Helen Hunt
Bill Paxton
Jami Gertz
Cary Elwes
Alan Ruck
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Lois Chiles

Jan De Bont

"You've never seen it miss this house, and miss that house and then come after you!"
Time: 113 mins.
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Action/Romance

Academy Award nominations for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound.
TWISTER is just one of those movies that you know is going to have no real plot, but is still going to be one hell of a good time. Mainly because the special effects bring you to a place you have never been before. In this case, into the heart of a tornado, which is made all the more scary by the fact that they actually exist. The plot is pretty inconsequential: Helen Hunt plays a storm chaser trying to gather information with "Dorothy" a machine filled with little sensors that are supposed to be swept up into the eye of the tornado and send back data on how this weather phenomenon works. She's separated from her husband, also a meteorologist, who comes to the midwest with his new fiancée to get the divorce papers signed. What he doesn't bargain for is a day filled with Level 4 and 5 tornadoes destroying half the state.

The fun part about this film is the chase scenes. Never before on the big screen have we seen effects like this. They get right in there with the tornados, wind wailing, debris flying. You feel like you're about to be swept away. The film gets away with creating more tension than it should mainly because the effects are so good. The sound is terrifying alone. I've been through earthquakes, and after seeing this film, I think I got the better end of the natural disaster spectrum. Not able to resist the excitement, Bill, joins the chase as they try to seal years worth of work with just one successful Dorothy launch. The tornado takes its toll on the local countryside and almost sweeps Bill and Helen up once or twice. The sequences at the drive-in and when they drive through a house (which is higly unbelievable) are great cinema moments. Though there wasn't much dialogue (there didn't need to be), what was there was crisp, clever and funny. If you're not going to develop your characters, one should at least make them as visually pleasing and vocally amusing as possible.

The final tornado sequence is just not to be believed and, of course, the lovers and their machine prevail in the end. They have to succeed. That's all the movie is about. It's not much of a surprise, but at least it's satisfying. If you're looking for an exciting film and don't mind a mediocre script, TWISTER will blow your socks off.