film reel image

film reel image

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

13 Minutes 2021 * * * Stars


The film title of 13 Minutes refers to the average time to seek shelter during a tornado. And what better setting to feature said tornado than that vortex's habitual stomping ground known as Oklahoma. "Auntie Em, it's a twister! It's a twister!" Indeed.  

So yeah, 13 Minutes is a disaster movie through and through. And even though its screen carnage only lasts about 300 seconds, the flick still reminded me of stuff like Earthquake and The Towering Inferno (just look at "13's" poster and you'll see what I mean). The tornado that enters 13 Minutes about an hour in, is a real doozy. You don't really see it from a distance but up-close the special effects are like a rocket. The way everyone dealt with being in peril, well it kinda shook me to the core. 

13 Minutes is technically proficient, character arc coincidental, and accurately passionate on how it deals with the aftermath and build-up of tornado ideology. The cast in "13" is mostly c-list but they do a pretty decent job. I mean the only persona that annoyed me was Peter Facinelli's Brad. Brad is like a parody of a weatherman with sketchy dialogue readings and a weak southern accent (Facinelli is a New Yorker for crying out loud). 

As something that was probably low budget and dated considering all the disaster porn that came out in the last twenty years, 13 Minutes is a mini triumph for rookie director Lindsay Gossling. Gossling creates a more human drama out of "13". Basically she establishes the characters (and their backstories) for a good amount of time and ditches the overuse of rumble and deafening CGI (yes I'm talking to you Into the Storm). 

13 Minutes is a nifty little ish thriller, a calamity-ed snapshot if you will. You get to know the lunch pail denizens involved, the funnel cloud hits, and almost everybody survives with resolutions looming. "13's" plot is peek-in minimal but I can't help but recommend it. That's my stand after 108 "minutes". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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