top of page
  • Writer's picturePopEntertainment

Supercell (A Movie Review)


Starring Skeet Ulrich, Anne Heche, Daniel Diemer, Jordan Kristine Seamón, Alec Baldwin, Praya Lundberg, Johnny Wactor, Richard Gunn, Anjul Nigam, Tyler W. Gaisford, Mattie Ward, Jane Lind, Jack Eyman, Stephanie Astalos-Jones, Gabriel Clark, Chozy Aiyub, Helena Sadvary, Krissy Notes, Carlette Jennings, Skip Talbot, Michael Klingher and Cheyenne Adamson.

Screenplay by Herbert James Winterstern and Anna Elizabeth James.

Directed by Herbert James Winterstern.

Distributed by Saban Films. 100 minutes. Rated PG-13.

If you ever wondered what Twister would be like if it were filmed with a shoestring budget and very little special effects, well here you go. Slipped into theaters quickly, to beat the long-delayed Twister sequel – being filmed 17 years after the first film became a moderate hit and due to come out in the summer of ‘24– Supercell tells the stories of a clan of tornado chasers who go from small town to small town to watch as tornadoes destroy the local farms and neighborhoods.

To be completely honest, I never particularly liked Twister, and Supercell doesn’t really resonate for me for many of the same reasons. Truth is, the main characters and their obsession with placing themselves in the middle of danger, seemed kind of absurd to me. I get that there is a certain adrenaline rush in witnessing the great ferocity of nature, but there is a reason that there are storm cellars all over the heartland. A twister is not something people should want to experience, and you have to worry about the mental competency of people who keep putting themselves wittingly right in the path of danger.

It's not good if you can’t decide if your main characters are determined scientists or merely suicidal.

Supercell doesn’t have all that much else to offer to the Twister template, other than a little family drama and a good-naturedly over-the-top performance by Alec Baldwin and one of the last appearances on film by the late Anne Heche.

Also, in fairness, it does revolve around the hole left in the lives of the family of one of these daredevil tornado trackers who actually did die in a tornado – years earlier in fact. So, Supercell does actually take a hard look at the hazard of the profession, although not to the extent that they stop courting danger.

The story is about William (Daniel Diemer), the teenaged son of that late tornado fighter, the legendary (in the small storm-chasing community, anyway) Bill Brody (Richard Gunn). Bill is killed in the film’s introduction, and then the film fast forwards to years later when William is living with his mom Dr. Quinn Brody (Anne Heche), a former partner in chasing but who has now cut herself completely off from the business due to the death of her husband. She sees that William is curious about what his dad used to do, but she refuses to discuss the old days.

When William gets a package of his dad’s things from his dad’s other partner, old friend Roy Cameron (Skeet Ulrich), William decides to go back to where his dad died and get the straight scoop from dad’s old pal. Cameron is not too happy to see him – knowing Quinn will blame him for igniting her son’s interest. Plus, their business has been changed into a cheesy tourist trap, offering twister tours for people who want to say they have seen one and yet do not want to actually face the danger. The tour is run by Zane Rogers (Alec Baldwin), a showman who sees the storms as a way to make a buck.

Until the end, Supercell tends to look at its tornados from a bit of distance – the destruction is mostly out of sight of the camera. This probably stems greatly from the lack of a special effects budget, but it can be like Bruce the shark in Jaws – you don’t have to see it close up to know how deadly it is. (And yes, this is the first and last time you’ll ever see Supercell even tangentially compared to the vastly superior film Jaws.)

This isn’t an actor’s film, and honestly Diemer makes for a kind of bland hero. However, I will give Supercell this, even from a distance these storms make for pretty arresting viewing. It doesn’t make Supercell a good film, but it gives the film whatever moments of intrigue that it can blow up.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2023 All rights reserved. Posted: March 17, 2023.


bottom of page