Will (Toby Kebbel) and Breeze (Ryan Kwanten) Rutledge are brothers in Gulfport, Alabama. As kids they experienced trauma during a huge hurricane, and it left an indelible mark on their lives. Will became determined to fight storms and learned meteorology. Breeze turned to booze. During an impending Category 5 (the original title) hurricane, they find themselves entwined in the robbery of the Gulfport facility that destroys US currency. Breeze is kidnapped to work the generators that are out inside, while Will teams up with US Treasury Agent Casey (Maggie Grace). Casey and Will must somehow rescue Breeze and the other hostages and prevent the bad guys, led by insider Connor (Ralph Ineson) from getting away with hundreds of millions of paper money slated for destruction.
The Production: 2.5/5
The thing about Hurricane Heist is that it’s a complete mess, but it still manages to be a fun mess. All of the leads are actors you have never heard of but have seen in bit parts here and there. They don’t have a lot of chemistry together or even have believable motives. The storm ramps up to something past scientific credibility and yet you are entertained by the work that went into creating it AV perspective. And ultimately what could have been a total zero of a film is salvaged by the sheer chutzpah of the sum of its parts crashing together.
So what went wrong? It’s directed by Rob Cohen, the creator of The Fast and The Furious series. The guy has a solid track record till now as both a producer and director. My guess is he had to spend his budget on the effects and not on the name draw of the cast. Add on top of that the need for the storm to be beyond belief and you have a bit of a soup that has to compete with the heist itself. There’s a lot of ideas thrown in here, including a take on Global Warming. And there’s a few riffs on what Twister did 30 years ago ramped up beyond all reality.
So what works? The Dominator storm chase vehicle is badass. The final chase sequence in the eye of the Hurricane is completely silly and yet it’s fun. The flooding of the sets is amazing. The Atmos track is incredible.
Ultimately it’s a fun romp for a few hours if you can check your brain at the door and don’t go looking for actors you are familiar with or will be drawn to for future films.
3D Rating: NA
The Hurricane Heist UHD is light on the highlight side of HDR until you get to the final sequence. There’s a lot of dark scenes with tons of debris flying around, and those hold up well with good detail and solid blacks. If I have any nits to pick it is that a few of the very wet scenes are a touch over sharpened making the goose bumps on the soaked actors faces look even more crunchy. I didn’t see it theatrically so maybe that’s how it was shot, but at home those scenes stood out from others.
Bottom like is that it looks pretty great, no real complaints here. The thing that will be the most memorable will be the inner tube of the hurricane’s eye. They really nailed the look of that. It’s worth the price of admission to see that just once.
The sound of Hurricane Heist is the real star of the film. The atmospheric effects of the growing storm ramp up, and are presented in Dolby Atmos to great results. The winds swirl in all corners and gush to the ceiling in a few memorable scenes. The rampant gunfire, explosions, crashing waves and crumbling buildings are likewise well imaged. Lorne Balfe’s soundtrack was serviceable especially in the chase sequences. Good driving drums and synth.
Special Features: 4/5
HH is chocked with extras too. There’s:
- A feature length commentary
- A making of sequence that is heavy on input from Cohen
- An extended conversation with Cohen featurette that is 100% him holding court on his directing philosophy vice the state of the industry.
- A VFX reel (very cool!)
- And a few deleted scenes
If you are going in on Hurricane Heist you GOTTA watch it in Dolby Atmos. It’s a terrific showcase for the format. The film itself isn’t going to be an all time classic but it’s a fun diversion for a few hours, presented as well as possible.