[Screen It]


(2018) (Toby Kebbel, Maggie Grace) (PG-13)

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The following is an unedited version of our final review that may contain spelling, grammatical, and/or factual errors. The film was not screened in advance for reviewers.
Action: A meteorologist, his estranged brother and a federal agent try to thwart the theft of $600 million from a federal reserve center during a severe, category five hurricane.
Will (TOBY KEBBELL) is a meteorologist who's returned to his hometown of Gulfport, Alabama to cover a tropical storm that he believes is going to blow up into a monster storm. Sheriff Dixon (BEN CROSS) believes the same and has ordered the city evacuated, thus leaving few people there except for those working at the local Federal Reserve center. Trying to get there before the storm are federal agents Casey (MAGGIE GRACE) and Perkins (RALPH INESON) who are leading a convoy of tractor trailers there filled with currency that's to be taken out of circulation and destroyed.

But when Casey arrives, she learns from the facility manager, Randy (CHRISTIAN CONTRERAS), that not only is the industrial shredder down, so is the facility's back-up generator. Accordingly, she sets out to find the local repairman, Breeze (RYAN KWANTEN) -- who just so happens to be Will's brother -- and bring him back for the needed fix. But when they return, they learn that Perkins has turned sides and is leading a crew -- that also consists of hackers Sasha (MELISSA BOLONA) and Frears (ED BIRCH) -- that desires to steal the backlog of $600 million located there.

They don't intend on harming anyone during the heist, but that changes when Casey, Breeze and then Will show up on the scene, intent on stopping the heist. And that's all while the storm quickly strengthens into a category 5 hurricane and puts all of their lives in danger.

OUR TAKE: 0 out of 10
Our reviewing policy for films that aren't shown in advance to critics is that we'll only provide a paragraph or two about the film's artistic merits or, more accurately, lack thereof. After all, life is too short to spend any more effort than that on a movie that even the releasing studio knows isn't any good (which is why they hid it from reviewers before its release).

As noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is often all too happy to point out, movies usually get science wrong to one degree or another. Granted, the average moviegoer isn't going to nitpick like Mr. Tyson has famously done and instead simply wants to be entertained, scientifically accurate or not.

But when even a layperson finds the material increasingly ludicrous, it becomes a distraction. As does poor acting, lame writing, and horrible direction, all of which are in abundant supply in "The Hurricane Heist."

The premise of Jeff Dixon and Scott Windhauser's screenplay isn't bad -- attempting to rob a Federal Reserve center by using a category 5 hurricane as cover when most everyone will have been evacuated and focus will be elsewhere than a place where money that's been taken out of circulation is set to be shredded into unusable bits.

Alas, all involve squander this cinematic mix of a standard heist flick as coupled with a disaster film (think "Die Hard" mixed with "Twister"). And it's hard to say what's worse, the overall artistic ineptitude of all involved or the science -- in this case meteorologically based -- that's so ludicrous it's laughable.

I particularly "loved" the fact that characters could still walk on the streets of while cars are flying through the air by them, or that the storm acted more like a gargantuan tornado (with its rapidly spinning wall cloud and ability to suck tractor trailers up into the sky with ease) than a hurricane.

Maybe if they had thrown in flying sharks, they might have had something. Oh wait, that's already been done, but at least that film new it was stupid trash. This one doesn't, and you'll be hard-pressed to see a wide-release film this year that's worse than this offering that truly is a disaster. "The Hurricane Heist' rates as a 0 out of 10.

Reviewed March 8, 2018 / Posted March 9, 2018

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