Devil Winds (2003)
Lando Experiences Traumatic Wind
For those who felt "Twister" was cheesy should seriously check out "Devil Winds" a TV movie from 2003. Now these are similar movies in the fact that they both have storylines featuring storm chasers and catastrophic weather and they are similar in the fact that they are both cheesy. But where as "Twister" embraced its cheesiness with comical characters there is none of that fun in "Devil Winds" instead we have a movie which appears to be a serious weather based disaster movie but one which is even cheesier than its better known counterpart. Having said that, if you embrace the fact that "Devil Winds" is going to have dodgy special effects, terrible dialogue and 2 dimensional characters then it becomes fun and in many ways that is the only way you should watch it because if you expect more you are going to be seriously disappointed.
Ten years after he lost his wife in a Tornado, former storm chaser Peter Jensen (Joe Lando) returns to the scene of the destruction as his daughter is graduating. It doesn't take Peter long to hook up with his old friend Booker (Peter Graham-Gaudreau) and finds himself back out there storm chasing and looking for early signs of danger and that is exactly what he spots when he witnesses unprecedented activity in the skies. Determined not to let disaster to strike twice he does everything in his power to warn people of the impending doom whilst also trying to save his daughter Kara (Erica Durance) who is working in a new Environment and Disease Control laboratory which has been built to lower specifications than it should of and won't withstand the power of the tornado when it hits.
Now whilst both "Devil Winds" and "Twister" build storylines around catastrophic weather and terrible tornados they have very different storylines with "Devil Winds" feeling more like a traditional disaster movie. At the start we meet storm chaser Peter Jensen who because he is so dedicated to monitoring the weather that he is not at home when a Tornado strikes and loses his wife because of it and whilst his daughter survived has grown to hate him. So we have this cliche of the tortured soul as we pick up the story 10 years later with Jensen having moved away from the area and turned his back on storm chasing to become a detective and chasing bad guys instead. But of course he returns to where it all happens for his daughter's graduation and finds himself drawn back into the world of storm chasing.
It is a very cliche, disaster movie set up and that feeling continues as we meet various people who will be drawn into the disaster when it strikes, from greedy corporate bosses who don't heed warnings through to a love interest. To put it simple "Devil Winds" is basically one cliche after another and in between those cliches is plenty of padding which includes a terrible flight scene where Peter and his friend Booker end up in a weather plane which gets hit by lightening. But as I said to start with if you watch this expecting something other than an unoriginal TV movie then all the cliches end up being entertaining and often for the wrong reasons.
Thos wrong reasons can be pretty much anything from some corny slow motion camera work as Peter tries to battle the winds through to some absolutely dire dialogue. But the biggest of these wrong reasons are the special effects which are at times so poor that you wonder whether you're suddenly watching an old video game rather than a movie. You sort of expect slightly dodgy effects seeing that "Devil Winds" is a TV movie but even so some of them are simply terrible. Almost as terrible as the absolutely corny romantic sub plot as Peter hooks up with Julia Merrow a reporter doing a piece on the 10 year anniversary of the tornados which killed so many.
With "Devil Winds" being both corny and cliche I have to say that it is the same when it comes to the characters and acting because there is some over acting of cardboard characters. There isn't a stand out good performance or bad just that everyone involved is on the same level and to be honest whilst some of the acting isn't great the fact that every character is under developed doesn't help.
What this all boils down to is that "Devil Winds" is by no means a good movie and to be honest it's not even average thanks to a weak storyline, 2 dimensional characters, corny dialogue and some seriously dodgy special effects. But as long as you expect nothing other than simple, cliche entertainment then "Devil Winds" sort of achieves what it wants.
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