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Fantasia 2006: Storm

Storm is an odd duck of a movie. It’s a psychological thriller about memories and childhood dressed in a supernatural, apocalyptic thriller’s clothing. The opening is a classic Matrix-inspired chase scene, right down to the tough female protagonist, and our shallow hero — DD — slips right into the Neo role. But then the midsection of the movie lurches over into Memento territory and the movie never really recovers.

The problem for me was that I couldn’t bring myself to want DD to be redeemed. Hm; the more I think about it, the more I think Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein (our writers/directors) were trying to do the Matrix all over again. But DD is no Neo, and his sins are not as easily forgivable for me as the movie might have liked them to be, which left me detached from the movie’s emotional core.

And then there’s all that comic book and video game imagery. After a lot of post-movie conversation with S., I couldn’t decide if those images were hanging on a coherent core structure, or if they were just thrown in to look cool. Why does Promise appear to have a real comic book existence? Who knows? My benefit of the doubt theory is that she and her opponent are too grand, too awesome, too angelic to be seen as they are by human eyes; that the comics and the video games are the filters through which DD and others see them. There’s nothing to prove or disprove that theory, though.

Still, it was a gorgeous movie. The sense of style was solid without getting in the way of the narrative. Apparently the whole thing was filmed on three million dollars, which staggers me. So it was enjoyable, just not entirely filling.

Grade: B-.

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