Stars: Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt, Cary Elwes, Jami Gertz. Written by Michael Crichton & Anne-Marie Martin. Directed by Jan De Bont. Rated PG-13 for intense depiction of very bad weather.

Tornado chasers perform their dangerous occupation for the sake of improving forecasting of inclement weather and increasing advance warning time for those who lay in a tornado s path. In the film Twister , the best two tornado chasers are a soon-to- be-divorced couple by the names of Bill (Bill Paxton) and Jo Harding (Helen Hunt). Although Bill is engaged to a nervous psychologist (Jami Gertz) he tags along with his future ex-, from whom he still needs a signature on the divorce papers. Together they seek to put into use a contraption that Bill designed and Jo and her team built, which will send a series of small sensing devices up inside a tornado and map out its forces. But once these two begin working side-by-side again, Bill realizes how much he misses the wife who never stopped loving him.

Forget about the painfully contrived subplot dealing with a corporate challenger (Cary Elwes) who seeks glory instead of helping mankind. Forget, too, the somewhat contrived subplot that finds Jo and Bill rekindling their romance. Just sit back and marvel at the stunning and plentiful special effects. These alone make the film worth watching. Twister is shallow, but glorious, fun.

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