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While the plausibility of the story is somewhat ridiculous (a man-made magnetic tornado ripping apart the countryside while sucking anything metal up in its path), they handle it with such seriousness that you almost believe that it could happen. Don’t get me wrong, everyone in the movie knows what kind of movie it is, but they don’t treat the audience like we’re stupid—they handle it well for playing up to what the movie demands of them without edging into the realms of uber-cheesiness. And it’s that lack of cheese that sets this one apart from the rest.
Lou Diamond Philips is also a rock star as the film’s lead scientist—he’s the hero who figures out what’s wrong and how to stop it. The guy is still as good of an actor now as he was when he was a “star” back in the 80s, and he actually gives a solid performance here. Surprising, but true. He carried this movie better than most C-grade actors who show up for the SyFy Movie of the Week. I can’t say the same for the rest of the cast, but honestly, none of them were that bad, adding to the entertainment factor of it all. That is to say, I didn’t hate everyone and their acting didn’t have me hitting myself in the face.
Even the effects, while all crappy CGI and done for cheap, were actually pretty decent, all things considered. Sure, there’s plenty of pointless shots of the metal tornado whipping around and f*cking shit up here, and I think a few of the shots are used multiple times, but still… the destructive power of the metal tornado was fun to watch. Not as good as TWISTER, mind you, but fun none-the-less.
I really didn’t have any HUGE complaints, but let’s face it: this is a SyFy movie. So the dialog was crappy from time to time, the acting wasn’t always spot-on, and the effects were mostly cheesy bad. There are even a few characters who I wouldn’t have minded seeing being sucked up in the metal tornado and disposed of promptly, but… at the end of the day, I had a good time with it (more or less), and would recommend it to those who enjoy a good sci-fi / disaster / weather movie.
Audio: Surprisingly the 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound was fairly decent, particularly during the tornado scenes. Not as dynamic as TWISTER, but it still provided enough metal-crunching effects to satisfy.