Movies

‘The Hurricane Heist’ Is Now The Frontrunner For Best Worst Movie Of 2018


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You have to give The Hurricane Heist a lot of credit for getting to the point. It is a movie called The Hurricane Heist and it is about a heist that takes place during a hurricane and both the hurricane and the heist start happening almost right away. There’s some introductory work, sure. A government meteorologist on the scene tells his Washington bosses that what is at that point called Tropical Storm Tammy could be much worse because it “smells like a hurricane.” He also talks to the hurricane and says “They’re underestimating you.” And guess what: they are. The storm becomes a Category 5 megastorm before you can say “Hey, those guys who just showed up at the U.S. Mint sure look suspicious…”

And guess what: they are. A group of bad guys — an inside man with a small group of paramilitary goons, greedy local law enforcement officers, and two hackers who we will be discussing again shortly, I promise — show up as the storm is brewing and promptly take over the entire facility. It’s all kind of like The Rock meets Twister meets Sharknado and if you thought I would not see it opening weekend you are more foolish than those goddamn bureaucratic fat cats in Washington with their naively optimistic storm projections.

I imagine you have some questions at this point. Please, fire away.

Uh, what?

Great question. Everything I’ve said so far is true, but there is much more to it than that. For example, the “heist” in question involves $600 million of old United States currency that was set to be taken out of circulation and shredded. (Money that had been, to quote a character in the movie, up too many noses and shoved into too many G-strings, and that no one will miss.) And because of the storm, most phone lines are down and everyone in the Alabama town the movie is set in has been evacuated. It’s almost too easy, as one of the bad guys indicates later in the movie when he says this line of dialogue, which made me whoop out loud in the theater: “Everything was perfect. All we needed was one little hurricane.”

So I’m guessing from his use of the past tense that this plan doesn’t exactly work out?

Boy howdy, does it ever not work out.

What happens?

Hold on. I have to tell you about Breeze and Will Rutledge first.

Breeze?

Yup. Breeze and Will are brothers whose father was killed in front of them during Hurricane Andrew in 1992. They reacted to this differently. Breeze (Ryan Kwanten) went into the military and now drinks a lot in the office of his… it’s not exactly clear what his business does, exactly. He’s a loose cannon who has a lot of guns and blames himself for his father’s death. That’s the main thing you need to know. And Will (Toby Kebbell) is a former football hero who became the meteorologist we mentioned above. He’s back in his hometown to track the storm and he drives a high-tech government issue armored vehicle that looks kind of like if the Batmobile from the Christopher Nolan trilogy was an SUV. He calls it The Dominator.

So they’re our heroes?

They are two of our three heroes. The third is a Treasury Agent named Casey, who:

  • Is played by Maggie Grace, who you probably know from Lost or from being the kidnapped daughter Liam Neeson saves in Taken
  • Is the partner of the inside man who is behind the heist
  • Is transporting old gross money because she’s being punished for a recent operation that went bad, which is referenced repeatedly in the movie as “the thing in Utah”

Also, at different points in the movie, each Rutledge brother gets to save her by screeching a car to a stop in front of her, throwing open the passenger door, and shouting “Get in!” But you probably figured that out already.

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Okay. So tell me about the bad guys.

Eh. There’s the dirty Treasury agent, who is only notable because he starts the movie saying he wants to do the job without bloodshed and by the end he’s killing people willy-nilly. There’s the dirty sheriff. There’s the violent second banana. You’ve seen action movies.

But what about the hackers?

Oh, right! The hackers!

The hackers are a boyfriend-girlfriend team who hacked and broke the shredder to guarantee the Mint would be full of money to steal. The guy is a heavily tattooed Brit. He’s fine. The woman is a supermodel-attractive American named Sasha who shows up to the Mint — for a heist, in the middle of a hurricane, posing as an IT worker — in high heels and a form-fitting one-shoulder dress that cuts off mid-thigh. She’s my favorite. It’s blowing hard enough to suck people out through the skylight of a mall and she’s out here dressed like she’s going to party at Pitbull’s house. She doesn’t even have a poncho. The commitment to fashion is admirable, if misguided.

Why would she dress like that?

Because The Hurricane Heist is exactly the movie you think it is.

Right. Now what’s this about a skylight?

Ahhh whoops. Yeah, that definitely happens. Two bad guys are sucked out through the roof of the mall after Casey fires a bullet through it (think like an airplane movie where someone opens the emergency door, but on land, in a mall), and the only reason Casey and Will survive is because they’re hooked to long cables that allow them to fly out the skylight but just kind of wave around in the wind a lot, like those inflatable sock puppets things at car dealerships.

Other ways bad guys die in this movie:

  • Gas station explosion
  • Surprise flood in greenhouse
  • Entire tractor-trailer full of money sucked into hurricane
  • Trailer of truck ripped off by hurricane and then heaved forward onto the cab, causing massive fireball

Also…

This brings us to the dramatic conclusion.

Yeah, how does one even consider escaping during a hurricane?

Oh, buddy. Oh, you are going to love this.

Wait…

Yup.

Do they…?

Yup.

Do the surviving bad guys wait for the eye of the hurricane and then drive the tractor-trailers full of money away from the Mint in the small pleasant ring of sunshine surrounded by weather-based destruction?

Yuppppp.

But how did they know the eye of the hurricane would pass over them at that exact moment? How could they plan for that when even the government weather service misjudged the storm?

Shut up.

Excuse me?

Shut up. You’re overthinking this.

I guess that’s fair. Rude, but fair.

Anyway, there’s a tractor-trailer chase and the hurricane is hot on their tail and Will and Breeze are jumping from truck to truck and the whole thing is like a solid quarter of the movie’s 103-minute runtime. The good guys win. The bad guys lose. The end.

This movie sounds nuts.

Oh, it is. But let me tell you this: It’s not like it’s trying to be Black Panther and coming up short. It’s a silly fun action movie where bad guys get sucked out of a mall and everyone’s hair is wet but also perfect and one of the good guys is a meteorologist who went into the field because a hurricane killed his dad in 1992 and he wants to figure out how to “stop” them. Director Rob Cohen — the man responsible for the first Fast & Furious movie — knew exactly what he was doing with it. I had a blast watching the movie, as did the other eight people in the theater with me. One day you’ll have like three drinks and watch it on Netflix and enjoy the crap out of it.

Wait. He wants to stop hurricanes? Like, completely? How does that even w-

[glares]

Oh, right. “Shut up.”

Thank you.

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