We watched Twister on TV twice on our vacation – we missed the beginning the first time and the ending the second time so it all evened out. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit we loved it. Our almost-four-year-old called it “the movie with cows and tomatoes.” I believe she meant tornadoes.
Jan de Bont, fresh off of the crazy success of Speed, directed this special effects extravaganza. The plot is barely serviceable: obsessed, separated husband (Bill Paxton) and wife (Helen Hunt) storm-scientists and their team of adrenaline-addicted enablers (including Alan “Cameron” Ruck and a VERY enthusiastic Philip Seymour Hoffman) run around chasing twisters in Oklahoma to measure, record, and get jiggy with them in an effort to predict their behavior for the good of mankind and Helen’s stalwart aunt, who feeds them recently airborne beef.
Toss in Paxton’s girlfriend (Jami Gertz with inexplicable hair and accent) who knows insanity when she sees it, and a rival team of gloryhounds led by Cary Elwes (you just KNOW he is gonna get it good), crank things up to 11, and you have a nonstop sort of Speed of the Southern Prairie.
With everything not tied down flying through the air – wait a minute, everything tied down flies through the air as well – it’s all about the power of wind to defy gravity; and with brilliant camera work, art direction, and a likeable cast running about willy-nilly, you can just about taste the storms from your side of the screen and you don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on holes in the plot, questionable science, or a certain lack of logic in 70% of the on-screen behavior.
Oh, and Helen Hunt looks dangerously hot in a white tank top.