Directed By: Bill Corcoran
Written By: Ron McGee
Staring: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Corbin Bernsen, Sharon Lawrence, Carl Lewis, Jonathan Blick, Daniel Costello, and Charmaine Guest
Of course! They only give you a tornado warning when your house is 50 feet from where you built it! -Jake
You get a title like “Atomic Twister” and what can you expect? I hoped for fun, and anticipated a little funny, and that is pretty much what was delivered. This SyFy Weekly was picked by my oldest son who is a fan of Storm Chasers, and so we decided this would be the movie we’d watch this weekend. It doesn’t have the awful cheese throughout that say “Ice Spiders” does, or the mediocre performances. The actors here actually did a pretty solid job which made some of the nonsense almost seem plausible and if not believable, then funny or fun.
So here’s the deal. A mass tornado (Twister-ha) espionage plagues this Tennessee town that happens to be the location of a Nuclear Power Plant, hence the title “Atomic Twister”. Oooh……..aaaaaaaaahhhh…..So! Things go off the wire, the town is attacked by this insane storm system and houses are destroyed and behold the Plant is hit once again. Communication cut off and the storm only growing in intensity, the town has to figure out how to stop an Atomic eruption while still evading the onslaught of “Twisters” that is plaguing them.
The plot is ludicrous but fun. The story begins with a kid watching his moment go all wicked witch of the east into the tornado, and then we blow forward to modern time where the kid is all grown up and having women problems, and no surprise becomes the nucleus of the entire story. Being the catalyst for all that comes next, including a very conveniently placed Nuclear Power Plant where multiple tornadoes continue to hit, it is pretty ridiculous, but amusing.
The CGI was both good and terrible. Some of the “Twister” moments were pretty cool, and the way that windows flying and debris attacking actually came across as realistic at times, but then we were met with moments of people actually being sucked into the tornadoes…..err twisters……and it was pretty awful. Given the allusion to it instead of the remarkably uncomfortable fusion of the two would have suited the story better. On the other hand, it was epically hilarious and had me in complete hysterics.
The worst part of the movie was Charmaine Guest. As earlier noted most of the performances were actually pretty decent. Mark-Paul Gosselaar held the cast together and Sharon Lawrence delivered as believable a performance as one could give when taking the ridiculous circumstances into consideration. In between the silly moments I was actually somewhat interested in what happened next, and this was because of Gosselaar and Lawrence. Guest in contrast was over the top and completely superficial, just as out of place as the Twister sucking people scenes and the uncomfortable CGI moments.
Atomic Twister is a good example of why SyFy original movies can be good to watch. It’s a mediocre film with very little heart or thought put into, but entertaining and silly enough that becomes a fun afternoon watch. You can laugh at it’s nonsense, but realize it isn’t taking itself serious enough to bother investing anymore than superficial enjoyment tools. It guarantees a good laugh, and seeing it’s release was shortly after the feature film “Twister”, it puts things in a much more carefree perspective. So take it for what it is instead of what it isn’t.
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