The Hurricane Heist is better in some ways than I expected, at least during the first half of the movie. Human interest stories are nicely handled and the characters are very human, dealing with feelings of loss and uncertainty. The film opens with Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and two young brothers are riding with their father in a truck in Alabama when it strikes. Their truck goes off the road and their father sends them into a house as he tries to put a chain to his stuck-in-the-mud truck to move it. But the hurricane’s explosive violence not only causes the house the boys are in to come crashing down, but it also is the cause of their father’s death.
Fast forward to the present when reports of another impending hurricane, even worst than Hurricane Andrew, is said to be on its way. Toby Kebbell plays a now-grown Will, a weatherman; his brother, Breeze (Ryan Kwanten), has served in Afghanistan but lives near his brother. Will checks in on him from time to time. It is obvious they have buried deep feelings of loss over what happened to their father literally in front of their eyes.
A lady named Casey (Maggie Grace from Taken), works as a federal agent in the federal building and she jokes about the $600 million of “old money” that is going to be shredded. She quips that it was probably placed in a few G-strings. When one of the agents betrays the government, Maggie is the insider who knows what is what and she becomes invaluable when a group of robbers, led by the inside traitor, need her help to open the vault. Dirty law officials are involved in the plot as well. Casey winds up working with both Breeze and Will, and their combined goal is to thwart the assailants and to trade Casey’s services for the release of several hostages that they hold. She learns about Will losing his father to the hurricane years earlier and she sympathizes with him, saying she feels responsible for someone that died some time in the past. It is these tender human moments that add some depth to the film. Otherwise, believability is stretched quite a bit, especially when Will, the weatherman, winds up running on top of a stolen truck and taking on the bad guys along with Breeze and Casey’s help. The storm is fierce, but some of the images of what it does and the people that amazingly survive it also contribute to credibility being pushed to the limit.
Not that the special effects aren’t great. They are. In one of the opening scenes of the film, the fierce hurricane appears to take the appearance of a skull, with the various shadows and shades, and it is a pretty apt analogy. It speaks of impending death. Various scenes in the movie including that of Will trying to disable a cell tower in order to prevent the assailants from opening the vault are action-packed—he literally is fighting against unbelievably strong winds and pelting rain. In fact, the weather is not nice at all during a good part of the story, which conjures up a bit of man vs. nature in the plot as well as the good guys taking on the bad guys. There is no doubt that the film is entertaining, if not entirely realistic.
If anyone has been caught in a powerful storm or had to make a choice involving integrity, this is definitely a relatable movie. I once was not charged for razor blades at my local grocery store and when I discovered the mistake before I left the store, I went back through the line to pay for them. I think being responsible for $600 million and fighting for that much money and for hostages’ lives is a bit more important, and agent Casey handles it well. But I digress. The movie features strong language throughout including the F-bomb and GD and JC, as well as a lot of violence, so we have to withhold our Dove Seal from the movie. If there is a moral lesson to learn from the movie, it is this: never steal money from the federal government, but especially during a hurricane.