Director: Jan de Bont
I’m not alone in not-so-secretly loving disaster movies; they’re just so damned fun. Not good, mind you, mostly god-awful in fact, but fun nonetheless, fun in a corny, flippant, explosive way most other films simply can’t get away with; there’s a freedom to forming a story around running from something large, in charge, and completely natural. Weather-related phenomena seem to be our favorites; volcanoes, tidal waves, earthquakes, storms, asteroids even, and, yes, tornadoes. No disaster movie has done tornadoes quite like Twister, it is the end all, be all when it comes to that category, but does that mean that it does that category justice? Well, first you’ll have to decide whether Twister is so bad it’s good or just plain awful.
Storm chasers Bill & Jo used to work together and were married; no team of daredevil scientists were their equal. They would run in front of any cyclone, put themselves in any harm’s way, go where the action was; their love of severe weather was only matched by their love for each other. But that was in the past; Bill now wants a divorce, is set on becoming a forecaster, and seems to have put his wild days behind him. There’s still something about Jo though, she’s still got that spark, and the duo can’t seem to separate completely. When the storm of the century hits Oklahoma, they find themselves right in the middle of the most exciting scientific discovery of their lives, if only they can keep from killing each other before a tornado does the job for them.
What could go wrong with a cast this …interesting. Paxton, Hunt, Gertz, Cary Elwes, Cameron from Ferris Bueller, Upham from Saving Private Ryan, Tyler Durden’s boss from Fight Club, Philip Seymour Hoffman for crying out loud. There’s some talent there, mixed into the rampant absurdity, but not enough to win out; that shouldn’t be surprising, not with Bill Paxton at the helm, with Helen Hunt & Cary Elwes backing him up. That might be the worst trio of actors of all time, and it showed. The acting was abysmal, the dialogue was almost worse, the whole plot was a sham, and the editing made very little sense; in a nutshell, this movie is a joke. But a joke you will enjoy? Perhaps, I know I did at times, but that doesn’t mean I don’t also know that it’s absolute garbage. Twister was actually nominated for two Academy Awards, which is hilarious, because even the special effects were plain silly, and so unbelievable you’ll find yourself slapping your own head in despair. Disaster movies should be over the top, and this one was sure is, I just think it might have gone too far in taking itself so lightly.
My rating: ☆