’13 Minutes’ Review: The Definition of Survival

This movie was directing by Lindsay Gossling. When a tornado strikes a Heartland town, four families are put to the test in a single day, forcing pathways to cross and altering the definition of survival.

A tornado is on its way to Minninnewah, a fictional story of tiny American town. The actual storm in 13 Minutes (courtesy of filmmaker Lindsay Gossling, who scripted a tale with Travis Farncombe), however, is all the facts and drama movie coming to the surface for these inhabitants, in lazy allegorical manner. To no avail, 13 Minutes attempts to make societal commentary on everything from abortion to homophobia, mother-daughter relationships, interracial racism, and immigration. The end result is a dreadful combination of a frontloaded plot that spends around 30 minutes developing characters and an emotionally lifeless 40-minute aftermath of the coming calamity.

That’s a shame, because the picture has laudable intentions and a surprisingly packed cast of well-known performers who provide solid performances. Such characters are divided into four families: a racist and bigoted farmer (Trace Adkins) who is unaware that his son (Will Peltz) is gay and dating one of the migrants they employ, a 19-year-old (Sofia Vassilieva) who learns she is around two months pregnant while breaking up with her older boyfriend (James Austin Kerr) who is unwilling to step up and be supportive if she does choose to raise the child, and Amy Smart’s K.

Anne Heche’s religious nut is a religious nut when it comes to mothers. Tammy is less sympathetic of Luke’s coming out, although Jess (Thora Birch) is supportive of her daughter Maddie when she announces her pregnancy. If there’s one plotline that gets more attention than the others, it’s this one, which is predictable given how interesting it is (which is not necessarily saying much). Maddie runs off to watch Kim’s mute daughter after that heartfelt conversation. As the day progresses, it becomes clear that they will face devastating destruction, and to the film’s credit, this brief burst of pandemonium is wonderfully shot. Characters continue to act like terrible jerks, and some of it makes no sense in terms of the passage of time, yet there is a brief burst of energy and fun.

The same cannot be true for the immediate aftermath of the tornado, which features extensive scenes of folks navigating the wreckage and searching for loved ones. Of course, some relationships are now more shattered than ever (having the tornado itself sparked by Luke coming out to his father is absolutely a choice). Severe injuries are sustained, and lives are forever altered. Although it’s evident that the creators are attempting to demonstrate how community problems may inspire compassion in individuals, the video comes across as hollow. None of it matters since 13 Minutes treats its characters as instruments for conceptual study rather than personalities. When you add in the fact that the story is overloaded with characters, you get a new kind of storm. Although no one is guaranteed to provide a bad performance, 13 Minutes is a substantial waste of 108 minutes. But anyway, watching the movie with pop corn at 123Movies means heaven.

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