(adjective) + (natural disaster) x Lou Diamond Phillips = ninety minutes of pain.

In the ever-present search for a renewable energy source, a group of lab geeks and Greg Evigan (My Two Dads) have developed the Helios Project, a top secret endeavor that uses huge CGI satellites to capture CGI solar flares and transform them into CGI electromagnetic energy. This energy is stored in Helios locations across the globe, to be dispatched as power for the world’s Xbox 360s and Al Gore’s rumpus room.

Of course, this can’t-miss system fails spectacularly, the end result being a runaway twister comprised entirely of magnetic energy and later a whole bunch of metal. The only man who can discover the tornado’s weakness is super-scientist Michael Edwards (Lou Diamond Phillips). But before he can save the planet, he’s going to need to tandem ride on a motorcycle alongside a blonde with a chest the size of Schenectady, NY.

You don’t need me to tell you that Metal Tornado is terrible. Whatever preconceived notions you may have about a movie that deals in typhoons made of Buicks and propane tanks, starring Greg Evigan and Lou Diamond Phillips — trust them. They serve you well.

Moving beyond so-bad-it’s-good territory and traipsing into the barren wasteland of Souldestroyingville, Metal Tornado carries with it all the elements you’ve come to expect from micro-budgeted scifi disaster epics with Z-listers in the leading roles. The beats are the same as every other film of its ilk, and that include the well-flogged “creature feature”; swap a roided up boa constrictor with this tornado and you won’t miss anything.

Science runs amok, a well-coiffured douchebag ignores the warnings of his brilliant subordinates, an inevitable tragedy hits spawning an unstoppable killing force, a plucky band of heroes discover a critical weakness, and…with time almost running out…they execute a plan so crazy it just might work — and it does!

Sorry, no nihilistic bloodbath for you here. Metal Tornado sticks to the game-plan like…well, a piece of metal to a tornado. There are no surprises, no original ideas, nothing new whatsoever, just the same tedious crap you’ve seen over and over and over and over again. And by “you,” I mean “me,” and by “me” I mean “that miserable sap who keeps requesting this crap to review.”

Nothing of a DVD: standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 5.1 Surround, and no extras.

THE VERDICT
It’s bad. Real bad. And I have no doubt that Wooden Tsunami, Plutonium Megastorm and Alabaster Nor’easter are going to be exactly the same — and just as bad.

 

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