Twisters | Third Space


Spinning back to tornado alley
Tue 16 Jul 2024



⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ (out of 5)

Tornadoes are no laughing matter for those of us who grew up in the Tornado Alley of the United States. Their disastrous effects can leave emotional and physical scars on all those who have survived the devastating power of these natural forces. Yet, cyclones continue to fascinate people, leading to a cottage industry of individuals who track them for entertainment. In contrast, there are others who hope to study them to determine if they can be controlled.

When the original Twister film came out in 1996, Dutch director Jan de Bont’s film, written by Michael Crichton, swept into theatres and left a lasting mark on our cinematic consciences. Surprisingly, it has taken close to three decades to see a sequel explode back into cinemas. This stand-alone follow-up takes us back to Oklahoma as the idealistic Kate Cooper (Daisy Edgar-Jones) strives to implement an experiment to track and diffuse the power of tornadoes. Yet, her innocence is destroyed as tragedy strikes at the hands of a massive cyclone. This causes the young meteorologist to leave the field and serve in the background at a weather centre in New York until Javi (Anthony Ramos), her former colleague and friend, asks for her help furthering their previous work. As she heads to Oklahoma, Kate gets sucked back into the world of tornado chasers and those hoping to profit from the devastation that is left in their wake. In this world, the leader of the pack is the self-titled tornado wrangler and social-media phenomenon, Tyler Owens (Glen Powell), who hopes to capitalise on Kate’s skills to help him advance his work.

Like any film focusing on natural disasters, Twisters must cut the line between sensationalism and plausibility for audiences to come along for the ride. Director Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) manages to tap into the nostalgic themes of the film's iconic predecessor. He helps it to have its own voice. Each tornado becomes more extensive and more treacherous as the storm season causes terror across the Midwestern state. Yet, Mark L. Smith (The Boys in the Boat) has written a screenplay with enough science to make the actions of the cast believable and ample amounts of action to deliver the necessary balance for the perfect holiday blockbuster. The visual and sound effects teams should be on the shortlist during the awards season as the whole film rides on these critical elements that make the entire movie worth seeing on the big screen.

In amongst the tornadoes and off-road chase scenes, there is a place for all of the cast. Daisy Edgar-Jones goes from arthouse darling to being an unexpected action star. The British actress delivers complex scientific dialogue and proves that she can take on cyclones and testosterone-driven men at the same time. Then Hollywood’s heartthrob du jour, Glen Powell, swoops in to bring the charisma, moxy and drive needed to keep everything moving forward to romance and heroism. Their physical chemistry has enough credibility to allow the storyline to move forward and provide a satisfactory human interest amongst the tornadoes. No one may ask why none of them have an Oklahoma accent. Still, for authenticity, it does cut in on the credibility of the overall experience.

Still, Twisters fills the void needed during this cinematic season. It is a bombastic natural disaster tale that will pull audiences into the theatres for an unbelievable adventure that involves four-wheel-driving, cowboy hats, and more tornadoes than anyone would expect to see in a lifetime.

REEL DIALOGUE: Who’s in control?

Control is a word we strive to maintain in all areas of our lives, but the harder we attempt to hold onto it, the more likely it will elude our grasp. Twisters and every other natural disaster film manages to show that we are not in control of this world.

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21

With this philosophical consideration, what part of our lives do we control, and how do we keep it from becoming chaotic or infuriating? We can do all we can to put the best parameters in place to maintain our sanity, but inevitably, the unexpected will occur. This is why it is better to put your life into God's hands, who has everything under his control.

We do not take our hands off the wheel of our lives, but power needs to be given to God. Allowing for his authority to occur in your life affords a position of celebration and praise in good times and solace in times of difficulty. We are part of the process of living our lives, but ultimate control is really in the hands of the one who created all things.

If you enjoy discussing the film's themes, contact our team at Third Space. We can start the conversation and connect you with those who can help you find the answer.

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