Stonados-Rocks in the Gas Tank
How to Make a SyFy Disaster Movie in One Easy Step!
Following the huge success that was Sharknado, Syfy decided that they needed this tornado silliness to keep going strong. Sharknado came out in July of 2013, so while the fans eagerly await the upcoming Sharknado 2, why not give them a swift kick to the sensitive areas with a new original?
The movie opens with a tour guide leading a group to Plymouth Rock Memorial to view the actual rock. Out of nowhere, a waterspout kicks up, and a tornado forms in the bay. The rock and the tour guid are lifted up and sucked into the storm, along with the tour guide. The storm dissipates.
Meanwhile, the movie goes through a montage of people living their every-day lives. One is a shot of two guys playing basketball. When one of them wins, he stands beneath the goal and delivers the customary smack-talk.
And then he becomes the jelly in a Plymouth Rock-asphalt sandwich.
Joe Randall (Paul Johansson) is a high school science teacher. He is outside conducting class when he gets a call from Maddy (Miranda Frigon), his cop sister, to come look at the Plymouth Rock incident. Joining him on the scene is his old partner, Lee (Sebastian Spence). Turns out these two used to be expert storm chasers.
What are the odds?
Joe decides to head back to Boston to get his kids to safety. Megan (JessicaMcLeod) and her brother, Jackson (Dylan Schmid), are walking around the harbor where Megan is supposed to meet a friend. She makes Jackson, who is obviously younger (by three years. Dude, he’s 14 at least), promise to sit on a bench and not move until she gets back.
Just as Joe, Maddy, and Lee show up to the harbor, another water spout kicks up, flinging large rocks and boulders everywhere. People are scrambling for cover as the harbor gets hamme-
Wait a sec. What the f**k?
There are rocks the size of basketballs and larger being hurled from a tornado, and stuff isn’t getting demolished. In fact, ALL of the damage localized for each particular shot. No buildings explode from the impact, no walls collapse, nothing. Given the fact that the rocks also explode, you would think that there would be more carnage.
Yup. Exploding rocks.
The storm backs off, and Joe is reunited with his kids. Jackson trips out because Megan left him alone even though she was supposed to be watching him.
I said the kid was 14 because that’s how old the actor was. I guess Jackson is supposed to be like 10 or 11, not really sure. But his voice is deeper than it should be, and he’s almost as tall as his sister. It’s like if they got Michael Keaton to come play Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol just because he’s short.
Suck it up, kid. YOU’RE A TEEN.
Of course, since this is a SyFy flick and there IS a formula to follow, the crew heads to the obligatory government agency to tell them what’s going on. The agency follows the formula to the letter and blows them off. Joe stays up for the night and creates a storm simulation that shows that Boston may be wiped off the map.
What a shock. I wonder if he knows this is a disaster movie?
Joe shows the simulation to Lee, and they head off to find Maddy. Megan and Jackson decide to go the football game that is going on that day since the skies are clear and the weather report shows nothing on the radar.
Things go to hell quickly when a gigantic waterspout erupts in the harbor, takes out the local lighthouse, and begins to destroy Boston. Joe, Lee, and Maddy rush to the football game to find the kids. They are reunited, and the group escapes.
Back at Obligatory Government Headquarters, Joe shows Tara (Thea Gill) the simulation. Tara is the head of the agency that blew him off last time, but the latest reports coming in combined with Joe’s mock-up make her a believer.
Tara shows the group the solution they have come up with to stop the tornado before it lays Boston to waste. Unbeknownst to our heroes, the government has been working on a top secret “G-14 Classified” (Jackie Chan fans will get the reference) technology to stop extreme storms.
A rocket launcher.
WHAT?! THAT’S IT?! This whole time, all these years, countries have had to endure Mother Nature’s struggles with PMS through hurricanes, tornados, monsoons, tsunamis, and the like! All we had to do was target some ICBMs and blow the motherf**ker to Kingdom Come?! WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?!
Oh yeah. Because I tie my own shoe laces.
The group, including the kids and Tara from the agency, climb into an SUV and drive to the base of the tornado. As Joe is about to fire the bomb into the storm, Tara jumps in front of him to commend him on how brave he is for risking his life to save so many. Because, you know, that’s what you do in these situations. The last second when the fecal material is a’flyin’ is always speech time.
She is then deleted by a stone.
And what do Joe and Lee do? They pretty much shrug and say “aaanyway,” then go back to prepping the rocket launcher like nothing happened. That moment, that precise moment, was priceless!
I won’t say how they eventually get the bomb into the storm, but it’s predictable. The storm blows up, everyone’s happy, everyone’s dreams come true. Happiest of endings all wrapped up in a nice neat little SyFy bow.
I love a good ignorant movie. I’m an OLD SCHOOL Transformers fan, and I loved Michael Bay’s movies because of what they were. I wanted to sit down with a bucket of popcorn, shut my brain off for a while, and watch robots shoot the s**t out of everything. Bay’s Transformers movies deliver on this nicely.
Stonados, on the other hand, WAY over-delivers on the stupidity to the point of just plain dumb. The solution to horrific and destructive weather is to blow it up with a bomb. REALLY?!
Well, hey, it worked in Sharknado, right?
The acting is laughable, but the script is almost as shallow as the script for the Super Mario Bros. movie, so I can kind of cut the actors a break here. You can’t really build a mall out of toilet paper and toothpicks, but you sure can shoot a movie with the proper amount of poop and wet wipes.
The only character that really grated on my nerves was Jackson. The actor did what he could with what he had, but the character was the most dependent, needdy, whiney little girl of a 14-year-old boy I have seen since Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series.
The characters also do a lot of stupid things without any possible rhyme or reason. Lee is stopped by a large fortuneteller woman during the storm so she can randomly accuse him of being a lousy weather man, Tara likes to make press conference speeches while the city is falling down around her, and the kids just want to go with their daddy into the heart of Armageddon to watch daddy fire a rocket into a tornado.
They missed boat loads of opportunities with the effects. Buildings receive little to no damage from the storms, and every scene has its own set of damage for the shot. I understand that effects cost money, but what the hell. At least TRY. Break out the PSOne and at least make the effort. Vicious had the WORST effects of any movie I’ve seen, but at least they tried.
If you want to shut your brain off for a while, and you are a die-hard SyFy fan, go ahead and watch Stonados. But be warned! You will probably lose consciousness from the sheer stupidity, and wake up to find that you’ve spent the past hour and a half licking the windows in your house.
Hours you will never get back.
At least the windows will be clean.