Sure, you could look at a film about a security guard driving a truck filled with treasure who seems way too intent on protecting this money even though it isn’t theirs, and notice the kindly sheriff who is actually a bad guy, and notice the reliance on inclement weather to advance the plot and think maybe Twister had an affair with Hard Rain. But I think Twister is more loyal than that. Let’s break it down.
First of all, this is a film by Rob Cohen, who brought us the first film in the Fast and Furious series, as well as the first in the XXX series. So he’s got some game. (Admittedly, his more recent fare, including Stealth and that really lame Mummy threequel don’t give me all the good feels.) And the fact that there’s a heist and dramatic weather? I’m there. And, what’s even better, I don’t have high expectations.
Which is good.
The film starts with two young brothers and their father, caught in a hurricane. The hurricane kills the father. (First Twister moment.) Cut to an impossibly cinematic weather center in the present day, where technicians we never care about are talking about an approaching storm. (Second Twister moment.) Then they call up the one brother, Will (Toby Kebbell) who is a nearly prescient meteorologist (okay) who is haunted by his father’s death (right) and who is delivering some flying technology to analyze the hurricane (okay, this is just ridiculous).
“Wait, Russell? Didn’t you say this was a Die Hard movie?”
Oh, yeah. After we meet Casey (Maggie Grace) and see her home base of a treasury building in Alabama, the place is overrun by a crack squad of goons (check) and their hammy hackers (check) and their gravelly-voiced, bearded leader (okay, good). Soon enough Will’s estranged brother, Breeze (Ryan Kwanten) is under the thumb of the bad guys because their generator went out. And the heroes get hold of a radio so that they can listen into and talk to the bad guys. There’s a figure of authority who gets shot in front of our hero. There’s a dramatic scene where the vault is finally opened (sadly without Beethoven playing). There’s even a goon who goes on a rampage of revenge after his brother is killed.
But the scene that made it all sing for me was the scene that effortlessly merged Twister and Die Hard moments into one. The bad guys have our heroes trapped in an abandoned mall during the height of the storm. The meteorologist is monitoring the atmospheric pressure which is impossibly low outside, so he ties himself and his comrade off, then tells her to shoot the glass. The pressure equalizes so dramatically that the bad guys are all sucked out of the window in the ceiling, but our heroes fly up into the maw of the storm, tethered to the mall. Then, once the rush of air dies down, they swing down around on their tethers and back into the mall through a window.
That moment made seeing this movie worth while for me.
But never forget. It’s really bad.