In January, I declared Monolith as one of the dumbest movies I’d have ever seen; despite it being an entertaining flick. I secretly felt that no other movie released in 2018 could top its foolishness. Little did I know Rob Cohen’s disaster movie The Hurricane Heist was waiting around the corner, ready to blow me away.
Like Monolith, The Hurricane Heist is a thriller that takes place within a brief time period. Hours before a Category 5 hurricane hits Gulfport, Alabama, a small crew of criminals strike the U.S. Treasury in hopes to walk away with $600 million that’s been waiting to be shredded and disposed of. A local meteorologist, Will (Toby Kebbel), gets wrapped up in the ordeal when his burnout technician brother (Ryan Kwanten of Who Gets the Dog?) is taken hostage when a service call is requested by the Treasury during the con. You have never seen a meteorologist like Will, who reveals his inner courageous bad ass when he’s not trying to inform others about the incoming storm.
The Hurricane Heist offers xXx director Rob Cohen lots of scenery to chew on and destruct. Gulfport is evacuated for the storm, which is when the reigns are completely handed over to the filmmaker. Gulfport has the look of a studio backlot, but Cohen could care less about detail in his disaster movie. Then again, a lack of realism is a given in this amped-up genre though, and I was ready to be more lenient with The Hurricane Heist if Cohen had followed the film’s own rules. But as soon as the title storm becomes more prominent in the story, the film starts forgetting about how to integrate it properly. It’s more of a plot point than a threat.
The crooks are using the storm to deter attention away from them, but it also causes problems with a getaway and power supplies – that’s fair. But, the audience can’t keep up with how selective the weather is (some cars are swept away while other vehicles stay grounded, shrapnel whips through the high winds yet people are still able to walk outside and fire semi-automatic weapons at each other). There’s a major problem with windows in The Hurricane Heist; they stay perfectly intact until the film requires them to explode and shatter. This may read as a nitpick in an epic action movie such as this one, but a filmmaker can only bend the rules so much before the chaos fully transitions to convenience.
The Hurricane Heist isn’t without entertaining action pieces, and it’ll surely please those who have a soft spot for hulking disaster fodder. However, its sloppy continuity makes the movie difficult to defend.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie