Action thrillers can be one of the most daunting genres to review, mainly due to the fact that many of them focus on entertainment over substance, leading to a tedious genre that has become oversaturated with the same old tropes. Unfortunately, out of the hundreds or so action films released every year, only a handful are typically good, leaving a lot to be desired. Twister (1996), directed by Jan de Bont, is one of the more average films in this genre, with nothing exceptional about it other than its visuals for the time.
How to Download Twister
You can download the film from a digital store. You can also stream it. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you like disaster movies, check out also Geostorm (2017), San Andreas (2015), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), 2012 (2009), and Don’t Look Up (2021).
The Movie Review
Twister revolves around a group of storm chasers as they attempt to study and predict tornadoes. Led by Jo and Bill, the group is trying to create an advanced warning system for tornadoes. However, Jo and Bill have a troubled history, having been married and divorced due to their differing priorities. But when a series of intense and deadly tornadoes hit the area, they reunite to chase the storms and gather vital data.
Along the way, they face many obstacles and dangers, including rival storm chasers, treacherous weather conditions, and personal conflicts. They must confront their past and work together to survive the most dangerous storm of their lives.
While the concept is interesting, the execution falls flat due to the underdeveloped characters and lack of depth of its narrative. The biggest of the film’s pitfalls are its screenplay and writing, both of which lack the quality to make for an engaging story. They are extremely lackluster, with bland story beats, unoriginal dialogue, and predictable plot twists that fail to surprise or even leave a mark on the viewers.
Of course, in a film with such an overzealous focus on entertainment over the story, the pacing is bound to be off. Despite the decent direction, with Jan de Bont’s experience as a cinematographer coming through in the stunning visuals of the tornadoes, the slow moments drag on and the action sequences are over too quickly.
Thankfully, the performances are at least fun to watch, even if they are often too over the top to be taken seriously. Helen Hunt delivers the most believable performance, with her monotone delivery, she seems right at home with her other roles. Bill Paxton is more on the ‘over’ side, with too much going on even during subtle scenes, but he’s entertaining to watch even if his performance isn’t particularly good.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is the stand out though, as he always is in every film that he stars in. The rest of the cast doesn’t have any standout performances, and they are just serviceable.
The tornado sequences are the highlight of this film, as they are visually quite impressive even if they look very dated for the current scape of cinema. I can see how the visuals were genuinely something extraordinary back then, and even today they do stand the test of time despite the technology being too powerful now. The color grading is not great though, nor is the camera work too stand-out, it’s just a decent-looking film with great spectacle.
The score is one thing that I can’t fault this film on, the music is a straight-up jam. The film’s opening theme during the Wheatfield sequence is outstanding, moreover, the soundtrack manages to deliver on almost every story beat. I can’t believe that a film as regular as this has such an epic, and incredibly well-composed soundtrack, but that’s to be expected with composing genius Max Mancina at the helm.
In the end, Twister ultimately fails to reach its potential, with an underdeveloped narrative, lackluster writing, and pacing issues that drag the film down. However, Twister does have its strengths, and while it may not be a groundbreaking film, Twister is still an entertaining action thriller.
It’s the kind of film that will satisfy viewers looking for a fun, mindless ride. Overall, it is an average film in a genre that has become known for its lack of substance, but it manages to stand out with its thrilling visuals and memorable score.
- The film has an incredibly interesting story concept
- Impressive and visually stunning tornado sequences that are a highlight of the film
- The score by Max Mancina is outstanding and well-composed, delivering on almost every story beat
- The performances, particularly from Helen Hunt and Philip Seymour Hoffman, are entertaining to watch
- The characters are underdeveloped, the pacing is off and the narrative lacks depth
- The screenplay and writing are lackluster
- The film looks dated and lacks stand-out camera work or color grading
- The performances, while entertaining, can be too over-the-top