Monday 20 February 2023

Movie Review: 13 Minutes (2021)

Genre: Disaster Drama
Director: Lindsay Gossling
Starring: Anne Heche, Amy Smart, Thora Birch, Sofia Vassilieva, Paz Vega
Running Time: 108 minutes

Synopsis: A county in rural Oklahoma is bracing for a storm carrying the threat of destructive tornadoes. A farming couple (Anne Heche and Trace Adkins), a young mother and her unexpectedly pregnant teen daughter (Thora Birch and Sofia Vassilieva), a hotel housekeeper (Paz Vega) and her illegal immigrant lover, a gay couple, and an emergency management services coordinator (Amy Smart) and her young deaf daughter, all have their lives disrupted when the storm hits.

What Works Well: Arriving approximately two thirds of the way through the running time, the critical few minutes when everyone scrambles for shelter and the storm rumbles over the community are excellent. Despite the modest budget, the mammoth tornado is brought to the screen with menacing special effects, and the immediate stunning aftermath featuring a community reduced to rubble carries the requisite impact.

What Does Not Work As Well: Writer and director Lindsay Gossling overpacks her plot with a diversity of cultural hot topics, including abortion, illegal immigration, and parent/gay offspring conflicts, all dealt with at the most superficial level. It takes a long time for the storm to interrupt all the stereotypical antics, and the aftermath is a bland non-resolution, the final third mostly consisting of survivors clambering over debris piles. Some of the acting and writing borders on painfully amateurish.

Conclusion: The real damage is done before the tornado ever makes land.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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