Weather Wars (2011)

Weather Wars (2011)

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"You're right... there's no way we'd fit this TV into our lounge."
“You’re right… there’s no way we’d fit this TV into our lounge.”

Twitter Plot Summary: When their insane scientist father plots revenge and death, his two estranged sons must stop him.

Five Point Summary:

1. Stacy Keach: insane genius.
2. So apparently pushing some tables over means you can escape unheeded.
3. Why have they put a little space dome in the middle of a sports arena?
4. So this inclement weather can destroy buildings, but a news van goes unharmed?
5. Finally, a soupçon of weather attacks.

Stacy Keach is the big name in this low budget weather related nonsense, playing a mad scientist who has the ability to control the weather. His performance is absolutely 100% in the modern day mad scientist mould, and he is almost the only reason for watching any of this. Whilst technically proficient, the majority of the film is an exercise in boredom, lightened only by Keach playing insane and the occasional moderately good special effects sequence. To sum up the plot, Keach is a formerly eminent scientist and meteorologist, now intent on taking down the entire world… and restricting his attacks to the United States only. Yeah, so that plan’s going to work out. His two sons are tasked with finding him and bringing to an end his slightly evil plans.

Once again the US army prove to be incapable at stopping a man who has basically thrown himself off the deep end, never to return. Only with the help of his sons and their attractive female colleague do they stand any chance of stopping him. They have to compete with the angry acting of Lance E Nichols’ Senator Aldrich. Most of their time is spent bickering over whether or not the brothers and attractive colleague, the appropriately named Samantha Winter, can be trusted. There’s a wealth of possible story depth right there, but it’s not exploited. Instead we’re left with a standard “I’m not sure if I can trust you!”/”You can trust us.”/”Okay then.” style of discussion.

Just a normal day at the office for Stacy Keach.
Just a normal day at the office for Stacy Keach.

Now, bearing in mind this is a film called Weather Wars (or the much more dramatic Storm Wars on IMDB), there is very little in the way of weather related shenanigans until the final act, by which time you may have already slipped into a coma thanks to the slow and incredibly dull build up. Characters interact but don’t seem to develop over the course of the story, and whilst earlier events are acknowledged, nobody seems to be in a position to react emotionally in a consistent manner. One character death is met with your standard grief-stricken wail, and then the next scene any trace of said emotion is gone. You could argue that it’s a deliberate directorial/acting choice, but I doubt it very much.

Apart from that, it’s your usual TV movie fare – other than the named stars making an appearance, it’s mostly handed over to a group of moderately attractive unknown actors as they work their way through the plot, never showing any sign of charisma or evidence of anything more than basic acting ability. The direction is equally indistinct, however in this instance the script is perhaps the strongest aspect despite my earlier negative comments. That’s not to say it’s good, just that it’s the best part. As we meander through several scenes of people talking and talking, looking concerned and then talking some more, there’s also attempts to forge a link between one of the brothers and their insane father. Even better, the writer was confident enough to write an ending that leaves it open for a sequel. Given the amount of SyFy’s output, I’d say it stands a very good chance of happening.

Score: 1/5

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