Herbert James Winterstern attempts to bring back the thrills of disaster flicks with a reduced budget in Supercell from Saban Films.
Baseball-size hail, violent winds, and churning tornadoes make supercells deadly, and when William Brody (Daniel Diemer) was a boy, his father, a legendary storm-chaser, was killed by one.
The family business belongs to Zane Rogers (Alec Baldwin), a reckless tour operator who sees dollar signs where others see storm clouds. When his destiny arrives in the form of one of the most powerful storms on record, William leaves his mom (Anne Heche) and home behind to team up with his father's ex-partner, Roy Cameron (Skeet Ulrich), barely surviving a tornado yet determined to chase one of nature's most terrifying creations: the bear's cage.
Growing up in the eighties, I saw Irwin Allen, the master of disaster films, on the small screen. The movie season of the summer of 1996 brought upon two hits in the form of Twister and Independence Day saw a resurgence in the genre. Since then, countless disaster films hit the big ad small screen. Sometimes the results are good, and others, not so much,
Natural disasters have always piqued human interest. Tracking and photographing storms have become popular since Stormchasers demonstrated that the job is not merely a fictional concept. Supercells, which possess distinctive characteristics, are a specific type of storm. Supercell goes to the bottom of the barrel for entertainment and is full of problems. There is little to recommend, from the bad acting to the weak special effects. I've heard a better score from unsigned producers on YouTube trying to get a record deal.
Although Steven Spielberg may have influenced director Herbert James Winterstern, his film is a lesser version of any disaster you've seen in the last twenty years. The movie portrays tornadoes as their entity, similar to The Hurricane Heist, and it is unclear if Winterstern had any knowledge of the latter before making his movie.
Understandably, when unsure, a director may look to successful and popular movies for inspiration, especially for their directorial debut, to avoid taking unnecessary risks. However, relying too heavily on role models can result in unoriginal and uncreative rip-offs instead of genuine creativity.
Unfortunately, Supercell disappoints with a weak impact and a failure to captivate its audience. The screenplay lacks merit, and the cliched score makes it one of my year's worst.
Final Grade: D+
Supercell is available to stream now