Metal Tornado (2011)

REVIEW BY: Jeffrey Long

COMPANY: Capital Productions

RUNTIME: 97 mins


PLOT: The Helios Project is a high tech facility tasked with storing and converting solar rays into an endless supply of renewable energy. After years of research and millions of dollars, it is now time to test the system out, which inadvertently unleashes a magnetic vortex on an unprepared world.

REVIEW: I'm not normally a big fan of the natural disaster type of B-movies. I love the scenes of destruction, but overall I find the movies are nearly identical to one another and pretty interchangeable and thus if you've seen one, you've seen them all. At its core, Metal Tornado is no different. However, it at least attempts to be a bit fresh by having the tornado be made of metal, thus making it even deadlier then a regular tornado. See, in this movie, due to a design flaw in this new potential way of gathering unlimited free energy from passing solar flares, an invisible vortex of magnetic energy is created, which of course then attracts anything metal - Hardware tools, storage shelves, propane tanks, chainsaws, even vehicles, to name just a few things we see; Anything and everything that has metal in it, all sucked in, dismantled, and taken apart in a matter of seconds, with the individual bits and pieces whipping around in a destructive roaring mass of metal, which as you can probably guess, leads to some very awesome low budget cheap CGI scenes of cheesy destruction and the very drawing point for these types of flicks. And yes, there is plenty here, all of which are pretty entertaining and fun. Hell, they even try to destroy it by firing missiles into it. Yes, you just read that correctly - they try to stop a tornado by firing missiles at it. That alone is reason enough for any B-movie lover to at least give this one a once-over.

However, the movie is constantly bogged down with too many scenes that take place entirely in the same couple of small enclosed rooms, as the main human characters sit around computers trying to figure out a way to track the tornado and put a stop to it. It also doesn't help that these are the exact same kind of characters we get in every natural disaster B-Movie, complete with the stereotypical sub-plot of single parent that works too much while also trying to raise a rebellious teenager. We do get a couple entertaining side-characters, such as a bad-to-the-bone biker chick, but they're far from enough to make the movie worth it, even if they do have a couple good scenes and some funny dialog. Even Lou Diamond Phillips, a man I normally enjoy the work of, even seemed pretty bored and 'blah' about being in this one, and doesn't really give us a reason to get excited here.

If you haven’t seen too many of these, then this is as good a one as any to start with, if not even slightly more recommended then most of the others, if for nothing more then the hilarious-cheesy premise and some of the unique destruction scenes. However if you're like me and watch multiple movies like this a month, then even though the disaster itself is unique and pretty fun, there's nothing else about this movie that sets itself out from the pack of hundreds of other nearly-identical disaster B-movies and you'll just find yourself bored as you've already seen these exact events and character subplots play out many times over before. 

5/10 rooms in the Psych Ward



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