johnlink ranks TWISTER (1996)

Some films surprise me when I learn they are 15 years old. Not TWISTER. TWISTER felt 15 years old by 2002. But with all the news about tornadoes in the weather lately, it had been on our minds, so we popped it in. Of course, I’ll watch anything with Cary Elwes, so I didn’t need much of an excuse.

I watched TWISTER (1996) on 6.5.11. It was my fourth or fifth viewing of the film, but the first time I’ve seen it this century. TRAILER HERE

After seeing the very real¬†devastation in the mid-west and closer to home in Massachusetts, watching TWISTER is almost too hard to do. Not because of any moral¬†responsibility, or because it evokes flashbacks to those things, but because it is all just way too absurd. This movie wants to have it both ways. They want to convince you that tornadoes are unpredictable and dangerous. Yet this is followed by people looking at the sky and saying ‘it’s about to turn left’ and then driving to within thirty feet of it and suffering only blown hair. They undercut their own sense of danger.

The movie still works on an entertaining level because they work hard to build characters we like. Philip Seymour Hoffman is great in an early role as the typical 90s scruffy grunge dude. Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton create some light chemistry which we pull for, and Cary Elwes plays a great, slimy pseudo-villain (though the fact that a movie about tornadoes needs a human villain is all you need to know).

The climax is just absurd. Just. Absurd. Those people would be dead in seconds, or at least violently gashed by all the flying debris. The fact that they come out unscathed is insulting to film viewers.

I never thought this was a great movie, but this last viewing made me realize how mediocre it is. It could have been a lot better, but instead it is just average. The special effects aren’t particularly good or bad, and the same goes for the movie in general. It will probably be another decade before I visit this again.

SCORES

FILM: 4; MOVIE: 6; ACTING: 5; WRITING: 4

4+6+5+4+0=19

FINAL SCORE: 4.75

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~ by johnlink00 on June 6, 2011.

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