Review: The Hurricane Heist

The Hurricane Heist
7 10

PLOT: Two estranged brothers (Toby Kebbell & Ryan Kwanten) and a treasury agent (Maggie Grace) try to stop an $800 million heist in the midst of a category 5 hurricane.

REVIEW: THE HURRICANE HEIST is gloriously stupid, and I mean that as a compliment. As far as silly, B-grade action movies go, director Rob Cohen has made this about as good as it could have been given the premise, which is so “high concept” you’d think it was the nineties all over again. The trailers were much mocked, but when push came to shove, Cohen doubled-down and delivered a rock-solid actioner that should please fans looking for a bit of escapism. And really, when you buy a ticket to a movie called THE HURRICANE HEIST, what are you expecting? If the words “hurricane” and “heist” translate into the words “must” and “see”, this is the movie for you. I had a blast with it.

Working with a low (for this kind of movie) $40 million budget, Cohen deserves a lot of credit for making a flick that looks like it cost at least twice that. While the shortfall in cash might be apparent when it comes to some dicey supporting turns, the money was put where it needed to be – in CGI and a top-stunt team. The action is often great, and running a lean ninety minutes and change, HURRICANE HEIST never wears out its welcome.

What’s cool is how Cohen seems to embrace the utter silliness of the premise (which is a lot like the one used in the Christian Slater nineties actioner HARD RAIN), introducing the hero brothers as kids back in 1992, when they see their dad die in a hurricane, with the younger brother, Will, seeing a skull in the hurricane that scars him and makes him terrified of them for life. Of course, that means he earns his PHD and becomes a bad-ass meteorologist, who drives around it what looks like the Batmobile, but is actually a weather-chasing monster called “The Dominator”.

Toby Kebbell plays Alex in what’s his first mainstream solo actioner, and despite being hampered with an unconvincing southern accent, he acquits himself nicely. As his rowdy, ex-marine brother, Ryan Kwanten steals the show, both having the better accent (those years on “True Blood” paid off), and the more fun part (who wouldn’t rather play the whisky-swilling good ol’ boy?).

The one twist to the Bruckheimer-ish formula is that Cohen, in a savvy move, does a neat gender swap, where the tortured cop with a past (“something happened in Utah”) is actually a woman, played by Maggie Grace. Had this been made ten years ago, I bet the cop would have been one of the brothers, while the female part would have been the meteorologist. It’s a nice twist and it pays off, with Grace having fun and fully committing to the role. Meanwhile, THE WITCH star Ralph Ineson is good as the crooked treasury agent, while Ben Cross chews scenery as the crooked local sheriff, who, natch – knows all about Kebbell and Kwanten’s trouble making bros (they’re essentially playing “The Dukes of Hazzard” – it works).

The CGI work, despite the limited budget, is pretty great, but where HURRICANE HEIST really aces things is in the stunt work, particularly in the nifty final multi-truck chase, which isn’t dissimilar from the one in Cohen’s original THE FAST & THE FURIOUS, but ramped up by adding two more trucks to the chase. If I have any complaints, it’s that in chasing a PG-13, a money shredder is introduced, but, shockingly, none of the baddies go into it. For shame!

Look, going into THE HURRICANE HEIST, you should know what you’re gonna get. It’s a silly b-grade action flick, but a pretty good one for my money. It’s well worth checking out, and a nifty throwback actioner to a simpler time.

Source: JoBlo.com



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