The Hurricane Heist: A force- 10 disaster with notions

Review: Is a mini-sermon on climate change necessary in a dumb actioner?

Maggie Grace plays a decently written hero

Film Title: The Hurricane Heist

Director: Rob Cohen

Starring: Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten, Melissa Bolona, Ralph Ineson

Genre: Action

Running Time: 103 min

Fri, Apr 6, 2018, 05:00

   

With a nod to the comparatively masterful high concept of Snakes on a Plane and Sharknado, The Hurricane Heist features a hurricane and a heist.

As this year’s low-rent Geostorm opens, two boys witness the death of their father in an Alabama category-five storm. The old man disappears, just as the younger one fancies he sees a skull in the clouds. If only the rest of the film had got behind the skull motif, instead of opting for mostly po-faced action, The Hurricane Heist might have been the camp, rubbishy actioner of 2018.

Instead we get notions and family dysfunction and meaningful references to American football plays. We even get a mini-sermon on climate change. Decades after Dad’s death, and the boys have grown up to be Will, a meteorologist (Kebbell with a chewy southern brogue), and his deadbeat brother, Breeze (True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten), a mechanic lately returned from the army. The estranged siblings must overcome their differences if they are to defeat a criminal gang intent on hitting a local Treasury facility for $600 million in old bills.

Yes, that is the same plot as Den of Thieves, but this time there’s a catch: the unlikely-looking gang led by an imposing Ralph Ineson, will hit the vaults just as category-five hurricane Tammy hits the local town. It’s a foolproof plan, or it would be, if an ATF agent played by Lost’s Maggie Grace (a decently written hero, to be fair) wasn’t there to thwart them. And if the storm wasn’t going to kill everybody.    

Rob Cohen, the creator The Fast and the Furious franchise can surely do better than the terrible CGI, unconvincing tax-break landscapes (the film was shot in Bulgaria), and wince-making dialogue (“I can’t help poetry: it’s in my Irish soul”) on display here. The accents are dreadful. The score, by Lorne Balfe, is indecently bombastic. The bad guys are useless. And why is the female hacker posing as an IT specialist wearing a cocktail dress?

Remember that moment in Jaws: The Revenge when the titular great white stalks a family inland? Hurricane Heist finally sees the storm in a race against trucks. It’s way less fun that that sounds.