the actors do their jobs as well as they need to be.  There’s no real bad acting going on…even from the terrible comic relief that was completely unnecessary for the film.
His ridiculous hair will protect him from the imminent flying debris.
When I sit down to watch a film like Into the Storm, I’m not expecting Citizen Kane or some masterpiece dealing with character-based drama.  I’m expecting disaster porn.  I’m expecting buildings getting torn apart, trees uprooted and tossed like the gods are on a bender, explosion after explosion with all their bright fireball-y glory and people running for their goddamn lives!  If the film is done right in these departments, I don’t give a shit if the characters are cardboard cutouts and one-dimensional.  However, it’s still possible for these characters to ruin a film.  The characters of Donk and Reevis are these characters…their names pretty much tell you all you need to know about them.
And that's pretty much how you would picture them, too.
Donk (Kyle Davis) and Reevis (Jon Reep) are two characters that are shoehorned into the film and do nothing but try to be comic relief…but, in reality, are bumps in the gratuitous action and are reminding us that life is fleeting and happiness will eventually end.  Donk and Reevis are two rednecks that desperately want to be internet famous and they use stupid stunts to try and up their YouTube hit count (because aside from cats and needless aggression towards completely insignificant things, residents of the internet love seeing people getting hurt in many different ways).  These two men, who almost definitely have a “Git-r-Done” shirts and testicles hanging from their trucks, see the tornado as an opportunity to get really crazy and they decide to film Donk standing in front of it. 
If anyone sees that and says, "I wanna get filmed standing in front of that,"
I say go ahead.  You won't be missed.
There is only one sequence where these two have an impact on the plot but, for the rest of the time, they are just randomly inserted into the running length and fail miserably at being amusing.  In fact, they are just uncomfortable and annoying.  The film would have probably scored an entire point higher if these two were not included.  You hear that, production?  A movie review blog run by a nobody will give you a better review if you got rid of Donk and Reevis.  I await your Director’s Cut that fulfills my wishes…
That's a terrible rap album cover.
Into the Storm is a poor man’s Twister that lacks the interesting and lovable characters but still has the implausible weather patterns and even goes a step further by having some truly remarkable special effects.  The chances of me giving this one a repeat viewing are slim but, aside from Donk and Reevis, the film is pretty entertaining and a decent flick to veg out to if you’re looking for something that is far, far away from being complicated.
"Well, we survived and I'm still stuck with kids who look like they are trying to make
a junior version of Donald Trump's hair.  Thanks, tornado."