Into The Storm, film review: Wafer-thin characterisation and plot quickly come apart

(12A) Steven Quale, 89 mins Starring: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies
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A series of "twisters" rip through a small Midwestern town – and a father and his two teenage sons try to make sense of their relationship as they struggle together to survive the storm. The special effects here are fine.

The director Steven Quale gives a sense of the full destructive power of the tornado. Humans, cars and buildings seem like pieces of clothing caught in some huge tumble dryer.

There is an engaging strain of self-mocking humour, too, in the film's portrayal of the YouTubers in reckless pursuit of disaster footage and of the TV team, led by hard-driving documentary-maker Pete (Matt Walsh), also doing its best to get into the eye of the storm.

The problem is that the wafer-thin characterisation can't withstand the ongoing tumult. Gary (Richard Armitage) is deputy head teacher at Silverton High School. One of his sons, Donnie (Max Deacon), ends up caught in a disused factory building with a girl he is trying to impress as the water rises.

The other, Trey (Nathan Kress), makes inventive, life-saving use of the knife he is normally forbidden to carry. Unfortunately, long before the storm has blown itself out, the plot has long since come apart.