500 MPH Storm (2013)

None of this happens - the thing being destroyed, the 500 mph storm, NOTHING

None of this happens – the thing being destroyed, the 500 mph storm, NOTHING

I was, I felt, about 5 minutes from the end of this movie when I paused it to deal with a whining dog. Everything that needed to happen had happened, people had rushed hither and yon, resolution was at hand. It wasn’t good, for sure, but it was at least nearly over. When I checked the screen, I realised that only 47 minutes of the film had elapsed. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Science is dabbling in God’s domain. I wrote that as a joke, then two minutes later one of the cast went “We messed with Mother Nature” and I started polishing my CV to send to the Asylum as a scriptwriter. Casper Van Dien has figured out how to get free energy from the earth, thanks to a beam of energy of some sort – I doubt understanding that bit any better would improve the film, so any explanation they gave washed over me. Only problem is, he’s at a balloon festival (thanks, Balloon Festival, for letting the Asylum film you) when the other guys are about to do a test firing, and they’ve altered some parameters or whatever so it causes a huge hurricane. It dies down and comes back a few times, and Casper is too far away from his base to go back and help, so he runs about the country like a headless chicken, wife and son in tow, occasionally suggesting ways the scientists and Army could help.

How do you get round filming on clear days, with bright sunshine, when your film is about a world-ending storm? If you’re the Asylum, you don’t, really. There are lots of eyes of storms and lulls and so on, I guess, but it‘s all so utterly stupid. They can’t even be bothered to CGI in some dust when giving you a medium shot of a car, because when it’s in close up it’s surrounded by a storm. Why are you so lazy, Asylum?

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The son is far too old to be so useless (he’s got to be 18, at least) and is all about the internet, to the stage where he’s complaining about not getting access in the middle of the aforementioned storm. He ‘s certainly the most annoying character in the movie, not like there’s a ton of actors to choose from. Shut up, you whiny little asshole!

The wife is almost deliberately irrelevant. We like Sarah Lieving here at ISCFC – she’s shown herself capable of elevating the ludicrous material given to her, and coming out of awful films smelling of roses. The problem here is, she’s not given any material to elevate. Her entire job is to accompany her husband, looking a bit concerned – she has the barest amount of dialogue and operates like a 50s housewife, making sandwiches when there’s a crisis. She’s left by Casper in the middle of the movie and not picked up til nearly the end, as if the movie was slightly ashamed of how little it had for her to do. With the only other woman in the movie being a young beautiful woman at the military base, with no lines and almost certainly the niece of one of the producers, if you expected any female in this movie to do much of anything, you’re out of luck.

“500 MPH Storm” reminds me of an anecdote told by a child. Because they don’t really understand how stories work, they’ll just go “and then THIS happened, and then THIS happened, and then THIS happened” (I’m sure, if you’ve ever been told a story by a kid, you’ll recognise it). It just keeps piling on THINGS happening, with no real rhyme or reason or sense that the protagonist is closer or further away from achieving his goal. When they start slowing down the running-through-the-woods bit, to pad the time out, I was ready to start tying myself a noose. What the hell sort of garbage is this?

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The dramatic ending involves “triangulating” their position, because the scriptwriters clearly know that’s a thing that people in movies do, even if they’re not sure what it entails; plus, they must avoid making a “Hypercane”, because two words to describe a thing is one word too many! It also has one of the more bizarre final scenes I’ve seen, where the survivors stare off into nothing, while a town which is clearly too small to be in the same shot as them, burns in the foreground.

This is bad, even by the Asylum’s low standards. The last half hour was painfully dull, and I sincerely hope everyone at the end was ashamed of themselves.

Rating: thumbs down

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