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‘The Hurricane Heist’ blows - in the best way

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Action film might not be good, but you’ll have a good time

The notion of something being “so bad, it’s good” is one that has become a bit trite. Yes, there can be unexpected delight mined from a terrible movie, but most of the time, to paraphrase Dr. Freud, a crap film is just a crap film. So when just such a joyful disaster blows into your life, well – you hang on and enjoy the ride.

“The Hurricane Heist” is just such a disaster.

This is a film that I couldn’t comfortably consider to be a real thing even after I watched its trailer. The whole thing came off as so utterly ludicrous that I struggled to view it as anything other than a quick-hit parodic bit. The ad used “Rock You Like a Hurricane” unironically, for God’s sake – how could it possibly be real? But it is. It is real.

And it is glorious.

“The Hurricane Heist” is set in the small Gulf Coast town of New Hope, Alabama. The town plays home to a federal U.S. Mint facility; among this facility’s primary tasks is the collection and destruction of money pulled out of circulation. This makes it a potential target for criminals looking to get their hands on large sums of untraceable cash.

And when a Category 5 hurricane looms on the horizon, it provides the perfect cover for a crew of tech-savvy, hardcore thieves to pull off one of the biggest heists in history.

When the backup generator breaks down, disgraced Treasury agent Casey (Maggie Grace, “Aftermath”) leaves the facility – after getting the vault combination changed – to get the guy who is for some reason the only one allowed to work on it.

Said guy is Breeze (Ryan Kwanten, “Who Gets the Dog?”), an ex-Marine who took over his dad’s garage following a (SURPRISE!) hurricane-related tragedy. Breeze’s brother Will (Toby Kebbell, “Kong: Skull Island”) – who just happens to be a world-class meteorologist tracking the storm and telling everyone it’s going to be far worse than they anticipate – is also there, reconnecting with his brother for the first time in years.

This trio is all that stands in the way of the interchangeable mass of like 30 people who have somehow organized this heist. There’s the inside man (Ralph Ineson, TV’s “Absentia”) and a couple of stereotypical hackers – one male (Ed Frears, “Amazon Adventure”) and one female (Melissa Bolona, “Acts of Violence”), as well as a whole bunch of random guys holding rifles who never really make much of an impression.

Breeze winds up inside fixing the generator, while Casey and Will careen through the deadly storm in an effort to keep the bad guys from being able to open the vault.

Let the heisting and hurricane-ing commence.

As ridiculous as all this might sound to you, “The Hurricane Heist” is even MORE ridiculous when you actually sit down and watch it. Nothing that anyone does makes any sense. The choices being made by hats both black and white alike are difficult to parse. The narrative ebbs and flows, often choosing to treat tense moments with languor and inane moments with deadly seriousness. There’s little in the way of rhyme or reason.

It’s really pretty great.

No one is going to argue that “The Hurricane Heist” is a good movie. It is demonstrably not. But that doesn’t change the fact that I greatly enjoyed the time I spent with it. There’s something incredibly charming about the goofy abandon with which the filmmakers tackled every implausible moment, large or small. The action sequences manage to be both competently made and dorky as hell. The dialogue is a wonderful blend of delicious cheeses.

Think the 1998 Christian Slater-Morgan Freeman movie “Hard Rain,” only turned up to 11 and completely unconcerned with plausibility, physics or any other laws of nature.

A lot of times, it’s the performances that really push a movie to transcend a baseline terribleness. That’s largely true here – Kebbell and Grace are both legitimately talented actors and are treating their performances seriously. Not self-seriously; not a lot of winks and nudges here. But it’s that commitment that makes so many ridiculous moments fun instead of purely cringe-inducing. They’re great fun to watch. Kwanten is pretty good as well – the good old boy exchanges between he and Kebbell are particularly delightful.

Meanwhile, the bad guys are just … dudes. But in an engaging way, if that makes sense. It’s fun that there’s little differentiation between them. Oh, there’s the inside guy who’s foreign and angry and the hackers who are movie hackers and the thugs who are brothers and blah blah blah; they don’t matter and the experience is more fun BECAUSE they don’t matter.

“The Hurricane Heist” isn’t going to be for everyone, because again – not a good movie. However, if you’re in the right frame of mind, you can have a lot of fun with this one. Seriously – it’s like a “Fast & Furious” movie made by Jim Cantore. It might just blow you away.

[3 out of 5]

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