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Rob Cohen
Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten
Writing Credits:
Scott Windhauser, Jeff Dixon

Thieves attempt a massive heist as a Category 5 hurricane approaches.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Descriptive Audio
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 103 min.
Price: $9.99
Release Date: 6/5/2018

• Audio Commentary with Director Rob Cohen
• “Eye of the Storm” Featurette
• “Hollywood Heist” Featurette
• VFX Reel
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews


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The Hurricane Heist [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 3, 2020)

Sure, you’ve seen a skillion caper movies, but have you ever seen one that took place during a natural disaster? This opens a niche to be exploit, and 2018’s The Hurricane Heist attempts to fill that spot.

In 1992, Will Rutledge (Leonardo Dickens) lost his father due to the devastation of Hurricane Andrew. As a result, Will studied weather, and now adult Will (Toby Kebbell) works as a meteorologist.

When Tropical Storm Tammy approaches his birth territory of Alabama, Will predicts that it will intensify and become a powerful hurricane. His superiors send him to Alabama to concentrate on the situation.

In the meantime, Will’s brother Breeze (Ryan Kwanten) gets hired to fix a broken generator at a federal cash storage facility. While this occurs, rogue agents infiltrate the location in an attempt to make off with massive amounts of currency.

This leaves Breeze and Treasury Agent Casey Corbyn (Maggie Grace) at the mercy of the criminals. When Will learns of the danger, he attempts to intervene, all while the various participants need to deal with the calamity wrought by Tammy.

What happened to director Rob Cohen? As recently as 2008, he got the reins to big-budget fare like the the third Brendan Frasor Mummy movie, but now he finds himself stuck with relatively inexpensive flicks like this.

Perhaps I answered my own question. The 2008 Mummy severely underperformed at the box office, and his other efforts didn’t set the world on fire either.

Still, Heist feels like a step down for the guy who directed the original Fast and the Furious. I still view him as closer to “A-list” than the “C-list” Heist would imply.

If fans hope Heist will officially show that Cohen’s Still Got It, they should abandon those dreams. Despite the crazed potential the movie’s theme boasts, Cohen gives us a pretty bland and by the numbers thriller.

Of course, the titular storm adds some intrigue, but it doesn’t deliver the excitement one might anticipate. To a large degree, the involvement of the hurricane acts as a gimmick more than anything else, for the violent weather acts more as a background factor than a primary ingredient.

Oh, the movie involves meteorological calamity on more than a few occasions, but these moments feel gratuitous. The plot itself plays out without much real impact from the storm beyond cheap shenanigans.

As for the rest of the tale, the title crime turns into an oddly disjointed affair. Not content to go down a straightforward path, the movie embraces double crosses and triple crosses and quadruple crosses.

All of these intend to add intrigue, but instead they just turn the film into a mess. What should offer a tight story winds and spins and flutters so much that it loses all potential drama.

Not that I think a tighter movie would work much better. Heist embraces every cliché it can find, and it delivers no inventiveness or creativity.

We never invest in the characters or care about the action. Everything rambles in so many directions that the muddled package can’t engage.

How can a movie that mixes violent crime and natural disaster be so dull? That’s a mystery to me, but suffice it to say that Heist offers a strangely boring experience.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A/ Bonus B-

The Hurricane Heist appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong visual presentation.

Sharpness pleased. Some interiors delivered minor softness, but overall delineation appeared positive.

I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and the image also lacked edge haloes. Of course, print flaws remained absent.

Don’t expect anything out of the ordinary from the film’s palette, as it emphasized teal like so many other movies these days. Some amber also popped up, but the bluish tint dominated. That was uncreative but the hues seemed well-rendered.

Blacks also came across well. Dark tones appeared deep and rich, and low-light shots brought us smooth, clear imagery. Really, I could find little about which to complain, as this became a consistently appealing presentation.

In addition, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Heist worked very well. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the mix offered a terrific auditory experience.

Of course, the activity levels mostly came to life during the storm sequences, and the soundfield did become quite immersive on those occasions. Since much of the movie depicted intense weather, that meant a lot of wind and rain whipping around us. The track used the channels to good advantage and created an involving soundscape.

Audio was solid. Speech appeared intelligible and concise, without edginess or other problems.

Music occasionally threatened to become lost in the mix, but the score was usually fine. I didn’t discern any significant problems with that side of things.

Effects were the highlight, and they delivered a good impact. I thought those elements demonstrated nice clarity and range, with solid low-end response. The movie offered a consistently dynamic and involving mix.

Despite the movie’s fairly low profile, the disc comes with a decent array of extras, and we open with an audio commentary from director Rob Cohen. He provides a running, screen-specific look at the project’s origins and path to the screen, story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, effects, music and audio, stunts, and related domains.

At his best, Cohen provides some good insights into the production. He manages to cover a lot of the expected topics, and he explains choices pretty well.

However, Cohen often tends to simply narrate the movie, so a lot of the track offers basic explanation of what we already can see. While Cohen offers enough material to make the commentary worth a listen, his lapses into simple description make this an erratic piece.

With The Eye of the Storm, we get a 17-minute, 44-second featurette that offers notes from Cohen, cinematographer Shelly Johnson, visual effects supervisor Mike Kelt, and actors Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten, and Ralph Ineson.

“Eye” focuses on the depiction of the hurricane, photography, various effects, sets/locations, story/characters, cast and performances, vehicles, and stunts. Some of this leans toward happy talk, but we still get a better than average overview.

We get more from the director via Hollywood Heist, a 23-minute, 45-second interview with Cohen. He discusses the evolution of Hollywood over his decades in show business. Movie fans will know the basics, but Cohen’s insider take offers an intriguing perspective.

A VFX Reel goes for three minutes, 52 seconds. As usual for the genre, this shows the original photography and the final material in a before/after format. It proves reasonably interesting.

Two Deleted Scenes fill a total of two minutes, 11 seconds. Both offer minor character expansion, but neither brings anything especially useful.

The disc opens with an ad for 47 Meters Down. No trailer for Heist appears here.

As a fan of both genres, I can’t help but want to love a movie that combines action and disaster. Unfortunately, The Hurricane Heist can’t do either well, so it becomes a ridiculous, silly affair with surprisingly little entertainment value. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and excellent audio along with a decent array of bonus materials. Heist fails to exploit its natural strengths.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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