Twister (1996) - An Underrated Classic

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Brendan K, May 28, 2018.

  1. Brendan K

    Brendan K Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Hear me out!

    I'm rewatching this film for the umpteenth time tonight and I've realized it's one of those few films that I've truly enjoyed consistently on rewatch. I think it's unfairly criticized and deserves more praise for being one of the best disaster films of the past century.

    Let's start out with the main criticism of the film; the love triangle and animosity between Bill, Jo and Melissa. This is easily the most annoying part of the script, however it doesn't take away time from the action for it to occur. All of the conflict occurs either during, directly following or directly preceding the scenes of action, rather than in its own individual scene. Thus, although annoying, it doesn't actually take away from the action. My other main negative is the exposition dump needed during the introduction to the crew in which they introduce Dorothy. Pretty much all of the flaws are a result of the script.

    Now, the pros.

    The performances and star-power: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Helen Hunt are fantastic in this film. Bill Paxton may overact a tad, however it almost plays to the fun of the movie rather than detract from it. The chemistry with the main crew is incredibly strong, and this can be especially seen in the "Dinner at Aunt Meg's" scene.

    The VFX. There is only one VFX shot that has aged poorly to my eyes since its original release, and it comes in the first 5 minutes when we cut to a CGI satellite in space. It simply looks like 1996 CGI. Every weather scene still holds up to this day, and the tornadoes and destruction are simply life-like which is partially a result of the fantastic practical effects.

    The score and soundtrack; the score by Mark Mancina plays perfectly to every scene within the movie, and it certainly does not get enough praise. The soundtrack features one of the best songs from the Sammy Hagar era of Van Halen, and an amazing use of Deep Purple's 'Child in Time' about twenty minutes in. Intertwined, they propel the movie and add to the adrenaline rush of the disaster-theme.

    The cinematography: the Helicopter Shots. My goodness. In addition, the action is clear, stable and not jarring to watch.

    The sound design: this is a sound-system tester by all means.

    The fun: The chemistry between the leads and the fantastic quotes make this movie extremely fun to quote. "The suck zone.", "Food!" etc, as well as the great one-liners and overall campiness. "I gotta go, Julia. We've got cows!"

    I'm curious to see if any of you agree and/or disagree. This is just my opinion and I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on the film!

    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  2. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    I agree that this is a highly enjoyable flick. If it is on TV, I will usually leave it on.

    Like you said, they did a great job with the supporting cast. You have to be a little crazy to be a storm chaser and everyone they picked play their role extremely well.

    My favorite line of the movie is when they are at Aunt Meg's and they see Jonas on the TV, and Dusty (PSF), with a hint of both disgust and pity, deadpans, "God, he sucks." Perfect delivery of such an ordinary line.
    Brendan K likes this.
  3. P(orF)

    P(orF) Forum Resident

    There’s something weird (IMHO of course) and off-putting about light hearted disaster movies. It felt like the characters in Twister were playing a tornado video game, as opposed to, for instance, Perfect Storm, where the only off-putting element was Diane Lane’s New England accent and the ending felt real and genuinely moving. Same with Deep Impact, especially in Tea Leoni’s final scene, and even something as old school as Towering Inferno.

    There need to be consequences in disaster movies, other than villainous characters meeting with comical ends. I enjoyed Twister, but never believed it for a second.
    audiomixer likes this.
  4. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Scarlet Johannson factor.
    She went on to do better things like Woody's~ Match Point.
  5. Chazro

    Chazro Forum Resident

    West Palm Bch, Fl.
    I think its a great flick! Can't say how many times I've seen it but admit to not having seen it in quite some time.
  6. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    I like its' "immediacy", in the way you're dropped smack into a story that happens like, well, a tornado. In that, it's like Gravity. Hold onto your popcorn - if you've already been told to shut off your cellphone, $#|+'s about to get real-!
  7. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    detroit, mi
    Loved it and still watch it occasionally.

    Music was great going down all those back roads.

    I thought Helen Hunt was hot in it.
    Linger63 likes this.
  8. MYKE

    MYKE Analog Upstairs, Digital Downstairs

    Saw it in the theater in 1996, and later, on a tip, chose the UK Region Free Blu ray, which has a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (24 bit) audio track that makes the room vibrate via my subwoofer.

    Love it ! :agree:
    Linger63 likes this.
  9. JerolW

    JerolW Forum Resident

    In the final scene, when they strap themselves in the pumphouse, I always say to my wife that the tornado should have sucked their pants and shoes off.

    Madness likes this.
  10. The Slug Man

    The Slug Man Forum Resident

    North Carolina
    Always liked Hoffman's character with the Deep Purple music blaring in his van. I was like, "I know who I'd be riding with!"
    Madness, SandAndGlass and nick99nack like this.
  11. GLENN

    GLENN Forum Resident

    Kingsport,TN, USA
    When my future wife and I moved in together, Twister was the one movie we both had in our DVD collections. So, yeah, we're fans. Basically agree with what has already been said about the special effects, the acting, etc., although there are a couple of things we always joke about:

    1. Apparently the absolute worst thing in the world that a storm chaser can do is to get a job as a television weatherman.
    2. The other worst thing is having corporate sponsors.
    Brendan K likes this.
  12. GlamorProfession

    GlamorProfession Forum Resident

    underrated? i'd say overrated for me
    Lownotes likes this.
  13. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    For me, the love triangle thing WAS distracting. But overall, yes, it's a good flick. And PSH could have walked away with the movie if he had more time.

    I think it doesn't get a lot of notice these days as HH (by her own design) jumped off the star machine and many of the other names don't have a lot of recognition these days.
  14. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident

    it set the bar for those big sfx movies....I find the story a little corny and some of the lines are so cheesy but who doesn't love a bit of cheese now and again
  15. swandown

    swandown Under Assistant West Coast Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    I get pumped up every time the Van Halen song comes on:
  16. nick99nack

    nick99nack Forum Resident

    Statesboro, GA
    A very enjoyable movie! I still think the special effects are great, and they picked a great cast. Maybe I'll dig out my Twister VHS tape later.

    The Twister attraction at Universal Studios Florida was one of my favorite attractions in that park. I'm disappointed they got rid of it for a 3D movie screen ride (like they did with the rest of the attractions there except for E.T.)
    GLENN likes this.
  17. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Oddly, the line repeated the most in our house, from this movie, comes from Cary Elwes;
    When asked if they will follow the other storm-chasing team, he says, "We do NOT!"
    It's such a weird, throw-away line, that when the wife and I say it to each other, it makes us laugh!

    edit: Oh...and, the other line is: "....cow..."
    GrahamBW and GLENN like this.
  18. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Scranton, PA
    It's a stupid movie, but the good of stupid.
    ssmith3046 likes this.
  19. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Agree. It's not a classic - underrated or otherwise - but it's good, cheesy entertainment.

    Anyone else remember how the movie's trailer made it sound like the twisters were sentient beings? The ads used a scene where the Helen Hunt character said something that implied the tornadoes literally chased people down! :laugh:
  20. Lownotes

    Lownotes Forum Resident

    Denver, CO
    A movie so bad it's...still bad.
    Scott222C and Dudley Morris like this.
  21. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident

    The movie is a lot of fun and sometimes that's all I want when watching a movie.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  22. rene smalldridge

    rene smalldridge Senior Member

  23. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Eh, I always found the love triangle stuff to be a secondary story, with chasing the twister being THE story, so it never bothered me.
  24. captainsolo

    captainsolo Forum Resident

    Murfreesboro, TN
    The movie is far more than the sum of its parts would indicate. Most important is its still incredible sound design and there are still those who have collected every home release to compare audio tracks.
    And count me in on the "Humans Being" fanclub. One of the best ever VH tracks.
    Brendan K likes this.
  25. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    I think it's so bad it's good. Cheesy good.

Share This Page