Anthony's Film Review



Twister (1996)


With no solid plot and cast of characters, I could care less about the special effects...

Twister was released during a summer movie season with plenty of other big-budget special-effects movies, such as the alien invasion movie Independence Day, which I liked a lot. At the time, I was fascinated by cinematic special effects, so I was eager to watch any movie heavy on CGI, especially if it involved simulated disasters and mass destruction. I saw the poster for Twister and thought that tornadoes could be fun to watch.

When I finally did see Twister, I was really let down. It's not because of the special effects. They were good enough for me, and I didn't see anything that looked fake in the tornadoes and anything they destroyed. No, it was something else that let me down. It was the plot and characters, specifically the lack of development of either of these two essential elements of a movie.

Let me just explain how the movie is structured. It follows an alternating pattern from beginning to end. You have a series of tornado scenes approximately every twenty minutes or so (though I didn't actually time them). In between are scenes in which the characters, including those played by Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt, Cary Elwes, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, have dramatic conflicts involving divorce or competition between different storm chasers. These scenes are just boring. You have to sit through these scenes that are interrupted when tornadoes arrive, which feel meaningless when you have no good plot and characters.

If you're one of those people who think that you can live with a movie that is devoid of plot and characters but at least has cool special effects, I won't criticize your taste in movies, because even I may enjoy such trashy movies now and then. Even so, there are many instances where special effects movies without a good script just don't work. Twister is an example of this, one of many movies that fail for this reason.

Let's put it this way. Suppose you keep the tornadoes in Twister but have a plot that is much more focused on the science of tornadoes and why it's so important to chase them. In other words, no cheesy and pointless soap opera scenes. If Twister were like that, I'd probably enjoy it more. But whoever decided to have the movie feel like two separate movies without any connection with each other really needs a lesson in good screenwriting. Because it is the script, not special effects, that makes a movie work.

Anthony's Rating:








For more information about Twister, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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