If you are a fan of the classic 1996 disaster flick Twister then you have probably been waiting with baited breath to see how its follow-up, simply titled Twisters, stacks up. Many consider the Helen Hunt/Bill Paxton led original a blue-print of what a disaster film should look like so it is perhaps a very brave task that director Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) and screenwriter Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) have taken on to continue the story.

For those wondering how the film will tie in to the original – it is pretty loosely to be honest. There are no big reveals of ‘oh this is someone’s daughter’ or ‘this is my long lost uncle’ – no this film concentrates on a new breed of storm chasers.

Largely the film centres around Kate Cooper (Daisy Edgar-Jones – Where The Crawdads Sing) a young meteorologist who as a college student came up with an idea that she thought would cause tornadoes to dissipate. However, her plan went horribly wrong when tested in the field and it resulted in the death of three of her co-workers.

Years later Kate finds herself in a desk job in New York for the Weather Channel but her mundane life is soon interrupted when one of her previous teammates Javi (Anthony Ramos – In The Heights) turns up and asks if she would consider joining him on a special mission – a mission that will see him try to scientifically capture data about tornadoes using a radar system that has never been used before.

Kate reluctantly joins him and as they approach their work from a scientific way they find themselves butting heads with a literal tornado cowboy named Tyler Owens (Glen Powell – Top Gun: Maverick) who seems to be all about outlandish stunts involving tornadoes and YouTube views. Worse still for Kate he seems to take an interest in her and does all he can to try and find out more about her.

To be honest the plot of Twisters is pretty basic and believe it or not that actually works in its favour. This is a film that is not designed to be an Oscar winner nor is it supposed to be a work of art – this is meant to be a popcorn movie that thrills its audience and has them on the edge of their seat at times – and I have to say it certainly delivers on those goals.

It probably shouldn’t be surprising that Twisters works so well when you look at the team behind it. You have an Oscar winning director that knows how to make his films look beautiful, a screenwriter who gave us one of the best thrillers of modern time with The Revenant and a story-creator who knows a thing or two about genre cinema after his brilliant work on Top Gun: Maverick Joseph Kosinski.

As a team these men know what people want to see from Twisters – they know that the audience want to see huge twisters smashing stuff while wanting characters that they care about trying to outrun, or out drive, their deaths. Twisters not only delivers that but also throws in some pretty interesting plot curveballs including a commentary on corporate greed and a character’s story arc doing an interesting 180 that suddenly makes them likable. While they weren’t exactly needed they are what makes Twisters more than your run of the mill popcorn movie.

The special effects used in Twisters are amazing and it feels like the creative team behind the film decided very early on that they wanted the octane level of this movie turned up to 11 because it feels at times that the action here is unrelenting but in a good way – the fact that Smith as a screenwriter also remembers to include characterisation, back stories and some meaningful tender moments between certain characters (sorry to say who would be a spoiler) shows that he does know how to find the perfect balance when it comes to an action film like this.

That screenplay and characterisation also allows Daisy Edgar-Jones to shine in this film – and some credit must be paid to the wardrobe team who give a nod to the original film as they dress Daisy in outfits that seem to mirror what Helen Hunt wore in the original film.

Alongside Edgar-Jones Anthony Ramos also gives a good measured performance that shows how he is growing as a performer – however in a lot of ways this is Glen Powell’s film as he manages to steal the show time and time again as the handsome cowboy that can melt a cowgirl’s heart with one glance. Added to that is the fact that he looks to be having a hell of a lot of fun as they let him loose with a 4WD truck in fields multiple times throughout the film.

Twisters is actually a lot better than most people will give it credit for. This is supposed to be a fun and suspenseful film and that is exactly what you get on the screen. Be prepared to spend some time on the edge of your seat, be prepared to tap your foot to one of the best soundtracks of this year and above all be prepared to once again have some fun in a cinema.

4/5 Stars