From the director of Megasnake and Spiders 3D… ok we know what we’re letting ourselves in for then! Actually, for once I was pleasantly surprised – Meteor Storm has plenty of faults but it has its heart in the right place and is actually quite enjoyable indeed!
A big meteor shower that’s meant to just be pretty turns nasty when the meteors containing a new element yet to be discovered fall from the sky. With each passing storm, things deteriorate. Yay!
The Disasters Faced
Meteors, comets, falling buildings, falling bridges, falling everything, a news crew that MUST GET THAT SHOT and bad mobile reception.
Despite (in spite?) the directors legendary credentials Meteor Storm is a very tightly wound movie. The opening segment see’s an opening mini storm which sets up everything and introduces us to a collection of people. Of course we have the all new ideal family – separated parents who we know will be back together by the end, stupid children who do things like run off on their own and use lifts in a burning building (oh dear) and a news duo who will do anything to get a story. All the characters are heavily clichéd but in an endearing way. The leading duo do a remarkably good job of having internal dramas without everything becoming soap opera and the films much better for this. No one is grating aside from the new reporter and you know he’ll get his comeuppance at some point. The film basically follows a storm – aftermath – science bit – revelation wheel several times before the finale. This ensures things aren’t stale and the science parts are kept down to small bite size chunks. The plot itself is silly and there’s some real problems with general character IQ levels – the children especially – but it’s all harmless fun.
The meteor sections are fun to watch because some of the CGI is awful – especially the orange explosions. What’s worse is the green screen effects where you can see how things have not been blended well and things look really 2D. In fact the green screen is some of the ropiest I’ve seen in a while. Where things do pick up are in the bigger set pieces. The collapse of the Golden Gate is done well and so is the collapse of the huge tower block.
Why It’s Worth Watching
Meteor Storm has a decent amount of action. There’s two good set pieces, a fair amount of destruction for a low-budget flick and good tension throughout. The acting is above average for this type of film and that does a lot to make it so much more credible. There’s an abnormal amount of eye candy as well for men and women. There’s also a glint of enjoyment as you watch people doing things that defy all logic whatsoever and also spotting the massive continuity problems such as people being surrounded in traffic as they try to get out the city while the lead male chats happily next to a quiet street where cars roam freely. Other things include the Golden Gate bridge only being open one way despite a city evacuation (with traffic flowing into the city), man of motorcycles get saluted by armed guards for no reason and helicopter pilots sit stunned watching their ‘copters explode while civilians rush to help.
Two main characters die. I’ll go for poor Laura who goes in the big Golden Gate Bridge disaster. After crashing her car, instead of climbing out the window she decides to just shout and scream for five minutes before remembering there’s a window or boot to crawl out of and promptly and deservedly splashes into the river down below. A shame though, all she ever did was help the entire time – confirming the never be too nice theory in disaster movies – you will be bumped off!
This is a real close one. Camera lady Lena (Lara Golchrist) wins as she is great with her one liners throughout as the comic relief. She hits the dry humour well and manages to get away with lines that shouldn’t really work in a script. However just behind Harper (Carmen Moore) who is severely underused in this film. In every scene she’s in she’s eating, looking disinterested in all that’s going on and like she just wants to be left alone with her pizza! Great.
At the first meteor wave poor Jack is hit by a Meteor (I assume – it’s never explained). He then spends the entire film unable to get medical attention! For some reason the children take the entire night and morning to walk vaguely about down populated streets with flowing traffic stating they can’t get to the hospital. When they eventually get there, they give up because there’s a road block. Eventually instead of getting medical treatment Jack then wanders home and takes some pain killers and falls asleep and is left in a crumbling building. This then means our brave children, too lazy to take the stairs up 26 levels to get to him and rescue him decide to use the lift in a burning, crumbling building. Go figure. They then get stuck and cause the rest of the cast to turn up! The whole set up is one of the worst constructed plot devices I’ve ever come across and is utterly hilarious because of it.
Meteor Storm is elevated from utter tosh by its credible acting, tightly paced flow and some characters whose decisions are so stupid you have to watch to see what situations their ineptness takes them next. Coming in at a tight hour and a half, its fun, mindless and cheesy but instead of outwardly going for that edge like say Megasnake, this disaster movie straddles seriousness with silly and gets the tone spot on for its budget. Much better than your average TV disaster flick.