Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of movies. Most are mediocre and quickly fade from my memory. Occasionally, there will be a standout, good or bad, that stays with me for years but these are far rarer. It is not often, however, that I stumble across a film that is so monumentally wrongheaded and laughable in its every aspect that it comes close to unintentional perfection. The Hurricane Heist is such a film.
The story kicks right off in fine form with a man and his two sons attempting to flee a hurricane in a tow truck because that would definitely work. Through a sequence of events that no person would ever actually engage in, poor old pops is crushed by a rolling water tower, and the kids are left to ride out the storm, sans father.
Fast forward twenty-some years and one boy has become a Ph.D. meteorologist, while the other has become an alcoholic handyman. This is all fairly unnecessary backstory, as neither of these characters is likable or sympathetic, and yet we are subjected to a great deal of it. Eventually, the actual plot kicks in, and the first of a great many eye-rolls begins.
It would seem that the US Department of the Treasury has a “secure” facility in rural Alabama, where they shred old money. It is here that we are introduced to our third protagonist, a Treasury agent named Casey, who is tasked with making sure nothing bad happens to $600 million that ever so conveniently needs to be locked in a vault due to a faulty shredder. Predictably, something bad does indeed happen. Her partner turns out to be at the head of a band of mercenaries intent on using the impending category 5 hurricane as cover for the theft.
What ensues is best described as the horrifying lovechild of Die Hard and Twister. CG disaster effects abound, snappy one-liners are spoken at woefully inappropriate moments, backs are stabbed, and the brothers repair their damaged relationship and learn the true value of family. None of this generic thriller-filler betrays the incomprehensible beauty of The Hurricane Heist, though. It’s challenging to describe, so instead, I present you with a list of things that actually happened in this movie. Some spoilers are included, but is anybody watching a film that is unironically called The Hurricane Heist for the plot?
- Toby Kebbell plays Will: a meteorologist who drives a tank that looks like the Batmobile and has about as many gadgets.
- The film goes out of its way to establish that said Batmobile has a satellite uplink, but it is conveniently shot off by the mercenaries five minutes later.
- Ben Cross has the worst southern accent ever committed to film. I was embarrassed just being in the same room as it.
- Casey’s entire backstory is as follows: “I made a bad call in Utah, and someone got killed.” I have no idea how that’s possible when you work for the US Treasury, but apparently, it is.
- Casey, despite having been a truck driver delivering money only moments before, seems to have advanced military and weapons training. The only explanation she offers for these inexplicable skills is: “I’m a Fed, they teach you this stuff!”
- Toby Kebbell apparently makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a full week in advance, then wraps them in paper and puts them in a dedicated drawer in the Batmobile. Maybe its a super special airtight drawer developed by the government to prevent staleness in sandwiches, but wouldn’t the PB&J’s earmarked for the later days of the week become horribly soggy?
- During an attempt to pull down a radio tower with the Batmobile’s winch, Will hooks the cable to a rung of the ladder that runs up its front. Somehow, that ladder is structurally sound enough to dislodge the whole tower from its foundation, despite the fact that it was bolted into cement with some rather hefty screws.
- Will’s brother, in an effort to release a group of soldiers being held hostage behind a chain link fence, uses his bolt-cutters to clip each individual link rather than the one clearly visible chain keeping the door shut.
- Mr. Kebbell, born in Yorkshire and raised in Nottingham, has a terrible southern accent. It’s not Ben Cross bad, but still painful.
- Apparently, everyone in the Treasury Department uses iPads, and Alienware is the computer of choice for hackers.
- Casey and Will dangle above a mall after being sucked up two stories by the rapid pressure change caused by a shattering skylight.
- Will, still a meteorologist who refuses to use a gun ever, outruns armed mercenaries and throws hubcaps into the wind, killing a man wearing a bulletproof vest.
- There is some Birdemic-level global warming commentary, and the writers didn’t even bother trying to disguise it.
- (Major spoiler) – The bad guy is crushed by the trailer he was towing while trying to outrun the hurricane. It was sucked off of the truck by the force of the wind, and then somehow thrown with a precise parabola directly onto the cab of his semi.
- A skull sometimes appears in the hurricane, because hurricanes are bad.
As you can see, this movie has everything. It is, if you will pardon the expression, the perfect storm of ineptitude. The plot was, I’m assuming, written by a thirteen-year-old, as was the dialogue. There are shot continuity errors, missing muzzle flashes, random sequences filmed with shaky-cam, an abundance of ugly CG, and a hurricane that is surprisingly helpful but only to the protagonists. Every idea on display is just so wrong and so silly that The Hurricane Heist might actually be the dumbest thing I’ve ever watched on purpose.
Nevertheless, I kind of love it. I don’t think I’ve had this much fun in a theater since Justice League; another blundering but exquisite mess of a movie. This is a rare example of a film that does everything wrong, yet still manages to be so much more than the sum of its parts. I imagine the experience of watching The Hurricane Heist is similar to witnessing a Sharknado film in the theater, and for what its worth the only thing keeping this from being the best movie in that franchise is the tragic lack of sharks. If we’re all very lucky, we may yet see a crossover called Sharkicane Holdup or some such.
So yes, The Hurricane Heist is brainless in the extreme. It is a stupid, poorly executed movie that takes itself far too seriously, and it never seems to have a full grasp on what exactly is supposed to be happening. Even so, its fumbling efforts constantly entertain and are rarely dull. Terrible as it is, I wholeheartedly recommend seeing The Hurricane Heist. It may be the best bad movie released in some time.