Review: 'The Hurricane Heist' Reaches Syfy Channel Levels Of Insanity

The Hurricane Heist is insane. The new film from The Fast and The Furious director Rob Cohen is one of the most proudly bonkers movies I’ve seen in a while. I’m talking Syfy-Channel-original-movie-levels of insanity, only on a much higher budget, and released to theaters for some reason. It shows that this movie comes from the mind behind Fast and Furious and xXx, because much like in those films, everything about The Hurricane Heist is cranked up to 11, capital E EXTREME. If there is an opportunity for something to be more hardcore and “awesome” than necessary, this movie happily takes it.

It opens with what’s essentially a short film showing us two young brothers losing their father in a horrific hurricane. How do we know it’s horrific? Because the clouds turn into the shape of a skull after killing him, of course!

I told you, this is nuts.

Flash forward twenty years and the brothers are now our protagonists. One is a mechanic named, honestly, Breeze (Ryan Kwanten) and the other is Will, a hurricane obsessed meteorologist (Toby Kebbell). When the oncoming storm knocks out the power at a US Treasury facility, an agent (Maggie Grace) is sent to go find them to get help. Then things get sloppy. They introduce about a dozen other characters and subplots and it becomes legitimately difficult to figure out who you’re supposed to be rooting for for about the first half hour. Which brings me to the film’s first big problem.

You would think a movie called The Hurricane Heist would be about the heist, and have you rooting for the team that’s committing it, much like in a Fast and Furious movie. This film, however, is about stopping the titular heist. The majority of the action takes place around the event, as opposed to during it. This is not only a really puzzling decision to make in terms of action filmmaking, but also makes the title a lie! This is not a movie about a hurricane heist! This is a movie about making sure there isn’t one! Much like last year’s Geostorm, where they for some reason thought audiences didn’t want to actually see a geostorm, Hurricane Heist expects you to root against the eponymous (and awesome) idea that got you into the theater in the first place.

The actual heisters themselves aren’t much to write home about in terms of personality. Rather generic bank robbing bad guys, with the exception of the two British hackers they have on their team. I don’t know if it was the movie-nonsense computer hacking they were doing, or their hyper British back-and-forth that got me, but they were a pretty bright spot among some mostly generic villains.
Ultimately, this movie is a mess. Fortunately, sometimes it’s a fun mess, but a mess nonetheless. This film is so weirdly paced, and expects you to just accept and go along with some ideas and concepts that are truly insane. It’s like the movie version of freeform jazz. It moves both really fast and super slow at the same time. Because this isn’t a fast paced movie. There’s a lot that happens suddenly that we’re supposed to go along with, and that’s just not how narrative movies work.

In short, The Hurricane Heist is a broken movie. Is it good? No. But it’s also not the worst thing I’ve seen all year (looking at you, 15:17 to Paris). It’s not something I would recommend shelling out actual money to see in a theater, but if you happen to come across it on Netflix one day, it might give you a chuckle. An EXTREME chuckle.

1.5 out of 5