Oh, where to start with this one? The only better example than this when trying to show how ridiculous a movie like Twister is, despite the fact that it was entertaining when it first came out, is to watch CinemaSins and see their take on it. Honest Trailers does a fine job of calling out a great deal of inaccuracies concerning a movie that was likely hoping that people would just accept what they were seeing without wanting to know the science behind it, but the downside for Twister is that there are plenty of people that have lived through tornadoes, and have learned how to survive even the worst of them. The F5, or as it’s known now the EF5, is by far the most violent category of tornado out there as far as many people know, but the movie ends up somehow demonizing these storms even while showing them to be majestic in some way, a sort of meteorological wonder that randomly administers damage to one location and then skips another. It definitely might appear that way, but the idea that tornadoes have a mind of their own and act in the same way that they’re seen in the movie is kind of hard to believe. It’s also hard to believe that outside a drive-in movie theater that anyone would fail to notice a monstrous storm forming when the signs are pretty clear. Also, taking refuge in a location where there’s no real, solid cover, and there are plenty of metal objects to be flung around, is probably not a good idea.
This is the type of movie that’s fun to watch if a person can turn off their logic circuits and/or has absolutely no knowledge of tornadoes and what they can do, but for everyone else it was likely a bit laughable since while there were plenty of facts that were true to the word, there were still so many gaffes that it was hard to really enjoy this as an adult, or even as a well-informed teenager. Tornadoes are a very real aspect of life and those that live in areas where they’re common have seen them come and go and likely have either tried to build up their homes to withstand such forces or have at the very least learned who to be insured by in times of great need. But one thing that a lot of them might agree upon is that Twister really didn’t represent what it’s like to live through a tornado all that well, since the entertainment value of this movie was good enough for some folks, but the fact-checking needed a bit of work. Perhaps one of the most head-shaking scenes came near the end when the lead couple were running away from an F5 tornado, which for one reason or another could roar like a lion at times, and had to not only outrun the storm, but make a few quips along the way. Anyone remember that? The writers at Slate do and had something to say about it.
First of all, you’re not outrunning a storm that intense when you’re that close to it and have no cover in sight. Think all you want that adrenaline would be kicking in, you’d be running faster, harder, longer, it doesn’t matter. You just wouldn’t be able to do it since like it or not, winds that are moving in excess of 200-300 miles per hour can pick up heavy machinery and even rip houses from their foundations. A human being that doesn’t even weigh a fraction as much doesn’t stand a chance, especially when pickets are being ripped off of a nearby fence. But making their way into the barn for the comedic moment in which the line “Who are these people?” follows the sighting of scythes, pitchforks, and other metal implements, becomes kind of an eye-rolling moment at best. Most people would point out that they were on a farm, the implements were farming, and despite looking a little foreboding they weren’t out of place in the least. But in a raging tornado it’s very true that such implements would become even deadlier as they’d likely be added to the maelstrom at some point. Then however comes the piece de resistance, the pipes that go 30 feet into the ground and that can be used as an anchor point. If you’re not rolling your eyes at this part then you might be at the far end of the gullibility scale, since not only would the ‘anchor point’ be kind of useless, but the leather straps would be just as ineffective considering that they might do more harm than good. One of the best ways to survive an EF5, as is discussed in Tornado Talk, is to be underground, another is to be well out of its path, and the lead characters were neither, so expecting them to survive a trip through a mile-wide tornado that’s picked up fence pickets, metal farming tools, and who knows what else, is well beyond the realm of possibility. It might have been an entertaining, feelgood flick, but it definitely wasn’t realistic.