The Hurricane Heist
Toby Kebbell as Will Rutledge; Maggie Grace as Casey Corbin; Ryan Kwanten as Breeze Rutledge; Ralph Ineson as Connor Perkins; Melissa Bolona as Sasha; Ben Cross as Jimmy Dixon; Jamie Andrew Cutler as Clement Rice; Christian Contreras as Randy Moreno
March 9, 2018
Not much escapes the wrath of a Category 5 hurricane. And in 1992, when Hurricane Andrew swept over Gulfport, Alabama, Will and Breeze Rutledge watched their father’s tragic death unfold before their eyes.
These days, the brothers live vastly different lives in an effort to forget the past. Though he remains terrified of hurricanes, Will has nevertheless earned a Ph.D. in synoptic meteorology. Breeze, meanwhile, still resides in Gulfport, working as a mechanic and tow truck driver by day, and passing his days with women and alcohol by night.
That’s when Tammy shows up. No, she’s not one of Breeze’s casual lovers. Instead, Tammy is supposed to be a Category 2 hurricane. Will suspects it will be much worse, and he’s in town again to track and research it. Oh, and to encourage Breeze to get out of town like everyone else who’s under mandatory evacuation orders from the sheriff.
But outrunning a deadly storm will soon be the least of Will and Breeze’s problems. You see, a hurricane offers perfect cover for an audacious crime. It’s an ideal opportunity to break into the U.S. Treasury facility in Gulfport to steal the hundreds of millions in worn-out currency sent there to be shredded.
And what a heist it will be, run by a honcho by the name of Connor Perkins. He and his unruly gang feel that they’re entitled to the fortune that the U.S. government cavalierly shreds on a regular basis. But there’s just one catch: The facility’s power has been partially knocked out by the storm (though somehow, lights and computers are still on), and the backup generator has died, too. So these would-be thieves are now down to the wire if they want to perfectly execute their audacious plan.
Only a couple of people stand in their way. The first, Treasury Agent Casey Corbin, is determined not to let them get away with the crime. And then there’s Will, who’s similarly determined to rescue brother Breeze, who’s been captured for the purpose of restarting that broken generator.
Will intends to do everything possible to save his hostage brother, because he’s not going to let a hurricane claim the life of another person he loves dearly. But doing that will require facing his memories of another storm that’s haunted him for his entire life.
No matter what the hurricane may throw in the way of Will, Casey and Breeze, the trio will do anything to rescue Connor’s hostages (security guards who are quickly knocked out with tranquilizer darts) and to bring justice. The team works together for the good of the government, and they even learn a few things about themselves along the way.
Breeze, an Army vet, discovers that he isn’t as disconnected as he pretends to be and that he truly loves his brother. Will, for his part, learns that he is braver than he ever imagined, and that he loves his brother, too. Will and Casey swap stories of loss that bring them closer together. And Casey realizes that whatever may have happened in her past doesn’t have to determine her future, that she still has the power to redeem some serious mistakes made earlier in her career. At one point, she even volunteers to exchange herself for her friends and the other hostages.
Near the end of the film, Will apologizes to his older brother for accusatory things he said to Breeze after their father died, when they were both still kids. (Will intimated that they got caught in the hurricane because something Breeze did kept them from getting out in time.)
Will earnestly believes that climate change is making hurricanes more destructive. That conviction spurs his desire to understand these massive storms, so that he might contribute to efforts that spare people’s lives from them in the future. Elsewhere, the phrase “take your victories where you can find them” is used multiple times by characters trying to focus on the positive amid dangerous and difficult situations.
We hear several passing spiritual references. Someone says, “A priest once told me money won’t get you to heaven.” A person is sarcastically called a “good Samaritan.” Will tells Casey that the Hurricane Tammy will create “500 miles of Armageddon,” and says that the eye of the storm is like “a bright, sunny day in the middle of hell.” Someone quips, “Lord knows.” We see a church steeple blown down by the wind.
Breeze is seen sleeping (or perhaps passed out from drinking) in his boxers and a button-down shirt. Will finds skimpy women’s underwear in Breeze’s bathroom; Breeze jokes about casually sleeping around, saying the owner of those undergarments was a woman (likely either a stripper or prostitute) named “Jaguar.” Will jokingly recalls a biology teacher whom Breeze was once infatuated with, saying that his brother was “keenly interested in her biology.” Casey says that used-up currency has been “buried in too many G-strings,” a reference to strippers being given cash tips.
Characters kiss multiple times. One woman wears a short, off-the-shoulder dress that emphasizes her cleavage; later she opens her legs toward her boyfriend (though we only see her thigh) who responds by calling her “dirty.” She then crawls on top of him (while he’s driving a semi in a hurricane!), and the two kiss passionately.
The film begins with a flashback that shows young Will and Breeze, along with their father, desperately trying to outrun Hurricane Andrew in dad’s tow truck. A falling tree prevents their escape as the storm bears down on them, and they witness their father’s death as a blowing silo on a farm rolls brutally over him. (The abandoned farm house where they take refuge gets beaten up pretty badly, too.)
Hurricane Tammy deals similar damage, destroying much that’s in her path. Entire homes are swallowed into the sky, cars and trucks are tossed about, humans are sucked into the black hole of the hurricane, and some are done in by flying or rolling debris. A seriously unbelievable stunt involves two people who are tethered by ropes being sucked into the storm through a hole in a building’s glass ceiling. Others who aren’t lucky enough to be similarly tied down get sucked through that ragged hole too, vacuumed into the storm’s merciless maw. Later, the hurricane’s watery storm surge threatens to deluge multiple characters as it tosses them about.
As the heist begins, guards at the Federal Reserve installation are shot with tranquilizers. None are initially killed, though several are badly stunned by loud flash grenades. The thieves are pleased that they’ve managed to break in without shedding any blood. That, however, doesn’t last.
Once Casey, Will and Breeze begin to thwart Connor’s well-laid plans, bullets fly and people die. Buildings explode, as do cars and trucks in multiple high-speed accidents that claim lives and result in one man’s arm being broken.
Connor threatens to kill as many people as is necessary to get what he wants, suggesting that he’ll go so far stuffing one unfortunate hostage into an industrial shredder. He chokes a man who is unwilling to cooperate and threatens to spill someone else’s brains. He brutally punches and kicks someone. And he says disturbingly of Casey that he’ll “cattle prod her privates until she gives us the code.” In another scene, two characters wrestle desperately for a gun, and one even tries to bite the other. A man gets stabbed in the chest by a flying hubcap. Two people are essentially executed by Conor, who unexpectedly shoots both of them.
A risky chase scene involves the brothers jumping between moving vehicles, as well as wrestling with and shooting drivers of large trucks while they’re driving. Some people are wounded, while others are killed and thrown from the vehicles.
Someone says, “I’ll punch you in the mouth.” Young Will and Breeze argue and hit each other. Virtually everyone has a bleeding facial cuts and wounds by the end of the film.
Crude or Profane Language
Nearly 25 s-words. We hear at least one unfinished f-word and perhaps another spoken under someone’s breath. We also hear one use of the f-word stand-in “freakin’.” Jesus’ name is misused three times, as is God’s name (two of which uses are paired with “d–n”). “D–n” and “h–” are both used eight to 10 times each. Other vulgarities, used a handful of times each, include “a–,” “a–hole,” “b–ch,” “b–tards” and “p-ss.” We hear several crude references to the male anatomy.
Namecalling includes “idiot,” “degenerate,” “psychotic” and “freak.” Someone growls, “That mother!” We also hear phrases such as “screw around,” “shut your yap up” and “son of a gun.”
Drug and Alcohol Content
Breeze is clearly an alcoholic, beginning his day by sipping directly from a bottle of whiskey. He sarcatically says of his habit as frown-faced Will looks on, “I make a fresh start every day.” We see Breeze drink from a flask later in the film, too. And Will takes a swig of his brother’s liquor after a particularly brutal set of scenes.
Casey says that old dollar bills have been “up a 1,000 noses,” a reference to the practice of rolling up bills like straws to snort cocaine and other drugs. She also references Alabama’s tobacco industry (as she drives over said crop in a semi). Someone asks for Vicodin after he’s seriously injured.
Other Negative Elements
Curiously for an action movie like this, Will and Casey take an onscreen bathroom break. We see him from behind as he urinates. Casey isn’t visible as she goes behind a concrete column. (We see her finishing pulling her pants up, though nothing is shown.)
I think we can all agree that actioners like The Hurricane Heist major in what we might call “the unbelievable factor.” This one was comes to us courtesy of director Rob Cohen, who also helmed The Fast and the Furious and xXx, so we already know what we’re in for before the butter hits the popcorn.
This time around, we get some of the typical vehicular shenanigans Cohen’s known for … but in a hurricane.
Now, a normal hurricane certainly ravages most everything in its path. Still, this flick’s “Hurricane Tammy” doles out apocalyptic damage. It rolls in like a horizon-to-horizon tornado, like the ominous Smoke Monster from Lost. But even if a hurricane were to take similarly obliterating form, I don’t think anyone would survive quite like Will and Casey do. Multiple scenes depict them being blown about in the air like rag dolls, yet they still carry on without so much as broken bone. (Cue audience laughter.)
Of course, this is all to be expected. So if you find yourself contemplating whether to see the movie or not, know that you’ll likely laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of it all. But you’ll also be buffeted and pelted by enough profane and violent content to fully merit this gale-force thriller’s PG-13 rating.