FIRENADO *** UK 2023 Dir: Scott Jeffrey & Rhys Frake-Waterfield. 79 mins
Is it a hurricane? Is it a twister? No, its a FIRENADO!
FIRENADO is a real life phenomena that is often called a fire whirl or fire devil, in the case of the movie FIRENADO it is all rather silly but entertaining enough.
Scientist Devlin (Toby-Wynn Davies) and his meteorologist colleagues Helena (Nicola Wright), Greg (Derek Miller) and intern Anna (Sian Altman) have created a device that can control a tornado but in typical disaster movie fashion everything goes horribly wrong very quickly. Now with the tornado spiralling out of control it heads across the countryside causing destruction in its path and then hits a petrol station only for the tornado to catch fire and become a FIRENADO! Meanwhile a small ruthless gang are using the FIRENADO as cover to break in and rob the home of Pierce (Daniel Godfrey) who is an accountant for criminals. The scientists overall goal is to stop the FIRENADO and put an end to the technology they have created. As both the scientists and the gang members cross paths they must all now try and survive the FIRENADO if they are to see the next day.
Sure the CGI tornado in this movie would make the CGI in early The Asylum movies look like the effects seen in a blockbuster such as The Day After Tomorrow (2004) but its not like anyone is going into a movie called FIRENADO expecting nothing but a cheesefest.
Some of the film needs a serious re-edit as in one scene you can see the mic boom drop in from the top of the screen and in another scene someone running with a flare waving it around to give the actor a spot to look at for when the FIRENADO would be added later in post-production. Let’s not mention the questionable ADR that happens throughout.
There are quiet a few characters who have American accents which is a tad out of place especially when they are in the wilds of Scotland, even more so when you recognise the actors and know they have British accents in real life. With that said the accent change most likely has a production reason behind it if not a distribution deal reason.
The most entertaining characters in the film are Tommy (Matthew Marcelis) and Devlin (Toby-Wynn Davies). Toby-Wynn Davies channels his best impression of Christopher Lloyd to bring to life his eccentric character who has more then a few similarities to Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown from the Back To The Future franchise. As for Matthew Marcelis character of Tommy he is a tad hyperactive and trigger-happy. The rest of the cast are perfectly capable of bringing what they have of characters to life in this (possibly) unintentionally funny attempt at a disaster film.
FIRENADO was Co-Directed by Co-Directed by Scott Jeffrey who has Produced over 100 movies that have all had a worldwide release and Rhys Frake-Waterfield who many will now know Directed the slasher film WINNIE THE POOH: BLOOD AND HONEY (2023) so a pretty impressive team was created for this film.
Disaster films have a far reaching appeal be it from serious toned films such as The Towering Inferno (1974) to the ridiculous popcorn films such as NYC: Tornado Terror (2008) so if you can bare in mind that FIRENADO is more in the latter category you will enjoy this movie.
Review by Peter ‘Witchfinder‘ Hopkins