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Twister

Released

MPAA Rating:

PG-13


Run Time:

113

Director

an de Bont

Cast

Helen Hunt

Bill Paxton

Studio

1996 Warner Brothers

Still shot from the movie: Twister.

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Reviewed by

Overall B-
ViolenceC+
SexB
LanguageC
Drugs/Alcohol--
Run Time113

Making the Grades

In Twister, a character explains how there is a "suck zone" right under a tornado's funnel. With the movie's profits headed well into the land of six figures, I think that vacuum is positioned over our wallets. Audiences seem to want disaster movies, and Twister delivers the typical formula: Tiny plot -- big action. Add some high-tech visual and sound effects that weren't even thought of in the The Poseidon Adventure era of the early 70's, and you have more of a fun house than a film.

Twister revolves around three characters. Jo and Bill Harding (Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton) and Dr. Melissa Reeves (Jami Gertz). Jo and Bill are a separated meteorology-obssesed couple whose heads are in the clouds, especially if they are turning in a brisk counterclockwise motion. Bill's new love, Melissa, is a sex therapist, and just can't see any point in driving your truck head-on into a tornado. Establishing their situation fills up the first ten minutes. After that, we watch the funnel chasers, some enthusiastic and some just tag-alongs, follow one twister after the next as they literally try to get their latest tornado research device (and their troubled relationships) off the ground.

This movie attempts to have a broad appeal for all ages, but the extreme weather situations may have some young children running for cover when a breeze comes through their bedroom window. Even more concerning for young (and even adult) viewers, is the inclusion of unnecessary foul language. There must be another way to portray anger and fear without swearing every other sentence. Finally, Dr. Melissa Reeves occupation requires her to have intimate detailed sexual conversations anytime and anywhere -- like on her cell phone as the vehicle is being sucked into The Zone.

While those disco era survival films had equally poor plots, they usually boasted a large cast featuring some famous faces. This one really hasn't improved much on either script or celebrity appeal. That means we are still waiting for the magical moment when the elements combine to put a good story with a destruction depiction. Should that ever happen, we really would have a disaster movie with a whole new twist.

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
Not Rated
AB Not Rated
MB Not Rated -----
ON Not Rated
QC Not Rated
NB
NS
NL
PE
Not Rated

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

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Andrew says: Feb. 20, 2011

Twister the movie not the board game, is PG-13 for scenes of intense danger. The Blu Ray case didn’t mention profanity. It was used in everyday conversation rather than in scenes of intense danger, where some may deem that more acceptable. I would also question the occupation of the female therapist and her conversations on the telephone. The initial review could also do with some editing, but I do agree with its conclusions.

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