The Hurricane Heist

2018-06-29 06:07
 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT:

Will and Breeze Rutledge are brothers who saw their father killed by a hurricane when they were both young boys. Now, twenty years later, another hurricane of equal size threatens their home town but before they can get out of town they are roped into working with a Treasury agent, Casey Corbyn, to stop a group of thieves who are using the storm as cover while they rob the the US treasury. 

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

Director Rob Cohen is probably best known for launching the Fast and Furious franchise with a film that had none of the madcap OTT fun of the later Dwayne-Johnson-starring instalments and had to rely purely on, heaven help us, the “charisma” of Vin Diesel to carry it through. His filmography is significantly longer than that particular film, to be sure, but it is perhaps most endemic of a career made up almost entirely of directing adequate but not particularly great action movies. At his best, you get solid stuff like Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story; at his worst, well, I think The Boy Next Door speaks for itself. 

The good news is that The Hurricane Heist is much, much better than the truly execrable Boy Next Door, which happens to be his previous film. The bad news is that it isn't anywhere as good as much of the rest of his canon – and when you consider that the very height of his powers only ever gave us OK-ish stuff like Dragonheart and Alex Cross, that's more than a little worrying. 

The very best things you could say about The Hurricane Heist is that the actual hurricane looks pretty cool – if a bit too beholden to obvious CGI – for a very modestly budgeted film and that it is, at times, so unbelievably stupid that it manages to be (very) intermittently entertaining. Plus, for something that must surely just be another paycheck for perfectly decent actors like Maggie Grace and Toby Kebbell (the latter actually playing a hero and leading man for once), they half-ass their performances slightly less than you might expect. 

That's kind of it for the good stuff, though. Ralph Ineson, a generally reliable British character-actor is very, very bad here as the film's main baddie whose entire schtick seems to be playing the nice guy until he gets (rather unconvincingly) angry where he gets all up close and shouty. It's embarrassing stuff, especially when compared to the film's secondary villain (name withheld for nominal spoiler purposes) who may not have much in the way of personality but does at least boast a threatening presence. 

Of course, the human villains really aren't the focus here, fortunately, and the hurricane itself is a much more convincing antagonist for our heroes to deal with. At its best, it doesn't just throw a spanner into the works but entirely overshadows any conflicts between the heroes and villains; making the most of the film's on-the-nose title.  Unfortunately, the Hurricane Heist does far too often forget this and the hurricane just becomes background noise for a bunch of very unimaginative gun fights that grow very boring, very quickly. More Hurricane, less heist would have gone a long way, in other words. 

The resulting film is ultimately all over the place, quality wise. Not that it's ever actually good but the way that it occasionally throws in “so bad it's funny” moments into what it is largely a very dull action flick that constantly threatens to lull you to sleep is... interesting, if a bit obnoxious. I mean, I should thank the filmmakers for throwing in a laugh every half hour or so but it really gets in the way of what the film would really be best suited for: an excuse to take a nap.

It's probably lazy to just write the Hurricane Heist off as Fast and Furious meets Twister but it's pretty unavoidable. That's almost exactly what it is. A pity, then, that it's nowhere near as fun as the former franchise at its demented best or as, frankly, notable as the latter (Twister was a huge deal back in the '90s, lets not forget) but, hey, at least it deserves to be on the big screen just a bit more than some of the real sub-straight-to-DVD trash that so often clogs up our cinemas.

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