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  • motor8912 November 2001
    I get a lot of stick from friends for saying this, but: I really like Twister. I enjoy a good thoughtful film as much as the next stuck-up film snob, but I also love damned good action flicks.

    Twister is a big dumb summer blockbuster with no pretensions whatsoever. I *like* the fact that the money is all up there on the screen - lots of tornadoes ripping apart farmhouses and throwing trucks around. I *like* that it's one long chase movie. I *like* looking at Helen Hunt's beautiful face. I saw Twister twice at the cinema, and at least three times since - and I've enjoyed it every single time. Can you get a better recommendation than that?

    Twister will never satisfy some people... in particular, those who watch it, for some strange reason, expecting a cerebral masterpiece. Enjoy it for what it is: One of the best summer blockbusters ever.
  • Ever since this films release in 1996, its very title has become synonymous with Bad films. Its been labelled stupid, loud, dumb and every other thing you can think of. Whilst I admit that the script aint hot and there's no real story in the film, the action is great, the special effects are brilliant, the film moves fast and provides a slambang rocking good ride. Im sorry that more films like this are not made. I love this film. When i saw it at the theatre, i was blown away (no pun intended). Bill paxton does a good job in the lead (yeah people have said that he is dull and that they should have found someone with more charisma. PUHLLLEASSSEEE). I'll watch this film a thousand times between now and the day I die. And for all the geniuses out there who call this film Crap. I hope you all get swept up in a windstorm, I really do. GREAT JOB JAN DEBONT
  • Twister, in my opinion, is a really good action thriller. Personally, I don't know how people can bash this movie. I thought it was an amazing film!! The acting is great, the special effects are excellent, the action is intense, and this film actually has a great storyline to it. To me, a 5.9/10 rating for this film is atrocious. I think this film deserves so much better!! I was thinking of somewhere in between a 7 and an 8/10. But I have my opinion and other people have their own right?? I just find it hard to believe that people don't like this movie.

    Twister has everything I like in an action movie. It has amazing special effects, heart-stopping action, and a reasonably well written storyline. It even has some heartbreaking parts which almost brought tears to my eyes and I don't usually cry during movies. However I almost cried during Twister. Jan De Bont has created a very enjoyable that maybe doesn't come up to masterpiece material, but still is a memorable action movie that won't be forgotten for a long long time.
  • Twister, one of the most successful movies of the 90's, mainly due to it's special effects and a lot of people's want for a natural disaster movie that is fun to watch, this was an extremely popular movie. I was only 11 when the movie was released and I was absolutely in love with it, in fact right after the movie was done, I wanted to become a storm chaser. That's how much I loved this movie; I grew up and forgot about the movie and decided on a new career. But I saw the DVD on sale and thought about how much I enjoyed the movie when I was younger, I'm sure it would be just as much fun to see it again. I have to say this wasn't as awesome as I remembered, in the theater it was like "Oh, my God! Look at that flying cow! A house just flew across the road! That is so cool!", now on my TV screen I was like "Oh, wow, look at that cow. How the heck does a house fly across the road? Why isn't this as cool as I remembered it?" Not to mention that the story wasn't as good as I remembered, granted I know that they had to fit in some kind of story with the whole plot of the twisters, but a lot of this movie is just plain unrealistic.

    In June 1969 on an Oklahoma farm a tornado warning is issued, the family seeks shelter in a storm cellar as an F5 tornado strikes. However, the storm is so strong that the locks on the cellar door fail and the father is caught up in the storm and killed as his daughter struggles to catch a glimpse of the powerful storm. Years later, Dr. Jo Harding, the father's daughter, is reunited with her estranged husband; Bill Harding. Bill is a former weather researcher and storm chaser who has taken a job as a weather reporter. He is planning to marry his new girlfriend, Dr. Melissa Reeves, and arrives at Jo's research lab seeking Jo's signature for the final divorce papers. Bill discovers that Jo has built a tornado research device called DOROTHY based upon his own design; the device is designed to release hundreds of sensors into the center of a tornado to study its structure. The team later meets up with Dr. Jonas Miller, a smug and unscrupulous fellow meteorologist and storm chaser. When Bill discovers that Jonas has "invented" a device almost identical to DOROTHY; he vows to help Jo deploy DOROTHY before Miller can claim credit for the idea. Bill and Melissa join Jo and her eccentric team of storm chasers. Tensions rise between Jo and Bill when they have several close calls with dangerous tornadoes as they try unsuccessfully to deploy the new device.

    So how does Twister hold up over these years? Not so well, the effects are still amazing, but that's about it. I do have to admit, even though it's a bad movie, I still enjoy it like crazy. I think because if you let go of how unrealistic it is, you can just have fun with that want of destruction and chaos. Granted I know this movie is a bit stupid: our two leads, Bill and Jo, survive the impossible facing an F5 twister, the twisters always disappear as our "hero's" are in danger, Bill's fiancé puts up with quit a bit before realizing that he is a jerk for putting her through all the danger with him, Jo, a scientist, thinks that tornado's are serial killers, and not to mention that this was a record breaking day with numerous twisters. But still as bad as the acting, as bad as the story, as stupid as some of these situations may be, it's still a fun movie to watch and I think I wanna be fair with the rating just because it is mindless entertainment. It's a classic 90's disaster movie and besides, it has flying cows, what other film will give you that kind of situation? But it's all good I think they were taking the cows to McDonald's anyways.

  • Warning: Spoilers
    Having lived in Oklahoma all of my life, I was glad that they filmed a lot of it here. The film shows what it's really like here in rural Oklahoma, mostly green rolling country with trees, hills and water, with a few oil pumps and windmills thrown in. I don't need to add anything to the comments about the lack of scientific accuracy do I? My wife and I always note with interest that they occasionally get a few things right. The reason I will watch this movie again from time to time is that it is FUN. I love the exuberance of Bill Paxton's team; I know people like the Philip Seymour Hoffman character and I myself LOVE watching the buildup of a thunderstorm, seeing the sky turn green, and the way the air smells and feels before and after one of our storms. Yes, tornadoes are deadly threats, but we ALWAYS have warnings here. There would never be a drive-in theater full of people in cars with no idea that a funnel is on top of them, but, in this movie, that's beside the point. It's pure fun watching the screen ripped apart while Jack Nicholson is wielding the ax. If you are expecting true life reality, this is not your movie. Just go for the spectacle! The bit of reality in this movie, that Oklahoma is lovely in its own way, and that some people love thunderstorms and tornadoes was enough reality for me, and the rest is just the fun of a cinematic roller-coaster ride with some great special effects. It's not Shakespeare or even "Titanic", so don't expect more and just enjoy it for what it is!
  • Hey people come on! Give TWISTER another chance! Films, even action films, don't HAVE to have "an inventive plot" or "decent performances" or "a script that wasn't written by a machine" to be "good." All I need is light, noise, and lotsa 'splosions! Take those elements and paste over a thin layer of worn-out story borrowed from 10 or twelve other movies and you got a winner, thank you! Throw in some great acting-Bill Paxton's "staring at the dirt" moment alone FLOORS me. And ever notice how Helen Hunt is constantly bustling about with her head down whenever she's not scrunching her face into her patented "I'm sad and cute" look (Hello Oscar!)-that's ACTING! And Jamie Gertz! Welcome back to the cinema! I haven't seen you since LISTEN TO ME! And don't even get me started on the lovable ragamuffins known as the "storm chasers"! The way they're thrown at us like we'll immediately love them! The way you're not sure how many of them there are! (And the fat red-hared "dude"! That's what they mean by COOL! I mean COOL-AGE!) And Cary Elwes! What a great villian! He's in it for the money!(Hsss!) At first I wasn't sure what accent he was doing, since it changed every scene, but then I realized he was doing all of them! And the F/X! WOWWW!!! This movie follows the rule "We got a computer, who needs a script?". I love how the characters "find" the big tornado in the end-on a perfectly sunny day, no less-and drive right up to it with no damage done! I can't wait to try that myself! (I just hope I have lots of cans of delicious refreshing Pepsi-Cola(TM)!!!)

    To sum up, this is a rollercoaster wrapped inside a thrillride of a movie and I implore you to give a second chance! Please don't get hung up on this notion that a big budget action film could actually be daring and original and even a little smart. All we need are CGIs and THX sound and films made by the marketing department of the studios to keep us happy! Give me more! I'm waiting!
  • movieguy810077 May 2008
    Twister is a fun movie to watch. I think Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt give excellent performances. This movie has a great soundtrack. I do not know why people hate this movie. This is one of Jan De Bont's best films. He also directed one of my other favorite movie Speed. Normally I think all of Van Halen's songs are trashy except for the songs for Twister. I like the sound and visual effects of this film. Not since The Wizard of Oz have I seen better tornadoes. The first time I saw this movie I was blown away. I actually like this better than Independence Day. I really like the end song "Respect the Wind" performed by Edward and Alex Van Halen. I wanna get the Twister Soundtrack.
  • Being from the west coast I never had a whole lot of interest in the natural phenomena showcased in this film. Where I live an inch of rain is headline news. I had absolutely no interest in Twister until I saw it was on late one boring night. Having nothing better to do, I obliged the television and payed attention. I found Twister to be what I call a nice bedtime movie. While it failed to anthropomorphize the tornado the way Backdraft successfully did with fire, the characters were well fleshed out, there was a healthy balance of comedy, drama and (at the time) cutting edge special FX. I found that as long as the viewer came in with no expectation, Twister would be a fun and easy to watch nappy time movie, perfect for watching on a rainy day, curled up with a blanket. So to sum everything up, don't expect an epic, emotionally charged extravaganza, but if you are willing to accept a decently woven story with reasonably believable characters, and have a rainy afternoon to kill, check out Twister. You shouldn't be too disappointed.
  • Solid follow up film for former cinematographer (it shows) Jan DeBont who's previous film 'Speed' redefined the action genre and added, well, speed, to the mix. He has a talent for making films that are extremely kinetic and seem to actually MOVE and Twister is no different.

    The story is simple, we follow a group of storm chasers around tornado alley for 48hrs during the most active otbreak of tornao activity on record (not unlike what actually occured this past month in Oklahoma) all the while watching an estranged couple played by Hunt and Paxton fall in love again amongst the windswept action.

    The tornados are awe inspiring works of digital wonder created by ILM and really come across as powerful. They're not so much portrayed as ordinary storms, but rather angry demons from above who wreak havoc on the landscape, they even roar like lions at times! Great film. And to those that think this film doesn't translate well to the home, you obviously don't have a Home Theater set up with Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1! The film RIVALS what I got at the theater in my home!
  • I'm really shocked at how low the rating for this movie is on this site. What is wrong with you people? The movie is awesome! It's a fun movie with excellent special effects.

    Some people have complained about the story...I don't get it, the story seemed fine to me, given the nature of the film. The movie is about tornados!!! It's not supposed to be a deep and thought-provoking film, it's just meant to be entertaining, and it most certainly does that!!! I thought the story was excellent and really kept you interested in what was going to happen next, the movie flows very nicely from scene to scene, from start to finish. Also, I have to mention (before I forget) that I loved Jo Harding's (Helen Hunt's) group of storm chasers, they were a great bunch of interesting characters! I loved them all!!!

    The actors all did a fantastic job and there were a lot of them that are worth mentioning. Bill Paxton does an awesome job as always. Helen Hunt if fabulous, and looks just as beautiful as ever. Jami Gertz also did a fine job and looked fantastic. Philip Seymour Hoffman did a really good job, this seems like such a different role for him and he nailed it! Cary Elwes is one of those few actors that can convincingly play a bad guy and a good guy and is also just as good in comedy films. He's a very talented actor and did a great job in this film. I won't mention all names, but all of the storm chasers did a great job with their roles. As for director, Jan de Bont: Another great film to add to his resume! I can't wait to see his next film! And, I have to mention writers Michael Crichton and Anne-Marie Martin as well, they both did a great job with the story!

    If you're looking for a fast-paced, energetic, interesting, fun movie with some killer special effects, then this is the movie for you! I would definitely recommend this film to just about anyone. There is rarely anything objectional in the film and I would imagine that this would appeal to a great deal of people. I definitely think you should see this film. I really hope you enjoy the film. Thanks for reading.

  • It's hard to believe this was done as far back as 1996. It was phenomenal then and I still love watching this flick today. The plot is great, the effects are dynamite, and the dialog is natural with an easy flow, and the performances are awesome. It still surprises me, today. this was the film that made me stop dismissing Bill Paxton as an actor and Helen Hunt as a flibbertigibbet. But there is more to this film than the incredible effects.

    The ultimate raw believability of this film's effects is what drives it, not the effects themselves. Regardless of how it may be viewed by casual movie goers, this film has a depth many overlook in their awe of the effects. The story itself is good, solid work, with an interesting plot line and magnificent flow.

    The only problem with it is that the average Joe can't SEE the story for their infatuation with the effects. That doesn't make it an effects-driven work, and indeed, it is not. It is story driven with marvelous effects. It still amazes me, and I watch this often.

    It rates an easy 8.4/10 from...

    the Fiend :.
  • cruelmo13 December 2002
    There were 2 good things about this movie: If I ever need to inflict pain and misery upon an enemy I can send them a copy of this film, and if I ever want to make myself sick (for the purposes of calling into work or whatever!) I can rent this monstrosity and watch 5 minutes of it.

    People say it has wonderful special effects, and even this point I must disagree with. If you have ever been in or near a real twister, you will notice that it is an entirely different scene than what you see in this film. A real twister, if it was even twice as far away from you as it was these people in this film, would instill nothing less than sheer TERROR in everyone involved. Sheer terror meaning: there would be no bickering about "Dorothy" or "the other scientists" or "divorce papers". These special effects did not do justice to the ambience of a real twister, and the acting was reminiscent of my 3rd grade Christmas play. I won't even bother mentioning the ridiculous 'plot'. This film is in my top 5 worst films (Hollywood productions) ever made.

    Jan De Bont: What's the matter with you?? Even an action movie needs to have REASONABLE chemistry between actors... and the dialogue in Twister reminds me of the ridiculous dialogue in another equally horrible flick: "Speed".. And sequels are bad enough as it is, but a sequel to "Speed"????????!!!!!!???? I'm glad I have not seen it... I would be forever scarred if I had.
  • Anyone who saw this movie in the theater or on a big screen TV will agree with me that "Twister" is an awesome thrill ride from beginning to end. However, if you watch this movie on a regular TV screen, you definitely don't get the full effect.

    Sure the plot is about as predictable as a Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd cartoon. And sure Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt weren't A-list stars when this movie came out. However, the special effects and uniqueness really make this film worthwhile. You have to remember that when this movie came out in the summer of 1996, it was a considered a big event movie. Back then, a big budget/big event movie was considered a huge risk(i.e. Waterworld) and only came out about every 6 months. Nowadays, it seems like every movie is or tries to be a big budget/big event movie. Back then, the special effects in Twister were considered amazing and it was the first disaster movie to come out in a long time. Nowadays, most movies have some kind of special effects in them and there are tons of disaster flicks made since Twister. So, Twister was a ground breaking film and it really helped pave the way for all these high budget/special F/X films out right now.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed TWISTER! I saw it in theaters and was completely blown away! (No pun intended.) I loved the big, loud, thrilling action sequences and the fun characters. Although most people criticize the writing as being poor, I actually thought most of it was quite clever. Unlike worse action movies, you actually understand the characters' personality.

    The cast is great! Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Cary Elwes, Jami Gertz, Lois Smith, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Ruck, Anthony Rapp, and the rest of the cast (as well as Jan De Bont, Steven Spielberg, and Michael Crichton) make this an entertaining and educational movie!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    TV weatherman Bill Harding is trying to get his tornado-hunter wife, Jo, to sign divorce papers so he can marry his girlfriend Melissa.

    But Mother Nature, in the form of a series of intense storms sweeping across Oklahoma, has other plans.

    Soon the three have joined the team of storm chasers as they attempt to insert a revolutionary measuring device into the very heart of several extremely violent tornadoes....

    Yes the film is utterly ridiculous, and like other De Bont movies after Speed, completely devoid of plot, but one cannot deny, that this film entertains in droves, and like many other summer blockbusters of 1996 is a lot of loud dumb silly fun.

    What ever plot there is involves trying to get microchips into a tornado, so the warning time can increase, but when you have flying cows, and flawless effects, does plot matter.

    If we're to come out now, it wouldn't be as successful, as films like this are ten a penny nowadays, and there are more high concept ideas.

    But for the time, it's an amazing feat, deserved of it's box office and cult following. The cast are fun, and it's always funny to see Elwes in a black van with a silent entourage, after all, he's the bad guy....
  • Warning: Spoilers


    · It is implied, later in the film (during the dinner scene at auntie's) that this night-time tornado is F5 intensity. This is extremely unlikely. There's just not enough heat/lapse-rate (and consequent thermal instability) without sunshine. · The fluid dynamics of a guy getting sucked out of a storm cellar just don't work. It would require too much pressure differential in an enclosed space. Stick a small piece of paper in a pop bottle, then try to get the paper out of the pop bottle by blowing. Blow across the opening, into the opening, try anything. Trust me, it just won't work.

    First tornado encountered

    · Mammatus clouds, which they admire outside the gas station, generally indicate that a storm is waning, not at peak intensity as suggested here. · The tornado shown does not emerge from a wall cloud, and thus is probably a land-spout. Therefore it's unlikely to be F2 intensity as implied. · Storm chasers do not drive like idiots. They're very responsible and safety conscious. Even when deploying damage-path instruments like TOTO they do not deliberately get closer than ½ mile or so. · An F2 tornado cannot pick up a truck, just push it around some. · If it ropes out as shown, it's very unlikely (but not impossible, admittedly) that it could reconstitute, as it apparently did. · The tornado debris cloud varied way too much in size. In the final seconds it looked to be only a few meters in diameter. Not realistic. · Hiding under a bridge is a really stupid idea. Storm chasers would only do something like that if no other option was available.

    Second tornado

    · The second tornado appears to be coming out of a wall cloud (good for them!), but there's no such storm-chaser terminology as 'sidewinder'. · There's no way they could assess the Fujita ('F') number just by looking at the tornado. Dumb! No storm chaser would ever say something like that. · The tornado does not move realistically. Spawning of the second funnel is unrealistic. There's no way a second tornado could 'split' from the first as shown. The fluid dynamics of rotation would prevent it.

    · Hunt says they're 'in the flanking line.' They could not be anywhere near the flanking line if they're 'under the core' (mesocyclone, I suppose that means). · The whole 'cow' scene, while amusing, is completely unrealistic. · They survive a direct hit from an 'F3' tornado and nothing happens? Don't make me laugh.

    Dinner at Auntie's

    · I don't even know where to start with the absurd banter in this scene. The whole 'Jack Daniels' anecdote is absolutely impossible. Not even close to possible.

    Third tornado

    · You can't guarantee touchdown just from Doppler radar. You can determine the existence of a vortex, but there's no way to say whether it's on the ground or in the air. · There's a good picture of wall cloud here! One good moment. · Where the hell is the debris in this scene coming from? They're too far from the tornado and not anywhere near the RFD. · The tornado moves too fast. Not realistic. · When it hits the power lines, what the hell explodes in a ball of fire??? · Cloud motion is not particularly realistic when the tornado lifts.

    Fourth tornado

    · Once again we have an unlikely level of intensity after dark. · What are these people, living mobile home parks? Every damn tornado in the state heads straight for them! · There is a bad misconception that the visible part of the tornado, i.e. the condensation funnel, is where the wind is. The actual area of strong rotation may be many times larger and strong inflow can extend even farther than that. The visible funnel is only where the air pressure is low enough that the air is at or below dew point. In dry air, tornadoes may not necessarily have a visible funnel at all, at least until it is filled with debris and dust. · 'Downdrafts and microbursts'??? What the hell is he talking about? They took a f***ing direct hit from a funnel. There were no 'downdrafts and microbursts'…

    The propeller idea

    · I'm not sure about this. It might actually be a good one. Mind you, I can't picture a scientist designing objects intended to be carried aloft by the wind that are spherical, which is the most aerodynamically efficient symmetrical shape. The logical design would be something with a high drag coefficient, not a low one (which a sphere would be), so that they would be carried more easily by the updraft. It wouldn't be necessary to make little propellers, though. Just anything that would increase drag.

    Fifth tornado

    · Sure is good of that tornado to hang around for hours until the storm chasers are ready! The longest-lived tornado on record lasted less than 75 minutes. Oh, and they casually drive by the thing on the way to their deployment point. They go from bright sunlight to within a mile of a huge wedge tornado, then back into sunlight, apparently far enough away from the tornado to prepare their instruments, then easily drive to within a few hundred feet of the thing. Yeah right.

    · By the way, just because the sensors spill out onto the road, how come they're no good any more? Why do they have to be inside that barrel thing? They'd still get sucked up into the funnel even if they're scattered on the road… · How can they drive through the flaming wreckage of a tanker truck and not hit anything? · Quibble: Explosion of Jonas's truck looked really fake. · Continuity error: Part of combine harvester hits their truck on the passenger-side windshield. In the very next shot the windshield is intact. · There is no way the truck could drive through even a flimsy frame house and come out the other side undamaged. · Too many problems here to list. In almost all scenes, they're way too close to the tornado. They would be right in the inflow, and getting their asses kicked by it. · Getting caught in an F5 tornado unprotected: Probability of survival: very low. Probability of surviving uninjured: just about zero. Wind speeds inside an F5 tornado are between 250 and 317 m.p.h. Getting hit by even a small piece of debris would be like getting shot with a gun. Even in the core of the tornado they look like they're getting buffeted by winds perhaps 40-50 m.p.h. Yeah, right. If either of them got hit by even a small rock traveling at 250+ miles per hour, they'd be dead as fried chicken. · Following the encounter, the tornado doesn't rope out, but dissipates in a matter of seconds. Pretty, unlikely. · In the final scene, it is apparent that the tornado passed within a few meters of the farmhouse, yet the house is undamaged. Possible, but very pretty unlikely.
  • This film is not high cinematic art. It was intended to be a summer blockbuster "put your brain on hold" action film when it was released in 1996, and that is what it was and still is. Its competition at the time was "Independence Day", which is an unwatchable hokey movie, and this movie is better than that film in that it is a watchable hokey movie. Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton play recently divorced storm chasers Jo and Bill Harding whose relationship was pulled apart by Jo's obsession with chasing tornadoes to the exclusion of wanting any kind of "normal family life" by Bill's definition. Bill has moved on and found a more conventional girl that he plans to marry (Jami Gertz). However, before he can move on, Bill needs Jo to sign some papers. He meets her "in the field" as she and her team from the university plan a day of chasing tornadoes through Oklahoma. Before they can conclude their business a storm calls the team to the chase, and Bill is drawn into the chase by necessity but kept there by his latent passion - for storm-chasing and maybe even for the marriage he left behind. The film features some great special effects, fast-paced action, and cringingly obvious dialog with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. However if you're just in the mood for an action-packed film with a feel-good after effect, this movie fits the bill.

    The current rating of 6/10 is probably correct if you are comparing Twister with Casablanca. If you judge it as an action film against other action films, I'd say it's probably more of a 7 out of 10.
  • staisil24 May 2003
    This is a really fun movie with a great cast headed by Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. It may not be a frightning, or even suspensful, but it does the trick. Along with great acting and decent writing, the special effects were awesome and it made you feel like you were really there. 8 out of 10.
  • angre1-123 February 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    Did everyone feel the way I felt? I was rooting for the twister. I live in Madisonville, Ky, where in 2005 we had the strongest tornado (F4 but some say F5) in the country that year. Amazingly enough, we did not lose a single life in that hellstorm. But...we did not have the bland characters living in our town that live in this movie. And the final scene? Where Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt strap themselves to the pipes? Well...just so you know...a tornado of that intensity is going to rip concrete from the ground, making you forget it was even there. It is going to pick up combines and toss them like children's blocks. It is going to suck their eyes out of their heads. It is going to strip the skin from their bones. And that isn't even taking into account the damage from the blowing debris! A piece of straw is going to be slung at them at 150 mph. Sand is going to strip their clothes and flesh from them. Sounds kind of biblical...but basically, remember, you are not going to survive. For them to survive, and then just sit there and *smooch*, well, it was sickening. If that had actually happened, kissing is farthest thing from your mind--you want to know where your change of pants is at...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have to admit, Twister is definitely an action-packed film with special effects galore. I liked a lot of the humor that was in this film. BUT!!!!! The story is not so good. The idea that two chasing teams would be so competitive almost to the point of ripping each other's throats out is BULLSH*T! Storm chasers all have the same learn more about tornadoes. Everything that storm chasers do is for the benefit of people who are threatened each year by tornadoes. The movie is heavily testosterone-injected by far. Storm chasers are never as blatantly reckless as the ones portrayed in Twister. When Bill answer's Jo's challenge, "Have you lost your nerve?", by tightening her seatbelt and flooring it off the road and into a ditch next to the field where a tornado is in progress without knowledge of the predicament he's getting himself and Jo into is definitely the work of Hollywood. I am going to be a meteorology major in college this coming school year, and, while I don't plan on being a chaser, I know I definitely would NOT do what Bill did in that particular situation. Bill mixes his personal life with his professional life WAY too much. It distracts him too much and he has quite a few close calls. One of the first ones happens when he is arguing with Jo in her truck: he runs the truck off the road and nearly wrecks into an Army vehicle (somebody tell me what that thing was). The idea of DOROTHY was derived from TOTO, only in Twister, the chasers actually put themselves right in the path of an oncoming tornado just to place an instrument pack like DOROTHY. That too is BULLSH*T. No storm chaser in their right mind would do that. To conclude, this movie, while I do like it somewhat, is eye candy: lots of action, special effects, and PG-13 language. It almost reminds me of the action movies of the '80s only the enemy is a force of nature containing the fastest winds on Earth. I give it a 4.75 out of 10.
  • moviesleuth22 July 2008
    The mid-90's was when Hollywood was hit by the disaster movie bug. Summer after summer came more explosions and associated disasters of some sort. Many of them were actually pretty good, in a rather brainless sort of way. But Jan de Bont's 1996 movie takes the cake. It's the ultimate in summer action adventure.

    Granted, the plot is nothing more than an excuse to create some impressive visuals and loud noises (but then again, wasn't de Bont's previous feature "Speed" like that, too?). But it really doesn't matter anyway. Actually, for a movie like this, the story and subplots are pretty well-developed.

    Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) is a tornado chaser who, with her team of ragtag scientists, is about to try and get their new science gizmo (appropriately named DOROTHY) up in a tornado to get scientific readings. Enter Bill (Bill Paxton) who has come to get the divorce papers from Jo, but he and his high-strung fiancée (Jami Gertz) decide to tag along to see DOROTHY fly.

    "Twister" would be just another round of eye candy (albeit very good eye candy, even by today's standards) if it hadn't been for a cast of extremely likable characters. It's a challenge to make bickering people likable, but Hunt and Paxton do it. They bicker, but it's often funny. Paxton is a normal guy who just wants to move on, but he has a good heart. Hunt is not your typical lady scientist, and her deadpan delivery brings some big laughs. Jami Gertz is fine as the high-strung fiancée who has no idea what she has gotten herself into, and Cary Elwes is perfectly slimy as the rival with money but no brains. Lois Smith has some very memorable and heartfelt scenes as Jo's aunt.

    Jan de Bont has a gift for developing a single sentence premise into a roller-coaster ride of a thriller. Just take a look at "Speed," his first venture in the director's chair. "Twister" is just as intense, and if I may say so, a lot more fun. The effects are outstanding, and the cinematography is both beautiful and scary. de Bont also stretches his talent for one liners and physical gags, some of which are laugh out loud hilarious.

    I also have to mention Mark Mancina's score. It's delightfully upbeat with a sense of fun that perfectly compliments "Twister." It's enough to get anyone excited for a nearly 2 hour ride. It's a shame that the Oscars didn't recognize his work.

    Not everything in "Twister" works. There are a few minor plot holes here and there, and many of the minor characters aren't developed (though they are put to good use in establishing rapport between the characters and the audience-the dialogue feels very real and again is often pretty funny). But these are minor quibbles, and I chose to give this film a 10 despite them because a, they don't dampen the film's entertainment value, and b, no one will notice (or care) unless they are looking at this movie from a critic's point of view.

    "Twister" may not be great art, but it sure is great fun!
  • I'm a tornado chaser. The movie has portrayed us as a bunch of yahoo cowboys who have no concept of danger. We do not: 1) go bouncing across fields and through ditches chasing tornadoes 2) get hit by a tornado, watch our truck slam to the ground, and calmly commandeer another truck and keep chasing. We go home and change our underwear if we ever get hit. 3) We don't get hit because we're not stupid enough to drive up to a tornado 4) We don't find a tornado every 20 minutes. Finding one tornado in 3 weeks of chasing is getting pretty lucky. 5) We don't yell and whoop and holler when we get hit by two tornadoes. We go home and change our underwear again, and give up chasing because we're too stupid to chase if we get hit twice in one day. 6) In the scene where Bill was dropping grass leaves to determine where the tornado is: The clouds being shown were from an actual tornado chase video. It was a classic, very promising mesocyclone. In this situation, we would be going ballistic and scrambling to go after it, not standing around smelling dirt and commenting "it's really talkin'" 7) We can't tell when and where a tornado will be by smelling dirt. 8) We can't tell when and where a tornado will be by looking at grass stems. 9) We don't stop in the middle of a chase for steak and eggs at Aunt Meg's. 10) Tornadoes do not growl like a lion 11) We don't have love-interest arguments while a tornado is bearing down on us 12) DOROTHY is actually a rip off of a real tornado package developed in the 70's by the National Severe Storms Lab, called TOTO (TOtable Tornado Observatory) 13) In a real chase team, Dusty would be shot. 14) There are no evil chasers. We don't compete against each other, and we don't get corporate sponsorship. 15) We don't go busting through cornfields and almost cause wrecks by blasting out onto a highway. 17) We don't listen to bopping music when we're chasing a tornado. We listen to AM radio (it transmits lightening flashes), scanners, CB's, and HAM radios (usually all at the same time) Some of us have TV's in our cars to tune in local weather channels too. 18) We don't run in to barns for shelter from a tornado. We know they'll be blown away. 19) a belt will not hold us down in an F5 20) even if it did, we'd be killed by flying debris. F5's can lift semitrucks and hurl them around at around 100mph. The survivability potential there is very low. 16) Dirt roads are avoided (not good to get stuck in the mud) and for the final bit of unrealism, the scene where Aunt Meg is saved from the heavy TV falling on her by the co-axial cable holding it back . . Anyone who's ever hooked up video equipment knows the stupid co-ax's break at the drop of a hat. There's no way it would have held the TV.

    And the acting was bad too!!!

    all in all, the movie stunk! (I will admit, I really liked the soundtrack. Very nice music)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A storm is brewing in the distance indeed, because some critics are hating this film. Directed by Jan de Bont, Twister (1996) stars Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Cary Elwes, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It's kind of funny that the original tag-line for the film was going to be "It sucks" but the producers felt that it worked too much to the advantage of disappointed audiences and critics. It's doesn't really suck in a bad way. It's a very entertaining piece—not that good, but not that bad. Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt as an estranged couple who chase tornadoes for a living surprising the dialogue between them is funny and catchy—it's felt very well written for a disaster movie. We follow these storm-chasers during a wild 24-hour-period in a quest to deploy a large piece of scientific equipment in the path of a tornado, in hopes of studying it's traits from the inside with a rag-tag team of scientists. Each supporting cast of the movie's crew of storm-chasers has its bits of character develop stereotypes and exaggerated caricatures of real people. You have the smart guy with the map, the computer guy, the film and camera crew… but most of all; you got Dusty play by Philip Seymour Hoffman. It's very cool to see him in a role where he doesn't take himself so serious, because most of his roles after this movie were a big serious. While, not chasing storms, the viewer are treated with a sub-story of Bill getting suck into the thrill of storm chasing, forcing him to reconnect an relationship with Josie (Helen Hunt's character) and ignoring his relationship with his new girlfriend. We get a back story of Helen Hunt's character reasons why she track storms, in a way to get revenge on them, for the death of her father who die from one. Then you got the story of the rivalry of competing storm-chasing teams lead by Carl Elwes. Carl Elwes plays also a caricature of the evil, corporation man who in it for money rather than science opposite of Bill's character. Without giving too much out away—it's incredibly entertaining. It's a very cookie-cutter popcorn flick. The CGI tornadoes were great at the time of filming, plus it's pretty real to me. It's eye candy. Just don't take the sum-story so serious, and enjoy yourself. You would be blow away how some critics deem it 'bad', and find yourself having fun watching it.
  • A lot of critics have bashed this movie for its simple plot, only-decent script, and reliance on special effects to sell. However, that's what it's SUPPOSED to be! If you go to see this movie, don't expect an Oscar-winning film. It's a very simple plot (No spoilers): A group of storm chasers are tracking a huge front spawning multiple tornadoes throughout Oklahoma, hoping to test a new weather sensory device that could possibly help with tornado warning systems. To complicate things, the former leader of the group (Bill Paxton) has come back to have his ex-wife and current supervisor of the team (Helen Hunt) sign the final divorce papers. However, he finds himself swept up (no pun intended) in joining the chase again. That's pretty much it; not outrageous nor all that thought provoking.

    The actors are all reputable (Paxton, Hunt, Elwes, Hoffman, Ruck, etc) and very good in their roles and they work well with the somewhat weak dialog, and the special effects are very good. Also, the physics are relatively accurate; I can't really think of any groan-inducing actions scenes. All in all, a great movie for parties, especially if you have a big screen and a good sound system.
  • You don't play with Mother Nature. That's common sense; anyone who does, well, I feel sorry for them. In "Twister," Nature is given a frightening new dimension courtesy of breathtaking Hollywood CGI effects but it's dumbed down by a questionable script and dialogue (thanks to none other than novelist Michael Crichton himself as a co-author, along with wife Anne-Marie Martin) and sub-par acting. Sure, a number of liberties are also taken with tornadoes ("fingers of God" - one character calls them), but what do you expect from a film directed by "Speed" Jan de Bont?

    And lastly, who goes to see movies like this for scientific accuracy? I remember watching it with a friend and giving him a nasty tongue-lashing afterwards for his redundant pointing out of the various scientific and factual inaccuracies that abound in it (which he told me had each been identified by his science teacher - go figure). I snapped back, "Dude, chill out. It's just a movie. Who cares if this does or doesn't happen, or tornadoes don't suck like that." I basically told him to get a grip.

    Nature is unrepentant in its desire to test human will to withstand her destructive forces. I showered praise on "Twister" for capturing that and making sure its human characters realize it. I make these statements because "Twister" is quite terrifying in its scenes of tornadoes blazing paths of destruction, and this is what people tend to miss when watching it. I know I'm sure to run into flak because of it but, what am I going to do {*shrugs shoulders*}?

    As the film opens on the plains of Oklahoma's Tornado Alley, the National Weather Service is tracking several storm systems that if they were to merge any time soon, they could see a record outbreak of violent, tornado-producing severe weather. Next, we're introduced to meteorologist and recent divorcée Bill (Bill Paxton) and fiancée Melissa (Jami Gertz) - "She's a reproductive therapist," he reassures us, after Bill is asked if she is HIS therapist. Melissa isn't too keen on the idea of storm chasing, which poses a problem for them both, but for Bill it was always the thrill of the hunt, and we know he's not going to pass the opportunity to get back in the mode of things.

    We then arrive at a field where we meet the storm chasers, led by Bill's tough ex and fellow meteorologist Jo (Helen Hunt), who has somehow mysteriously forgotten to sign her name to the last page of the divorce papers (she still loves him). When asked if he's back by the various supporting players, he emphatically denies he has returned to his field of expertise. But it turns out, however, that before their marriage went to hell, they had been busy developing a revolutionary storm system-tracking device that could give them the inside knowledge of how tornadoes work.

    "DOROTHY" (real original), the miracle device, a package that contains hundreds of little sensors, could be placed in the damage path and each sensor could provide a detailed map of a tornado's inner-workings and with such knowledge now available, they could design an advanced warning system. The trick is, however, they have to wait until a twister spawns, place Dorothy in its damage path (or "Suck Zone"), and then run like hell. The action begins when they're forced to take off to chase after the storm, and it's about here the film abandons logic and plot for nonstop special effects, peril, and destruction.

    Saying the acting here sucks and is uninspired is like saying we went to see "Jurassic Park" (1993) for the performances - understatement - get real. It's easy for any casual movie-goer to pick apart bad acting and lousy story, but come on, it's a roller coaster film. I'm not sure I could put it in clearer writing for you about how we don't go to see movies like this for Oscar-winning actors or plot. I've always liked Bill Paxton (who I personally see as probably being the next Clint Eastwood), and I find it difficult about how he has somehow managed to avoid stardom. Here, his character seems to know how the storm functions and what it "thinks," and in essence he's a human barometer (even his wild days as a radical storm chaser do deserve some laughs).

    The writing is substandard, including Jo's barely-hinted upon obsession with chasing the storm (as a child, she saw her dad killed by a monster F5), Lois Smith as Jo's Aunt Meg (who supplies our famished heroes with platters of beef and eggs between effects scenes), the underdeveloped storm chasing team (some of whom are more colorful than others, including Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dusty), and the unnecessary subplot involving stiff competition from Cary Elwes as a corporate-sponsored rival who stole Bill's invention. But this isn't too glaring a problem, if you're a hard-a** for art in cinema and came to "Twister" expecting it. You'll see plenty scenes of destruction (just wait for the drive-in showing "The Shining"), and the music that swells up when tornadoes appear.

    Lastly, I can see how anyone who has experienced a twister in their lives could probably want to possibly stay from "Twister." I've never seen one and I don't want to. I do know people who have experienced tornadoes; in northern Virginia, where I live, we rarely see the kind of severe weather that produces twisters, but my grandparents, who live close to me, were once in an F1 and thankfully it caused minimal damage to their property and neighbors.

    "Twister" isn't a failure; it's a simple realization of the popcorn blockbuster. Put aside the hard-pressing of art, turn off your brain, and enjoy (but you should still watch out for those flying cows, tanker trucks, and other debris that can become a hostile projectile if picked up by a tornado's winds); it's that simple.

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