May 23, 2012

Filthy Review - Metal Tornado

Metal Tornado (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

When I first heard of this movie I thought it could be one of two things. It could either be a 80s’ hair-metal documentary or it could be a SyFy channel style disaster flick. Well, it is the latter and it stars Lou Diamond Phillips in the lead role. But, for purposes of this review I would like you to throw your devil horns in the air every time I say Metal Tornado. If you’d like to throw in a “Hell yeah!” please don’t let me stop you.

The last time I saw Lou Diamond Phillips he was on some show on the Food Network looking very intense. Thankfully he has retained his intensity and brought it to his role as Michael Edwards in Metal Tornado. Michael works for a company that works on new energy sources and, it is implied but never expanded on, that they carry out other strange experiments, according to the locals. Their latest plan is to harness the Sun’s solar flares, through giant satellite/solar panels, and convert them into a clean energy force. Stellar idea, I’m glad they are thinking green.

However, this film is called Metal Tornado so you know things aren’t going to go as smoothly as they like. Amidst all the back-slapping and self-congratulating in the company’s control room they are unaware that a small amount of magnetic energy was lost. This in turn transforms into the metal tornado of the title. Of course, if the company boss, Jonathan, had listened to the scientist he employed, none of this would be happening. But, he didn’t, so it has.

From here on in, Metal Tornado, alternates between Michael seriously trying to find a way to stop the tornado before it reaches Philadelphia. On a side note, and a potential spoiler which I usually refrain from, for some reason Paris getting wiped out is of far less importance. Anyway, I digress. So, the film alternates between Michael and other random scenes of the tornado wreaking havoc. We get chainsaws flying off into the sky, the obligatory diner scene, Michael’s wayward son sitting on the periphery, just waiting to step in and help, and of course the boss who wants to turn a blind eye to everything.

Metal Tornado is kind of fun in places, but it is also completely daft. The effects are amusing, the dialogue is cheesy and somehow the film can magically slow down time. I was convinced that it must be near the end of the film, but when I turned on the timer I saw that I had yet to reach the 50 minute mark.

I could go on about ad infinitum about Metal Tornado’s shortcoming, but I won’t. The fact of the matter is it is called Metal Tornado, it stars Lou Diamond Phillips and it did indeed debut on the SyFy channel and as such you should have a rough idea of what to expect, and that is a cheap(ish) looking disaster style flick.

Metal Tornado didn’t piss me off, even though it did drag, as it is a harmless flick aimed directly for the SyFy fans out there, and we all know you exist. This is the kind of film that my 6 year old son will watch over and over again, as he has done with many other SyFy and Asylum flicks. He likes them, so who am I to argue with that.

The film is called Metal Tornado, if you still want to watch it be my guest. It is probably far more entertaining than the recent batch of big budget box office disasters. For a start, they didn’t have Lou Diamond Phillips in their movies.

Metal Tornado is available now on DVD from Arc Entertainment.

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