The scientists at Helios World Inc. believe they have come up with a way of harnessing the energy from solar flares and in doing so solving the planet's growing energy crisis. But despite warnings from the original scientist that the system has flaws, the head of the company, Jonathan Kane (Greg Evigan), presses ahead and in doing so leads to an uncontrollable, self-perpetuating magnetic tornado. Scientist Michael Edwards (Lou Diamond Phillips) fears things are serious and are going to get worse finding himself disagreeing with Kane when he notices the energy they harvested just vanishing. With the system about to go live in Europe Michael, his girlfriend Rebecca (Nicole de Boer) and his son Nick (Stephen MacDonald) must find a way of preventing a global disaster.
Once upon a time making a special effects heavy movie featuring tornados and massive destruction would have been financially prohibitive with only the super rich studios being able to finance such a movie. But clearly times have changed and with the aid of technology it is possible to create a disaster movie on a budget and that is not always a good thing as we have ended up with a lot of ridiculously bad disaster movies. Yes "Metal Tornado" is one of them although I wouldn't be surprised if you knew that before coming here looking for information on it as this is one of those made for TV sci-fi disaster movies which you tend to find filling the late night TV schedules.
Now getting down to details what you get in "Metal Tornado" is formula driven disaster guff as we have scientists working for some sort of business inadvertently causing a major disaster. Of course the company has those greedy men in suits that will ignore the warnings and of course the good guys who set out to save the day. And in equally typical fashion there is a smart teenager involved who doesn't always do what their father tells them. Basically "Metal Tornado" doesn't stray very far from the formula and cliches which have driven other made for TV sci-fi disaster movies.
What that means is that "Metal Tornado" wants to entertain with the specifics such as a scene where a lumberjack has to duck for cover when his chainsaw becomes controlled by a magnetic field and comes straight at him. And in fairness in a cheesy sort of way it is entertaining as is a similar scene where a hose lurches up like a snake and goes after a woman but as I said it is cheesy. But the actors whilst not going all out to make it funny certainly don't take things seriously either which is why Lou Diamond Phillips and Nicole de Boer constantly look like they are trying to hold back the laughter.
What this all boils down to is that "Metal Tornado" is just another typical late night made for TV sci-fi, disaster movie. And as such it is another one of those cheesy, bad movies which almost entertain for being bad, appealing to those who enjoy mocking movies.