2016.77: Into The Storm (Amazon VOD)
I was going to write this review… I will write this review… but first, a sombre observation.
Its a drag. Sometimes, it’s an utter drag, trying to marshall any enthusiasm for writing yet another negative review about yet another bad movie. I mean, time is valuable; my time spent writing this, and yours, dear reader, for reading this. Regardless of how worthless any of this blog of mine really is, there is a certain amount of time and effort on my part invested in it -I hate to quantify that considering the number of years spent on this and my previous blog- and it all gets rather depressing when I consider how much of that is bitching and moaning on my part about bad films. And I consider how many different ways I have tried to describe why something is bad while keeping it informative, maybe entertaining. I refuse to simply post a three-line review that just says ‘this is shit, move on’. I really try to make some effort on every post I write here- you are making the effort to read it, so I figure I should do my part and try to write something worth reading. God knows it must be a painful reading about yet another bad movie. There must be a temptation to just move on and try find a review of something good, of something worthy of the time.
Into The Storm is my 77th ‘new’ film/tv season of 2016. I made a decision, at the end of last year, to invest considerably more time on this blog this year, which has resulted in my busiest regards number of entries and reviews (I think I passed the number of posts in all of 2015 sometime around April or May this year). Part of that was my intention to try reach the magic 100 that Richard seems to breeze past each year in his own blog. Who knows, I may yet manage to hit that number. I’ve suffered a few setbacks during the year, particularly back in June, when we suffered a tragedy that has cast a long shadow over this year as a whole, but I may yet make it- it doesn’t feel particularly important anymore but I might.
The trouble is, trying to hit 100, you have to watch a whole load of shit. Its two films a week, on average. Thats not too bad a target, you might think. It gets a little messed up when you include tv shows ‘per season’ because that’s not as much a cheat as you’d think, considering how many hours a tv show encompasses- a tv season requires more time/effort/discipline than a two hour or ninety-minute movie, certainly. The problem is finding two quality ‘new’ films each week. Its really harder than you might think. There’s a whole lotta shit movies out there and I refuse to watch too much of it. I much prefer to maintain some kind of quality filter. But its hard. Sometimes I think a quality, ‘good’ film is the rarity- indeed, the evidence of this year’s posts seems to prove it.
So here we go again. Into The Storm. Its a bad movie. Yeah, another one. I intend near the end of this year to do a series of year-in-review series of posts; it will be interesting to see what I have been watching, the connections between them, patterns of interest that can be seen. But I worry about all the bad movies; that year-in-review is going to be pretty grim.
A thought springs to mind, that I have written here before- does anyone really intend to make a bad movie? Do all film projects start with the best of intentions but, due to the law of averages or worst-case scenarios, many just wind up bad? Or do people just make bad films because they need the money, because it’s the easiest path to make? I’d like to know.
So anyway, Into The Storm is a shit movie. Its a cynically-made, imaginatively-bereft piece of garbage featuring quality actors and great expense on sets, practical effects and CGI wonders, but its a piece of shit. The script spends all its time and effort on ensuring every character has either a smartphone or camcorder recording pretty much everything we see; it uses every cliche in the book, whether it be estranged parents, sibling rivalry, teenage romance, single-parent career anxieties, internet get-rich-quick schemes, crass stupidity, you name it, this script mines it. Everybody has a reason to be filming just about everything. Yes, its another found-footage/POV movie and I’m utterly pissed off with it all; it was done to death years ago and yet Hollywood doesn’t seem to have seen the memo.
Into The Storm is ninety minutes of Definitive Bad Movie. Its actors reading bad dialogue from a bad script full of predictable twists and turns (it NEVER surprises, not once) that ensures the vapid spectacle never has any drama or emotional involvement. Film Schools should just screen this movie as a lesson in How Not To Do It; and yet on a budget of $50 million, this film grossed $161 million, so even though it hardly set the box-office alight, it clearly made some kind of profit, so the studio likely thinks Job Done, pat on the back of the lazy producers who made it, lets have some more.
Its so depressing. I could write a better movie. I’ve never been to any Film School but I’m certain I could write a better script with better characters and better arcs and better dialogue and some actual emotional worth and drama and likely requiring less CGI spectacle/expense too. But I’ll never have the opportunity and in anycase maybe it would never have managed to gross $161 million had I wrote it. But really, there are some very stupid movies being made from really stupid scripts these days and I have to wonder why, have to wonder What’s Going Wrong. Whats the Shit Ratio of 100 movies in a year these days? Anybody?