Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Top 100 disaster movies: Twister

Twister (1996)

Love is in the air. As well as barns, vans, cows and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Yes, it's Twister, a film which proves that extreme weather can build bridges as well as knocking them down. A tornado chaser, raised by wolves after the loss of her father to a devastating storm during her childhood, finds herself thrown back together with her estranged meteorologist husband. While she and her team of committed geeks and virgins are in hot pursuit of twisters in tornado alley, husband dearest is in hot pursuit of her, seeking her signature on the divorce papers which will mean that he can tie the knot with his sex therapist.

But like the majority of sex therapists, Doctor Melissa Reeves goes to pieces in the face of extreme weather. Good at sex, bad at tornadoes; just as the old Native American saying puts it. As a series of tornadoes, each more fierce and destructive than the last, breaks out and decimates half of Oklahoma, the husband and wife are thrust back together. By the end of the film, with barns everywhere levelled and cows wedged in the trunks of trees mooing forlornly, our meteorologist friend realises that their shared passion for studying the climate is more of a basis for a meaningful, fulfilling and lasting relationship than someone who is able to work out why you always cry at the point of orgasm.

If in doubt during a tornado, seek shelter inside one of Helen Hunt's nostrils

Twister is a perfectly diverting and entertaining way to spend a couple of hours. The special effects are impressive and a lot of fun, although if you are a cow you'd probably view the film as belonging to the horror genre. The romantic sub-plot is grindingly, achingly predictable of course, but it passes the time in between the good bits where the cattle are flying. I give Twister SIX out of ten disaster points.

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