By Deane Barker

Twister is a rare entry in the action film genre: an action film that the whole family can go see. Think about it: no nudity, no titillation, very little profanity, and all the action is courtesy of Mother Nature. And as an added bonus, Twister will pick you up of your seat, ruthlessly kick your ass for two hours, then hurl you back into the real world with serious desire to go chase a tornado. Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt are two almost-divorced weather scientists who spend 24 hours of their lives be-bopping through Oklahoma trying to throw a weather measuring device into a tornado. Throw in a new girlfriend, a professional rival, a snazzy tune by Van Halen, and some righteous funnel clouds and you’ve got an event that makes the Extreme Games look strangely civilized. While parts of it are horrendously unrealistic (can you really park your truck twenty feet from a tornado and have it still be there when you get back?), Twister is sure to be nominated for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound come Oscar time next year. The showing in the theater next to mine started 15 minutes earlier, and while the previews played I was nervously watching the hanging light above me sway from the vibrations coming through the wall.


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