Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Beware the 500 MPH Storm: Movie review

No. It's not some dire weather event. Well it is but this one exists only in the movies and probably just as well.
Let me explain. I was having lunch. It was cold so I ate in the living room where the wood heater resides and as you do, I turned on the telly and caught 500 MPH STORM

It stars Casper Van Dien, (here on in known as CVD for  brevity)  an action movie actor, although the word actor is probably overdoing things a bit.
He has a delivery style which I think could best be categorised as gabble.  I pondered on why this should be and all I could come up with was the thought that perhaps he has the memory span of a goldfish and therefore has to get his lines out as fast as humanly possible before he forgets.

So the plot. (again using that word dignifies it a bit).  Some sort of experiment with scientists shooting unknown beams into the atmosphere which makes the weather go postal.
Storms abound.. they get worse and worse .. our hero CVD is a science teacher somewhere or other with his idiot, whiney teenage son and forever gurning wife.

CVD realises before they do that there is danger a-coming so he races up to his family and orders them into the car and  announces they are going to find shelter without burdening them with an explanation. He ignores their whys (CVD waited to long to deliver his lines and forgot?)

There follows many, many many minutes (or was it hours? - it felt like it) of them speeding about the place in an SUV dodging dodgy SFX which I think was supposed to represent tornados. He decides the safest place is in this huge abandoned factory with lots glass window which we all know the ONLY safe place to shelter during a tornado. They pause there for a few minutes before there are heavy clunking sounds and he decides no, this isn't the place.. High Ground. That's what he needs. Don't know why.  If CVD ever knew the reason his goldfish memory ensured he's long forgotten.

During this headlong race to find a place of safety his son whines that he wants to go home. "I can get on the internet" he says apropos of nothing that I can discern.  "You can't" says CVD, " there is no internet.

"Why not?" asks idiot son. Good god, not enough that the son may have inherited his father's goldfish memory and forgotten they are fleeing the 500 MPH STORM, but he seems to have inherited his mother's deductive reasoning abilities. But never mind, good old CVD knows.. the storm has knocked out all communications, there is no internet.  Wow.
Now a word about the script, if indeed there was one. It was littered with awkward pauses (now perhaps I'm being unkind to the script writers. Perhaps that was down to CVD's goldfish memory rather than the writers putting in awkward pauses while they tried to think of the next thing to say)
There were also the scientific explanations which seemed to run thus: someone, usually idiot, whiney son or gurning wife would ask a question, CVD would explain incomprehensibly  after which gurning wife would rephrase the question and answer it in a slightly less puzzling fashion ( and when I say less puzzling, I don't mean that it made much sense. That would be asking way too much of the movie). Aah, so that's her purpose, she's a prompt and translator for the goldfish..err CVD I mean.

They end up somewhere or other (by this time I confess my attention had turned back to my game of Bubble Bust on my iPad) and they needed to put something or other on top of something "here and here" said the soldier on duty. Not sure where he came from, but he couldn't do it coz he couldn't leave his post. "What post? asks CVD , "there is  no post."  He did have a point, I suppose, but by this time i was past caring.

The suspense of the situation was complemented with music that was out of of character for the movie, in that it actually did the job required of it. During scenes of high tension the director resorted to close ups of wife gurning and CVD doing his "I'm tense" look which seemed to consist of maniacal grinning at the camera; or he could have been in pain. Do goldfish feel pain?

Oh and just to make sure we didn't forget the situation was fraught with tension, the point was made many times that if the storms couldn't be stopped the population of the USA would be wiped out.  Now, I like the US, in fact I love the place. It's one of my favourite holiday destinations, but I found myself almost wishing the population would be wiped out in order to end everyone's suffering. Esecially mine.

I like a good bad movie with the best of them. I love those overblown hammy b movies from the 30's. One of my favourite movies is John Wayne's Big Jim McLain; a bad movie made hysterically funny by the earnestness of it's anti-communist message (it was made under the auspices of the House of Un-American Activities Committee and if you haven' seen it do so) but there is a line. There are bad movies, there are bad movies so bad they are funny, but sadly 500 MPH STORM is beyond even that.so bad it explores new depths of badness.

Did CVD save the world? Probably. I don't know coz I gave up and decided a re-run of Midsomer Murders was infinitely preferable.