David Ray and Jeff Renfroe
Esai Morales as Tom Foster
Ona Grauer as Emma Peterson
Jared Abrahamson as Wyatt Foster
Mackenzie Porter as Chloe Peterson
Panic ensues as the residents of Seattle are afflicted by cheap CG twisters of black smoke … Flashback to hours before: Space Track detects an object moving inbound along the Arctic towards Seattle. Luckily, the US Navy has a battleship (no … sadly, the film is not set fifty years in the past) stationed off the coast that shoots it down over Seattle. Black smoke rises from (what is assumed to be) a meteor strike in the harbor. Within minutes the smoke begins altering the weather patterns and makes the Earth shake. In the midst of this impending crisis, Emma Peterson and Tom Foster try to make their relationship work, even as Tom’s son – Wyatt – fights with Emma’s daughter – Chloe. Both Emma and Tom become involved in the Disaster Management Agency’s attempts to resolve the crisis. Can they save the city and make their children get along before it’s too late?
The best part of this production is the mock-up of the space needle collapsing on the DVD cover. The CG artwork isn’t bad. Unfortunately, the CG effects in the actual movie are the cheapest available, which is probably the nicest thing that can be said about this 90 minute pile of … well, you know.
Not a horror movie. Not a good movie. There is nothing appealing about Seattle Superstorm(2012), save the appearance of Ona Grauer. Within the first ten minutes most of the audience will be insulted by the poor writing, stereotypical characters and abysmal dialogue.
Among the more laughable aspects of the story structure include the fictional government agencies engaged in logistically impossible situations. Space Track seems to be responsible for tracking extraterrestrial objects that enter the atmosphere: Not NASA, the National Weather Service, or even the NRO (which would make the most sense). Space Track contacts the Navy, which for some reason regularly stations a battleship (last one was decommissioned over 20 years ago) off the coast of Seattle and calls it a Ticonderoga Class Cruiser. The battleship-cruiser shoots down the meteor, only to have the Disaster Management Agency (for some reason FEMA doesn’t exist) immediately investigate the crash site (apparently their agents are stationed round the clock in Seattle, same as the battleship). Emma Peterson is called in to help with the investigation as the military takes control within minutes of impact (apparently the USA is also now a police state – with Active duty forces available on short notice).
All of these elements combine for a very humorous situation in which stereotypical characters thrive alongside some of the most inane, stilted and absurd dialogue imaginable. The government man in charge of the clean-up operation worries he may scare the tourists if he quarantines the area. Emma objects and insists on a mass evacuation. But the government man rigorously sticks to his I-refuse-to-acknowledge-the-severity-of-the-situation-until-it’s-too-late approach. Among the other cardboard cut-out characters include the guilt-filled Russian scientist, an environmental wacko and a chauvinist pig who hates public markets. As dismal as this description portends the dialogue somehow sinks to levels of mediocrity below the character development. Whether we hear Tom – who works for NASA – casually dismissing a funnel cloud as a rain cloud; or Emma demanding to “talk to a BIOLOGIST and find out what that smoke is doing to the atmosphere,” each line becomes sillier and more ridiculous than the last.
On the technical side, although the directing is probably more wretched than the acting it’s hard to tell at times. That said, Marlon Brando would be hard-pressed to deliver with this dialogue.
These fronts of mediocrity come to a head in a super storm (oh, those puns) of wretchedness as an absurd plot unfolds that includes the possibility that an alien may be causing the storms and the investigation takes a turn that Emma and Tom can only solve with the help of their kids (in a top secret area on military lockdown).
This mess reaches the so-bad-it’s-funny level early on, but quickly loses its humorous appeal as the absurdity of the plot gives way to slow … oh so slow … action that ends VERY predictably.
Bottom Line: Not horror. So bad it’s funny in places, but certainly not worth 90 minutes of your time.