Now here is a premise ripe with potential: A hurricane, reportedly the largest storm on record, is barreling toward a small town that happens to include a facility belonging to the United States Department of the Treasury, and a group of mercenaries plans to use the cover of the storm to steal the 600 million dollars held by that facility, before making their quick getaway while the hurricane's eye gives them a forty-mile head start. One can practically lick the potential in The Hurricane Heist, especially since director Rob Cohen and screenwriters Scott Windhauser and Jeff Dixon are presented with the opportunity to capitalize on what Howard Hawks once said about what makes a good movie.
You know the adage: "A good movie is three good scenes and no bad scenes." The filmmakers, though, have taken the old master's philosophy and applied it almost exclusively to the climax of this movie. It is a creatively conceived and competently executed finale, too, featuring a lot of eye-popping action that seems to come in three stages (or "scenes," if you will) and close to nothing in it that, other than the consistently imprecise performances, could be called "bad." Much of what comes before it, however, is quite silly.
The silliness of it is expected. One must only look at the premise as provided two paragraphs above to locate the silly quality of the screenplay. Such a plot relies so heavily upon circumstance (winds shifting, the weight and gravity of objects, the safety of its participants, the connectivity of the internet and various servers in such weather) that any attempt to think rationally about such things is useless. Again, that is inevitable. It also doesn't change the fact that, apparently, about as much thought was put into the conception of this premise as will be put into considering it rationally by the audience. That is not meant in the fun away of figuratively leaving one's brain at the door.
In any case, there are humans in this movie, and as basically unimportant as they are, the plot primarily follows three of them. Will (Toby Kebbell) is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, tracking hurricanes despite his childhood-borne fear of them. His brother Breeze (Ryan Kwanten) came back from Afghanistan to run the towing and repair company once owned by their late father. It was his death in the hurricane that opens the movie (the biggest until the one they face) that sparked all this for them. Finally, Casey (Maggie Grace) a Treasury agent, has left to find a repairman for the back-up generator to the facility, which turns out to be Breeze (and I'm gonna have to insist that you stop laughing at his name).
At the same time, the facility is breached by operatives led by Casey's turncoat partner Perkins (Ralph Ineson), accompanied by a couple of computer hackers, some henchmen with guns, and the entire police force (which, in all, seems to be about six men and one woman). They mean to make away with the cash, which is enough to fill three semi-trucks, leading to that cleverly mounted finale, which finds all three of our heroes racing literally against nature in addition to Perkins and his men. Before that, though, is the usual routine of trying to stop them, which gets a little boring despite the flashes of innovation (such as a scene worthy of at least a chuckle in which Will launches objects into the trajectory of the gales of the storm to hit the men). The Hurricane Heist needed more of that kind of innovative silliness and less of the kind it gives to us.
Toby Kebbell (Will), Maggie Grace (Casey), Ryan Kwanten (Breeze), Christian Contreras (Moreno), Jamie Andrew Cutler (Clement), Ed Birch (Frears), Melissa Bolona (Sasha), Ben Cross (Dixon), Jimmy Walker (Xander), Moyo Akande (Jaqi).
Directed by Rob Cohen and written by Scott Windhauser and Jeff Dixon.
Rated PG-13 (gun violence, action, destruction, language, suggestive material).
Released on March 9, 2018.