I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
T he Hurricane Heist! It’s Twister meets Die Hard! And even though, through some negative Hollywood magic, the end result is much less than the sum of its parts, those parts are such perfect films that, even mashed up into something greatly diminished, that end result is still pretty good. Or, rather, so bad it’s good. That’s positive Hollywood magic! Why are some bad movies just plain bad, and other bad movies somehow awesome and hilarious? It’s a mystery.
This is a peanut-butter-in-my-chocolate movie, with both action-movie sides of it cranked up to eleven. (That’s right, I am mixing up metaphors. It’s the sort of fun this movie would appreciate.) It’s not just a Category 5 Hurricane Tammy that’s approaching; it’s a monster embiggened by global warming, the sort of storm “they” at the National Weather Service “ain’t never seen anything like” before. This ominousity is offered by meteorologist Will (Toby Kebbell: War for the Planet of the Apes, Kong: Skull Island), in the vicinity to launch drones to study the storm; he can “smell” the badness of the oncoming weather in a way that all the super high-tech equipment at NWS’s NASA-style war room back in Washington DC can’t. Which is perhaps a sort of blessing, because I bet the first reaction of real NWS nerds would be “If only we had such a superadvanced lair as our HQ!” but then they’d have to be all, “Oh, well, never mind, if it can’t even smell a big storm.” It’s a movie kindness for weather geeks.
And what is this storm approaching? Only a US Treasury facility somewhere on the Gulf Coast that is responsible for shredding old currency… except the shredder has been down for weeks and there’s a cool $600 million in used, untraceable cash just asking to be stolen. Throw in a mandatory evacuation of the local area as extra cover, and a gang of bad guys has a can’t-miss plan to drive away with it. Who’s gonna stop them?
Who’s gonna stop them is Casey (Maggie Grace: Aftermath, Taken 3), a badass ATF agent who can’t get over “Utah,” whatever happened there (she’ll never be over Macho Grande), with some help from Will, who is like Action Meteorologist! and even has a tank-like vehicle to drive around hurricanes in. (Oh, and also a hurricane kilt Will’s daddy, so he too will never be over Macho Grande. So much rage and grief and angst fueling our heroes!) OH! And also they have Breeze (Ryan Kwanten: Knights of Badassdom, Mystery Road), Will’s brother, who used to be a Marine and served in Afghanistan and also a hurricane kilt his daddy AND ALSO he is the repairman for the generator at the Treasury place. (I am seeing the security flaws of this facility already.)
So many surprises here! No, really. More strange movie magic renders twists that are predictable somehow unexpected, and you bark with the laughter of astonishment at these turns while also laughing at yourself for being astonished because of course that thing that just happened was inevitable. Other things you couldn’t have predicted, like the one lady hacker in the thief gang (Melissa Bolona) who wears an off-the-shoulder evening dress to a daytime heist, that’s how crazy she is. A drop in atmospheric pressure is used as a weapon! (I am somewhat dubious of much of the science in this movie.) There’s an info dump scene that the movie calls itself out over, which is kinda jaw-droppingly amazing. There is an item of automobile paraphernalia used as a weapon that is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen onscreen. Probably not intentionally funny, but I’ll take it.
Much here may be brilliantly stupid and stupidly brilliant, but not everything is. While — incredibly — no one calls Hurricane Tammy a “bitch,” Casey gets called that, and also is referred to as “the girl.” (She’s 34 and a federal agent.) The parade of awful southern accents is, well, awful. Some of the dialogue is unironically and unentertainingly atrocious. And Casey completely passes up the opportunity to say, “Now I have a machine gun,” and how often is that chance ever gonna come around? Poor form, Agent.
Still, this is one of the loudest movies I’ve ever experienced (a compliment), and it’s so cheerfully, good-naturedly dumb that you can’t help but be entertained by it. It may be completely ridiculous and instantly forgettable — I’ve forgotten it already — but The Hurricane Heist is a lot of fun in the moment. And then it blows away.