Twister was one of the films in the 1990s, along with Jurassic Park and Titanic, that represented a significant leap forward in visual effects. It was also part of the disaster movie trend of the Nineties, albeit one of the better entries into the genre. 


Not that it’s an especially good movie—it isn’t. But Twister coasts on strong visuals and a wildly deep bench of generational talent including Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Ruck, and Jami Gertz. The smallest roles in Twister are filled out by actors who would go on to become some of the most successful characters actors of the last thirty years, such as Patrick Fischler and Jeremy Davies (Dickie Bennett for life!). Never mind that the antagonist is played by Carey Elwes. 


It's sort of baffling, given its success—$494 million in worldwide box office and two Oscar nominations—that Twister never got a sequel until now, 28 years later. But that’s how things were in the Nineties, you could have a hit movie and just…not turn it into a cinematic universe.

But the sequel, Twisters, is here now, due out in July and it dropped its first trailer during the Super Bowl. The new film is directed by Minari’s Lee Isaac Chung, and stars Glen Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos, David Corenswet, Brandon Perea, Sasha Lane, Kiernan Shipka, Katy O’Brien, and Maura Tierney (is she the black hat in this one?). That’s a stacked cast of young talent, from legit breakouts like Powell, Edgar-Jones, and Ramos, to established actors like Tierney and Shipka, to up and comers on the cusp like Corenswet, the future Superman; O’Brien, who stars with Kristen Stewart in Love Lies Bleeding; indie darling Lane; and Nope scene stealer Perea. 


Does Twisters look good? No, but “good” is relative. Like I said, Twister isn’t “good”. But it’s FUN, it delivered a unique visual experience for the time, and the dumb sh-t plot is buoyed by its all-timer cast. Looking at Twisters through that lens, it looks promising. I don’t know that we can ever recapture what the technological leap of the Nineties was like for cinema, where all of a sudden, tornadoes and dinosaurs and aliens and big boats didn’t look cheesy or fake on screen. You kinda had to be there for that. But Twisters CAN deliver thrills, and it certainly has that megawatt cast working for it to sell whatever dumb sh-t plot they’ve got this time.

Case in point, Glen Powell knows how to play this kind of character walking the charm-smarm line. There are shades of Hangman, sure, but Top Gun: Maverick was so huge, and he was such a standout, he might never escape the comparison, just as Val Kilmer never really shook Iceman. It’s not the worst thing for a movie star to have identifiable roles like that. And knowing Hit Man is coming this summer, too, Powell will have the full range of his talent on display for audiences, I don’t think he’s in danger of being pigeon-holed. 


Similarly, Daisy Edgar-Jones has an appeal not unlike Helen Hunt—she’s a sweetheart, but there’s a toughness and interiority that suggests deeper waters than she plays on the surface of her characters. I like this cast a LOT, and I hope we see a little more of their interactions in future trailers. I get that the appeal is the fake tornadoes, but I would like to understand the group dynamic a little better. The first movie had a clear group of black hat scientists with their fancy grant money (lol), versus the scrappy underdog team led by Hunt and Paxton. This time it looks like two scrappy underdog teams? Not sure what’s happening, but along for the ride, for sure. Summer is the time for dumb fun movies like Twister(s).