Twenty years ago, Hurricane Andrew hit Alabama, devastating the lives of meteorologist Will (Tony Kebbell) and his ex-Marine brother, Breeze (Ryan Kwanten). Now they dread the arrival of Tropical Storm Tammy. Their family problems are small in comparison with what’s happening in a coastal U.S. treasury facility, where a group of tech hackers are taking advantage of the storm to steal $600 million from the stronghold. Treasury agent Casey (Taken’s Maggie Grace) enlists Will and Breeze’s help to foil the heist.
As any movie lover knows, there are bad movies and there are good bad movies, such as The Wicker Man, Showgirls and, most infamously, The Room. The Hurricane Heist falls, or rather, spirals, into the latter category and is actually an extremely entertaining romp if you leave your film criticism and intellect at the door. There is no intention here to go for awards glory or originality. Its intention is to provide you with fun and entertainment, and in the hands of director Rob Cohen - the helmer behind such good bad movies as The Fast and the Furious and xXx in the past - you come away with just that.
Movie clichés are present to an absurd degree. There’s the team of scientists and researchers who underestimate the magnitude of the storm, versus the everyman meteorologist who warns they’re all screwed (I know what you’re thinking and no, this is not Geostorm - Geostorm can go to the hell). There are the shots of the weather vanes going nuts, of the shaking and subsequently falling and breaking kitchenware, plates and glasses. Orders are barked, science terms are thrown around, the phone lines are down and mobiles lose their signal. It’s completely ridiculous and unashamedly so.
When it comes to the performances, Kebbell (who previously made a fine match for Andy Serkis when he played Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Kwanten (best-known for True Blood), and Grace (Kim of Taken fame) all make good on giving their all to the formulaic script and (often literally) thrown themselves into the action wholeheartedly. Grace obviously took tips from her on-screen father Liam Neeson as she makes for a compelling action heroine. Here’s hoping the actress will get more roles like this as she’s well-suited to the genre.
The star rating above is what has come out of a compromise between celebrating how much fun this film is and acknowledging that by a film critic’s standard, it’s not a good movie. After all, the stunts are bonkers and completely unrealistic. The CGI is abysmal. Everything is over-the-top and makes little sense (movie viewers who get frustrated by plot holes will not be happy), but it is completely aware of its status as artifice. Arguably, it’s actually genius that way. More to the point, it’s funny, exciting and jam-packed with action and nonsense. It’s enjoyably ridiculous and ridiculously enjoyable.