The great thing about watching films that haven’t been promoted to death (I am looking at you Avengers) is that you actually go into the theatre with almost no idea of what to expect.
For a film like The Hurricane Heist (Cuop Trong Tam Bao), even the generic summary reads. ‘There is a hurricane happening in a town and there is also a heist that is happening at the same time’. And that’s really it.
In the town of Gulfport in Alabama, a category 5 storm (the highest) is about to strike, and Will (Toby Kebbell), a meteorologist, just happens to be driving through his hometown at the same time. As the town is being evacuated, Will tries to check on his estranged brother Breeze (Ryan Kwanten). An alcoholic mechanic who won’t answer the phone. He tries to convince his headstrong brother to move out because ‘this storm is bigger than anything ever seen’. Meanwhile, Casey (Wille Grace of Taken fame), a Washington liason, and Perkins (a menacing Ralph Ineson), a treasury employee, take $600 million in three trucks to the local facility to shred it but unknown to them, thieves are lurking and planning to use the storm as the perfect cover.
The man behind films like xXx and The Fast and the Furious. Rob Cohen, is behind The Hurricane Heist. The director, known for his ridiculously fun action set-pieces, does not disappoint. Take for example, the scene when Will is being chased by the villains and the hurricane slowly gathers speed. Our hero uses hubcaps and his knowledge of the winds to turn them into shurikens. And suddenly the whole sequence is like watching Daredevil fighting off The Hand ninjas. There is another moment that has Will waiting for the criminals at a mall. As they come in with their guns, with not even a suspicion that a trap has been laid, Will draws them in with his voice, while checking out the barometer for the right pressure to hit the villains with. You can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it all.
Huge credit to Rob Cohen for using the hurricane as an able ally of the meteorologist. And for almost making it a character by itself. The only problem is that at times, the characters are not in as much danger as they should be. The music, which usually is overtly dramatic in such action films (phim hanh dong), is admirably underplayed. The CGI is also used sparingly, with more emphasis on creating actual sets to show the effect of the hurricane. In the finale, unfortunately, it all blows up, literally, in your face.