Movie Review – Twisters


From Independence Day to Titanic the 90s were not short on major blockbusters that have held up for rewatches ever since it is not surprising that a lot of the films from these earlier decades are getting another go around now the kids that watched them are now film makers themselves. Now one of the best disaster movies from the 90s is getting an update with Twisters.

Based on the 1996 film written by Michael Crichton coming in hot off the back of Jurassic Park’s success and directed by Jan de Bont who made a little unknown film called Speed just prior, Twister came at a time when blockbusters were being dropped every other week. Set against the backdrop of Oklahoma’s Tornado Alley where Tornadoes are known to have the conditions where Tornadoes can spawn (the single day record is 209 in a single day in 2011).

The original film is a two-day fast paced races as Helen Hunt is a metrologist/tornado chaser with an experimental piece of equipment (dubbed Dorothy) they want to put up into a Tornado to provide for the first time readings from inside a Tornado to better understand them and create better warning systems. Pulling in her soon to be ex-Husband Tornado divining rod Bill Pullman they manage to successfully pull it off as they survive a F5 Tornado which is the highest rating (F0 to F5) for those sort of natural phenoniums based on the damage they wreak.

The new film follows on in the same world just many years later as not a direct sequel but a spiritual successor. With a new set of Meteorologists who have similar plans to study and in the case of our main character Kate disrupt Tornadoes, until that costs the lives of her team full of friends. Leaving the life behind she is pulled back in for one more time to assist a former teammate with his corporate start-up that aims to perform 3D scans on tornados.

This is where she crosses paths with Tom Cruise’ Co-Pilot who seems to be everywhere Glen Powell who is a metrologist turned youtuber who chases and drives into Tornadoes for views.

While still including Michael Crichton in the writing credits the new film is paced differently from the original. The first film took part over 2 days (roughly) with characters with established histories and you are coming to the party late, but the new film can feel a little stretched out in places as there is a need for more building between characters who really only just met.

There are nods to the original film in places with the existence of Dorothy V early in the film and in the original Twister it was said that they only built 4 of them. But that is the only obvious easter egg with a lot of the rest being significantly more subtle such as reproducing shots, particular outfits being worn, secret handshakes between team members or even talk about getting hit by lightning, but these are closer to call-backs than real easter eggs connecting the films.

While paced differently at times there is still significant amounts of action with these films and characters who actively drive towards Tornadoes. In the original film it was being released at a time when Jurassic Park had set a new bar for how good special effects could be and Industrial Light and Magic were definitely aiming high with most SFX use of this period aiming for set pieces that you would see in the trailer (or famously not).

With the new film we are so spoilt for the quality of effects that even elements that may feel minor by todays standards are definitely decades removed from the original film.  What this means is there is more than a few places where you are going to feel like they are really in the middle or about to be swallowed by a Tornado that they are probably WAY too close to for comfort. Even with this film being shot on film instead of digitally.

So should you go see it? We are starting to see the return of the big cinema blockbusters and Twisters is definitely aiming to tear into that same box office. So, if you a fan of the fast paced action/disaster movie genre but maybe more at a E3 than a E5 on the Roland Emmerich Disaster Movie Scale this is one for the big screen.

Twisters blows into cinemas across Australia from today, July 11

Andrew B

Current Resident of Reality C-137. Possible Robot from Westworld. Does lots of random stuff.

Story and Characters
Visuals and Effects
Enjoyment Factor
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Andrew B
Current Resident of Reality C-137. Possible Robot from Westworld. Does lots of random stuff.
movie-review-twistersTwisters is less of a sequel and more of a spiritual continuation letting you re-visit the world of storm chasers with a few modern elements. While definitely paced different to the original film there is still more than a few fast paced sections that will have you holding onto your seat. P.S. You do not have to wait until the very end if you held your seat the entire movie and opted for the large popcorn and drink bundle at the concession stand.