In defense of the movie ‘Twister.’

I not-so-recently saw Captain America: The First Avenger, and I think that the person with whom I saw it summed it up perfectly:
Tommy Lee Wrinkles. The Person with Whom I Saw Captain America and I generally agree on movies.  He-she recently introduced me to the impeccably crafted indie mystery Brick, and the unsolvable human mystery that is Total Recall. 
He-she has also highly recommended Black Dynamite.
I’m so hoping it will be the Black equivalent of The Wicker Man.

However, despite the endless movies The Person with Whom I Saw Captain America and I both mutually go “OOOO YEAH!” over, there is one movie on which we just cannot agree.  That movie is Jan de Bont’s 1996 (though it is timeless) classic, Twister.

Nope, maybe the #2 result.

Nope, not #2. Sweet, sweet #9.  Ted Williams is, somewhere, pleased.

I personally believe–well, let’s be honest, I know. “Believe” implies that there’s some part of this not rooted in fact, and Twister is, beyond reproof, a great movie.  Yes, I own it on both VHS and DVD.  Twister combines action and romance, weather and fate!  It has both physical destruction and emotional reconstruction!  It is, in essence, perfect!  I also use it like some people use religion, or My Dog Skip.  If I really like a guy, I’ll sit down with him and watch the entirety of Twister.  If he weeps at the end, we may then know each other in the biblical sense.  If he is dry-eyed, then it will never be, for he has no heart.

However, some people disagree.  They throw around words like “weak plot” and “really stupid.”  The Person with Whom I Saw Captain America has argued the following points:

1) You can’t have Helen Hunt/Dr. Jo Harding getting chased by one specific F5 tornado for her whole life.
That tornado started chasing her when she was around 8 years old, so you’re right, you can’t have Helen Hunt getting chased by one specific F5 tornado for her whole life.

2) I can think of few things lamer than having the bad guy be an evil meteorologist–especially if Evil Meteorologist Dr. Jonas Miller is Wesley from The Princess Bride.
I found him to be appropriately sinister, and barely recognizable in that Everyman’s baseball cap.  Plus, you have to respect an actor in the heat of the craft (remember, I studied acting at NYU).  Only a chameleon of an artist could feign such fear:

But if you still want to question the validity of Dr. Jonas Miller, starter of gas station brawls, as you wish.

3) How is it that Evil Meteorologist Dr. Jonas Miller cannot drive away from a tornado fast enough, but Bill Paxton/Bill Harding and Helen Hunt/Dr. Jo Harding spend the last 20 minutes of the film outrunning one?
It’s obvious that the goodness in them is what gives their feet such lightness.  Had Evil Meteorologist Dr. Jonas Miller been a better person, that car would have gone faster.

4) Bill Paxton is kind of the worst.

5) This whole idea of “Dorothy” is impossible.  You run up to a tornado–that swirling vortex of doom that starts in the the fucking sky– drop off some empty snowglobes, and the tornado just gently takes them into its innards in an aesthetically pleasing swirly motion?

We always fear what we don’t understand, and we often forget that the simplest solutions are sometimes the best solutions.  Have you tried running up to a tornado and giving it the gift of science and self-awareness?
When I typed “Dorothy” into the Google search engine, these other unworthy “Dorothy” images had been viewed more often than the image above:



Sometimes, in a city so big, with so many people, it’s nice to just feel noticed.


In conclusion, when you watch Twister–and you will–don’t watch it with the same person with whom you went to see Captain America: The First Avenger.

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