[Our very own Kathy Jones has braved not only the
smelly hallowed halls of San Diego ComicCon but has also taken it upon herself to attend the preview screening of Into The Storm. This is her review, or in her own words her “impressions of the movie, as a fan girl”.]
Richard Armitage does not blow you away in his performance as the stalwart teacher/dad/hero of Into the Storm, but not because of lack of talent or effort. The tornadoes are the stars of this film, and the humans only exist to provide a scale by which we can measure the power of these massively destructive storms.
The film unfolds on a day when various people are literally thrown together and have to cooperate to survive. The actors work as an ensemble, more than individuals, which may have been intentional, since one person alone cannot possibly withstand the killing strength of the storms. I did not have stop watch, but screen time and dialog seemed spread equally among the principal players. As a Richard fan, I was of course disappointed that he was not on screen longer and with more closeups.
His American accent was ok, I don’t think people unfamiliar with his work would notice it. It seems to slightly slip in a couple of places, but not horribly. As a
demented loyal fan, his voice is not the powerful instrument he uses in the play [The Crucible] or as Thorin, but it is appropriate for this role as “everyman” trying to cope with a disaster out of his control. It is just not what we are accustomed to hearing lately. Perhaps because the film was shot approximately two years ago. He looks great, very buff , not the Lucas physique at all. This movie is great popcorn, summer entertainment. The audience was extremely engaged, some on the edge of their seats, and laughed at the comic relief which is sprinkled throughout the film. Richard’s strained relationship with his “sons” is very well-defined, in the short time it is given on screen.
I would recommend this film to anyone who just wants to chill out and have good time at the movies. As a fan, I had (probably unrealistic) hopes that this role would put Richard on the map in people’s minds and if not make him a “star” at least help him on his way because he is using his own face and body in the role. This is not Die Hard and he is not Bruce Willis. I hope I am wrong, but I don’t think this role will propel his career to new heights, but it will not harm it in any way either. He is not given enough to do. But to be fair, I would complain about that if it was a one-man-show. He is a more than competent as an action hero and he has managed to put a few flourishes on his character that fans will recognize. Small smiles, glances, touches to humanize his character subtly.
This review is strictly my opinion only. I realize the “star” thing is something he probably doesn’t want or need. That is coming from me, because I love his work and he will get more of it the more he is known. Some of the reviews of the play have referred to him as a “movie star”, already, and technically, he is one. But increased name recognition would be nice, because even after all this time and his wonderful work, most people (at least here in America) say”Richard who?” I am sure all of us fans will go and see this film in support of RA even if I had said it was terrible. But I am happy to report it is better than OK, go and have fun with it.
Thank you to Kathy for a great first response – written at 3 am in the morning!!! Your dedication is very much appreciated! And reading a review from someone whose judgment I am familiar with from many comments on my and many other blogs certainly adds authority to the verdict. I can only say that I look forward to watching the
wet shirt tornadoes myself, soon.