Twister (1996) starring Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Jami Gertz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Ruck, Cary Elwes directed by Jan de Bont Movie Review

Twister (1996)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton in Twister (1996)

Paxton on a Tornado Hunt

To say that "Twister" stormed the summer blockbuster market back in 1996 wouldn't really be lying, although it is a terrible play on the whole twister, tornado, storm chasing theme. But although it did well at the box office as well as on DVD the twisted tale of tornado chasers is both very entertaining and also laughably flawed. With a whole list of continuity errors and some over the top acting from the whole cast and not just from Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton "Twister" is at times memorably cheesy but with all the twister CGI it also gets you to the edge of your seat.

Former storm chaser turned TV weather man Bill Harding (Apollo 13) goes in search of his estranged wife Jo (Helen Hunt - Peggy Sue Got Married), a tornado chaser, to get her to sign their divorce papers so that he can marry his new girlfriend, Melissa (Jami Gertz - Renegades). When he finally catches up with Jo, and her team of tornado chasers, he finds them in the midst of some serious storm action in Oklahoma. The bug soon bites, and Bill and Melissa end up tagging along with the storm chasers, tracking the tornados in the hope that they can head into the storm to release a ground-breaking scientific device into the centre of one, to gain never seen before data.

Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton in Twister (1996)

"Twister" is nothing more than an action movie and honestly it doesn't try to be anything else. The storyline is simplistic with a bunch of storm chasers trying to be the first to head into the storm to launch a revolutionary piece of equipment and that is pretty much it. Yes there are sub plots, you have the rivalry between storm chasers, the underlying romance between Bill and Jo, plus a slight back story as to why Jo is so focused on storm chasing, but they certainly aren't strong and really just fill up the time between various action sequences. But it doesn't matter because that's what "Twister" is, an action movie with the star pairing of Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton with plenty of familiar faces in supporting roles.

As for the action well on one hand it is nothing more than a chase movie with mother nature basically chasing the intrepid storm chasers as they try to get into the storm. But then on the other hand the action is visually impressive and the CGI creation of storms, tornados and twisters is enjoyable. It is the visual impressiveness of "Twister" which draws you into the movie and keeps you watching, which as you can guess is a good thing seeing that there is little else to achieve this.

As for the performances well it's very much a case of over acting, presumably to try and heighten the tension of the situation. Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt do their best with their roles of Bill and Jo, especially as they get the bulk of the corny dialogue but they even resort to melodrama to try and lift their 2 dimensional characters. It feels like they got caught up in the big action thing forcing out exaggerated performances so that they weren't over shadowed by the special effects.

As for the supporting cast well they fare no better suffering the same fate of cheesy dialogue and over acting. Even so "Twister" does feature various recognizable faces such as Jami Gertz, Alan Ruck and Philip Seymour Hoffman but none of them really shine.

Whilst "Twister" is an enjoyable action movie which relies on its special effects and scenes of frantic activity to keep you entertained it is certainly a movie full of continuity mistakes. There is fun to be had watching "Twister" and trying to pick up on the various continuity mistakes such as when Bill & Jo are driving down a single lane road yet in another camera angle you see cars passing them through the back window or in the shed towards the end of the movie, Jo puts on a leather strap to secure themselves but in the next scene, she puts it on again. These are just a couple out of a long list of continuity mistakes which actually make "Twister" fun in more ways than one.

What this all boils down to is that if you want a fun action movie which requires no concentration then "Twister" will be right up your street. It may be full of over acting and corny dialogue but it is also full of impressive special effects and although it's not adrenalin packed it's still surprisingly engaging. Plus you could always just watch it to try and spot all the various continuity mistakes.