Reviewed by: Leah Hickman
helping others in a terrible disaster
Does God control the weather? Answer
whirlwinds in the Bible
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer
Does God feel our pain? Answer
Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer
difficulties of being a single parent
parent-child relationships that are strained
|Featuring:||Sarah Wayne Callies … Allison Stone
Richard Armitage … Gary Morris
Jeremy Sumpter … Jacob
Nathan Kress … Trey
Matt Walsh … Pete
London Elise Moore … Cheerleader
Arlen Escarpeta … Daryl
Stephanie Koenig … Marcia
Scott Lawrence … Principal
Kyle Davis … Donk
Alycia Debnam Carey … Kaitlyn
|Director:||Steven Quale—“Final Destination 5” (2011)|
|Producer:||Broken Road Productions
New Line Cinema
Village Roadshow Pictures
|Distributor:||New Line Cinema, Warner Bros.|
On graduation day for the high school in the town of Silverton, Oklahoma, everyone’s future is looking bright, and it’s the job of two brothers, Donnie and Trey, to capture that optimism. Their dad, Greg, is the vice principal of the high school, and he has assigned them to gather footage for a video time-capsule. The two high-schoolers have spent a lot of time with their video cameras over the past several days—interviewing people around the town, asking them to look ahead 25 years into the future and share their thoughts on what the years ahead will bring. Now, on graduation day, their last job is to capture the ceremony on camera.
To the two boys, it seems that ceremony is all their dad cares about. Donnie is sick of his father’s perpetually high expectations for everything he does, and he feels like all he ever gets from his dad is criticism. When Donnie gets a chance to help the girl of his dreams with a video report that she is making, he skips the ceremony and leaves his brother alone to take care of recording the graduation. Unfortunately, it turns out that Donnie picked a bad day to wander off without his dad knowing.
Meanwhile, storm chasers Pete and Allison and their team are busy with their video cameras, too, hoping to document America’s next big storm. Pete’s lifelong dream has been to capture up-close and personal footage of an epic tornado, and he’s ready to make that dream happen. It’s that time of year for tornadoes, and he’s got all the gear—but it just doesn’t seem like he has the right team for the job.
Weather analyst, Allison, seems to lack the instincts necessary for chasing storms. She’s brought them to the town of Silverton, but the forecast predicts that only thunderstorms will disrupt the high school’s graduation ceremony. When hail comes and the winds start to get fierce, though, Pete’s hopes start to rise. He might finally get his dream storm, after all.
The drenching rain brings an abrupt end to the graduation ceremony, and the storm begins. As deadly tornadoes ravage the town, Donnie, Greg, Pete, and Allison and the rest of the storm’s victims learn to rethink their own priorities as they realize that there is much more to life than personal success and satisfaction.
“Into the Storm” has some great things to say about self-sacrifice, priorities in life, and the importance of living every day like it’s your last. This movie reminds us that we should not bank our happiness on personal success or on passing pleasures, but that we should look for joy in the things that we tend to take for granted. Instead of perpetually hoping for something better in the future and pouting through our “unfair” or “boring” lives, we should be thankful for the lives we do have, the family we have been given, and the love we don’t always deserve.
What should we thank God for, and how should we praise Him? Answer
Are you thankful to God? GO
At the end of the movie, one previously cocky, crude high schooler says, “It only matters that I’m alive. I’m just thankful that I’m alive.” Other characters assert after the storm that “being together is all that matters” and that people should “take life one day at a time.” Although the world certainly needs to hear these messages, none of the hope and happiness that these characters show in the aftermath of the tornadoes’ destruction quite makes sense without Jesus Christ in the picture. In the final scenes of the movie, we hear the words, “Our faith will carry us through.” But the faith they’re talking about is not faith in God. It is faith in the human race. According to the biblical worldview, such faith is useless. No one can find true hope in life without Jesus, who sacrificed himself for the sins of the world so that those who put their faith in him might have eternal life.
Although this movie doesn’t give the world the answers that it needs, it still brings up important questions about hope and purpose in life. It offers viewers the perfect opportunity to explore these themes. It reminds Christians of their true source of hope—the real Savior of the world.
On the other hand, however, this movie is a perfect illustration of why Hollywood is having one of its worst summers ever. The filmmakers had the not-so-brilliant idea of making the footage appear as if it were taken from the video cameras of the characters themselves. While this was probably intended to give the movie a more intimate feel, it only succeeds in making it seem more unrealistic and unprofessional. With that, some weak acting, and a simple and somewhat predictable plot, the only substantial accomplishment of “Into the Storm” is its series of impressive CGI tornadoes and the destruction that they bring.
And the destruction is certainly substantial. An entire town is leveled by the end of the movie, and several buildings are shown being torn up in the midst of the actual storm. Trees, cars, and houses are picked up and tossed about by massive tornadoes, and a number of characters are carried off and killed by the violent winds. One minor character is pulled up into a flaming tornado that is ignited by a nearby gas leak. Two characters nearly drown, several are hit by debris, and others barely evade falling trees and power lines. Although the blood is limited to a few scratches and cuts, the intense moments in this film are enough to make it too much for young kids.
The movie also earns its PG-13 rating with a disappointing amount of foul language. In an hour and a half, they managed to fit in about two dozen uses of the word “s***, ” and one to five uses each of the expletives “h***, ” “a**, ” “son of a b***, ” “d**n, ” “p***ed, ” “sucked, ” and “screwed.” The Lord’s name is taken in vain quite frequently—“For Chr*st’s sakes” (1), “Jesus” (1), “God” (1), OMG (9), “Oh G*d” (3), “G*d-damn” (2)—and there are also a few inappropriate references to parts of the body. A fair amount of the profanity comes from a group of thrill-seekers who are shown either drinking beers or being drunk during most of the movie.
On the boy-girl side of things, there are no explicit sexual scenes and only one scene with kissing: in the opening scene of the movie, two teenagers are briefly shown making out in the back of a car. However, there are still some objectionable references that parents should be aware of. Donnie has a crush on a pretty girl at his high school, and his brother accuses him of staring at her picture in the yearbook. Trey shows Donnie a shot of one of the high school teacher’s cleavage that he got while interviewing her for their video time-capsule. When Donnie goes off to talk to his crush, Trey tells him to “get some skin on camera” to show him later. During one of the boys’ interviews with a high school basketball player, the jock says that, in 25 years, he’ll be married to a “super smokin’ hot cheerleader wife” and mentions that he’ll “bang her up good.”
Overall, I would not consider this movie worthy of a visit to the movie theater. I cannot recommend “Into the Storm” for young or sensitive viewers due to the profanity, sexual references, and destruction. However, for teens and adults who don’t mind intense action and who appreciate movies like the 1996 film “Twister,” this movie might be worth renting for a couple bucks. Despite the occasional cheesiness, the movie may even present families with an opportunity to discuss some important spiritual topics.
Violence: Heavy to extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.