The only reason I'm giving this 2 stars instead a -1 star (which Amazon should make available, all the way down to a -3 stars) is because Casper Van Dien, bless his heart, behaves like any normal guy would given the situation.
He panics when anyone with half a brain would. His family drives him nuts when he's doing his damnedest to save them from both the storm and the incredibly bad weather shots inserted during editing and fx additions. Ugh. He doesn't understand what one earth his colleague is talking about, the one who promised to take good care of Casper's project and instead totally screwed it up, and does an excellent job of being frustrated, overwhelmed, bewildered, and altogether acting like an everyday guy in an abnormal and deadly situation. No stiff upper lip , no Schwarzenegger/Charleton Heston for-the-screen-only heroics, which I think is pretty cool. I'll bet that ten to one, in spite of his extensive B-movie experience, he had no idea the movie was going to be this bad. Either that, or he really, really, really needed the money.
I'm doing my best to avoid wishing the kid would be written out of the script in a less than violent manner, and wanting to tell Mom to either behave like a solid wife and mother or a total ditz (choose one and stick to it) or get out of the car. Preferably when one of the disasters is chasing them.
As for Michael Beach - he is one of my fave character actors and I am always pleased to see him on the screen, whether movie or TV.
Now, who directed this film? Oh, a dude by the name of Daniel Lusko. Sorry, that's where the buck stops. Oh, and let's not forget the producer, one Michael David Latt, who only managed to pull together $300,000 to make the film. Wow, talk about no wiggle room. Soooo, no money for fx or much of anything other than the craft table.
Still, we've all seen what can be done with little to no money provided the director and producer take the long view; for instance, Blair Witch Project only had $600,000 to work with, and they not only produced something unique and captivating, it did incredibly well at the box office and introduced the "live video" movie genre.
In 500 MPH, there appears to have been no forethought whatsoever about how the travel scenes would come across, which in no way match the impending doom of the plot, nor about how audiences would perceive the whole thing. Frankly, there are other low-budge disaster and horror films put together by neophytes that are way better than this turkey.
Well, Misters Latt and Lusko, I will know to run the other way if I ever see your names associated with a movie. Thanks for the calling card that let me know what to watch out for.