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The Hurricane Heist (2018)

Do the surviving bad guys wait for the eye of the hurricane and then drive the tractor-trailers full of money away from the Mint in the small pleasant ring of sunshine surrounded by weather-based destruction?

The Hurricane Heist (2018)

Parents need to know that The Hurricane Heist (starring Ryan Kwanten, Maggie Grace, and Toby Kebbell) is a hybrid disaster/crime adventure with lots of gunplay and high winds but little violence with lasting emotional impact. A father dies in front of his kids during a hurricane, but the peril is never terrifying or horrifying. There's infrequent strong language (including "s--t" and "bitch"), a little innuendo, and one character who drinks excessively. The most difficult things for most audiences will be the inescapable dim blue light and the high-volume storm noises throughout. And, on the plus side, there are messages about the value of loyalty and courage, and one of the main characters is a smart, powerful woman.

When they were boys, brothers Will and Breeze saw their father killed by a hurricane. Now grown, Will (Toby Kebbell) is a brilliant climate scientist, and Breeze (Ryan Kwanten) is a hard-drinking repairman. The very different brothers meet again as a monster hurricane bears down on their Alabama hometown. Meanwhile, federal agent Casey (Maggie Grace), charged with ushering hundreds of millions of old, used dollars to their retirement via the industrial shredder, finds an extremely well-coordinated and knowledgeable team trying to rob the treasury in the brothers' town on her watch. Hence the title: THE HURRICANE HEIST.

This is pretty much what you expect when you pay to see a movie with this title: a few fun action sequences, a lot of genre clichés, CGI disaster effects, and unemotional violence. Oh, and the bonus of a watchable female action hero. It seems fairly certain that somewhere in the pitch process, the phrases "Die Hard in a hurricane" or "Under Siege meets Twister" were used. The Hurricane Heist dutifully hits the expected notes: There's an unorthodox scientist who gets ignored by the government functionaries, a cop (here a federal agent) with a dreadful error in her past, strained family ties, and an elaborate heist that relies on an inside man. But the film is actually better than the sum of its used parts. Its virtues include unusual attention to scientific detail -- although, truthfully, enough gobbledygook flies by to make you wonder whether the things the characters rattle off about climate science or cyberwhatsits are real or made up on the spot. The heist target -- millions in cash that's marked for destruction -- is interesting, and the writers have taken care to credibly trap the outnumbered good guys with the suspiciously good-looking and well-dressed bad guys. And a few neat gags -- including letting hubcaps fly in high winds as weapons -- that help elevate the movie. But dragging it down is the persistent, dim-blue look that's meant to simulate storm conditions but really achieves mild eye strain, plus the very high volume of the storm sound effects throughout.

Families can talk about the elements that make The Hurricane Heist a hybrid of two genres: disaster and crime/heist movie. Does the crossover make it more interesting than the average film in either genre, or is it too much?

Meteorologically, The Hurricane Heist has plenty of outrageously bad meteorology, similar to other major weather disasters movies like Twister, The Day After Tomorrow, and Sharknado. As Tropical Storm Tammy is taking shape in the Gulf of Mexico, we see a satellite image of the storm, which shows nothing but a thin spiral of low-level cumulus clouds, which are spiraling in the wrong direction (clockwise). As the storm intensifies to a Category 1 hurricane, we are told that Tammy has a central pressure of 999 millibars (mb) and a diameter of hurricane-force winds of 500 miles. A Category 1 hurricane with a central pressure of 999 mb is a very rare occurrence, as this pressure is more typical of a weak tropical storm. Hurricane-force winds over an area 500 miles across is impossible in any hurricane, much less a Category 1 storm. Massive Category 5 Hurricane Katrina at its peak intensity had a diameter of hurricane-force winds of just 207 miles.

Finally, (Spoiler Alert) the climatic finale of the movie depicts a chase scene with three trucks hauling cash from the heist. The chase occurs in the eye of Hurricane Tammy, on a deserted road in coastal Alabama. Curiously, the road is debris-free and dry, with dead leaves blowing across it, even though the front side of the eyewall must have already passed through with its devastating Category 5+ winds. The mountains of southern Alabama can be seen in the distance (hmm, southern Alabama it pretty darn flat; maybe the movie was really shot in Bulgaria!).

The movie does redeem itself a bit by showing a nice satellite image of Hurricane Tammy when it is intensifying (the image appears to be one from the International Space Station, either of Category 3 Hurricane Julio of 2014 or Category 4 Hurricane Isabel of 2003). Will also discusses how warm ocean waters help fuel stronger hurricanes, and he predicts that global warming will lead to Category 6 and Category 7 hurricanes in the future (yay, the movie gets an extra half-star for mentioning the name of this blog!)

Synopsis: Brace yourself for a high-octane hurricane of a thrill ride from the creator of The Fast & The Furious.As an unstoppable and deadly hurricane bears down on the Gulf Coast of the US a manadatory emergency evacuation is underway clearing the city. The storm proves to be the perfect cover for a team of hackers to infiltrate a vulnerable Treasury facility and steal $600m. Stormchaser and meteorologist Will (Toby Kebbell) finds himself caught up in the chaos and teams up with Casey (Maggie Grace), the only Treasury agent left standing and his wayward brother, Breeze (Ryan Kwanten). Together they must stop the ruthless thieves from pulling of the heist of a lifetime and survive the storm of the century.Director: Rob CohenCast: Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten, Ralph Ineson, Melissa BolonaRegion Code: 2 (UK & Europe)Cert: 12Format: DVD

The rest of Hurricane Heist is how Will, Breeze, and Casey wind up together to take down the bad guys while trying to survive the hurricane. Undoubtedly, director Cohen goes straight to the action and CGI set pieces, never wasting much time on the story or the characters. Cohen sure does know how to make the US$35 million budget look more amazing than expected.

Casey goes back to speak with Will, who starts panicking since he has to save his brother before the hurricane ravages their town. She proposes to escape with a storm rescue vehicle called the Dominator. Through that, they reach a nearby station to meet Sheriff Jimmy Dixon (Ben Cross) with the hope of getting his help to save Breeze.

by Bryant Frazer The Hurricane Heist gets down to business from the moment the opening credits appear on a dark screen and we hear the rumble of thunder on the soundtrack. It's 1992, and Hurricane Andrew is slamming the fictional town of Gulfport, Alabama, making orphans of two young boys named (no kidding) Will and Breeze, who watch helplessly through the windows of a farmhouse as their papa is flattened by debris. As the storm clouds recede they clearly resolve the features of a demonic face, laughing at the children from the heavens. (I think I said this out loud in my living room: "Wow.") Fast-forward to the present day, where a guilt-racked Breeze (Ryan Kwanten) is sleeping his way through days and nights as a handyman (and ladies' man) while semi-estranged brother Will (Toby Kebbell) has earned himself a job as a synoptic meteorologist--that is, he drives around in a weather-nerd Batmobile, analyzing storm fronts and predicting their impact, determined that the skies will mock him no more. Bringing the high concept to this pity party is new-in-town treasury agent Casey Corbyn (Maggie Grace), who happens to be charged with protecting $600 million of U.S. currency earmarked for destruction at a government facility. Unfortunately for her, the paper shredder is temporarily offline and there are villains about who plan to use cover provided by an incoming hurricane to make off with the cash before it can be destroyed. It gets a little complicated--the money ends up locked in an impenetrable vault inside the compound and Casey ends up outside, tooling around with Will. Together, they need to foil the robbery and rescue the hapless Breeze, who is being held hostage inside as the winds grow stronger and stronger.

Casey is good with a gun, but the storyline hinges on Will being some kind of hurricane whisperer, able to anticipate developments in the storm and turn them to his advantage. In an early scene, he warns his complacent boss about the gravity of the situation: "You're underestimating her--I can smell it." A bit later, he's flinging hubcaps into the storm, where turbulence turns them into high-velocity murder weapons. It's that kind of movie--essentially weightless, though its heroes have their share of tortured backstories. (Will blamed Breeze for their father's death and told him so all those years ago; Casey was involved in a tragic snafu in Utah that resulted in her de facto demotion.) It's clear from the start that The Hurricane Heist is not based on a true story, nor is it interested in being one of those punishing human-endurance adventure yarns about a group of brave and/or unlucky men whose grit is tested by a one-on-one power struggle with Nature Herself. Instead, it's a glossy Hollywood actioner produced on a mid-range budget in partnership with two VFX houses that delivers exactly what its title describes so bluntly: a mash-up of a natural-disaster and heist movie, its potential overall feel-bad quotient limited by outlandish visuals and a strategically acquired PG-13 rating.

The rural town of New Hope, Ala., has a pair of super-sized problems heading its way: There's a hurricane bearing down on the Gulf coastline, and there's a team of 30 well-armed mercenaries intent on looting the local treasury facility. 041b061a72

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