Hurricane Heist, The (Blu-ray) (2018)

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Released 29-Aug-2018

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Featurette-Making Of-The Eye of the Storm (17:49)
Featurette-The Dominator – A Hero’s Journey (5:37)
Featurette-Truth is Stranger than Fiction: SFX v VFX, Stunts (9:58)
Featurette-Casting The Hurricane Heist (8:47)
Featurette-VFX Reel (4:11)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2018
Running Time 102:36
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Rob Cohen
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Toby Kebbell
Maggie Grace
Ryan Kwanten
Ralph Ineson
Ben Cross
Jamie Cutler
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Lorne Belfe


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Brothers Will (Toby Kebbell) and Breeze (Ryan Kwanten) have been estranged for 25 years after their father was killed in a hurricane in 1992 and Will blamed Breeze. Will, now a meteorologist with the US Weather Service, is back in his old home town as another massive hurricane approaches the Gulf coast and he visits his brother, now a repairman like their father, to try to make amends. The town is deserted as Sheriff Dixon (Ben Cross) has ordered a full evacuation although the evacuation order does not extend to the US Treasury Mint which has just received three truckloads of banknotes guarded by Treasury officials Perkins (Ralph Ineson) and Casey (Maggie Grace). However a gang of thieves, including an inside man, has planned to raid the Mint under cover of the hurricane and escape with $600 million.

     When the power fails due to the hurricane and the Mint’s backup generator malfunctions, with communications knocked out by the storm Casey is sent to collect Breeze to fix it, where she meets Will. While Casey is on her errand the gang take over the Mint. However, Casey has changed the code to the main vault; when she returns with Breeze she senses something is not right and escapes into the storm. The thieves, of course, need Casey back for the vault code and pursue her but she is rescued by Will. With the hurricane raging and no backup available, Will and Casey must come up with a plan to rescue Breeze and to thwart the robbers.

     The Hurricane Heist is a thriller that is loud, dumb and very implausible. The film was directed by Rob Cohen whose CV includes The Fast and the Furious (2001), xXx (2002) and, one of my favourite guilty pleasures, DragonHeart (1996) so he was no stranger to action films. The same can be said for other crew members; cinematographer Shelly Johnson has shot films including Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and The Expendables 2 (2012) while composer Lorne Belfe has 122 credits on the IMDb including the recent Mission Impossible - Fallout (2018). The result is that the action sequences with the hurricane roaring, the rain bucketing down and debris flying are chaotic, deafening and exciting. Many of the stunts were done practically, including a tower crashing to the ground, a church steeple falling, a tsunami in a garden centre and cars sliding along the ground, and they look impressive with strong detail, allowing every drop of rain to be seen clearly. The CGI, however, such as the skulls in the storm clouds or the truck flipping and flying in the climax are less impressive.

     Outside of the action, and thankfully there is plenty of it, the attempts at characterisation and motivation are pedestrian and the dialogue dull. There is also a bit about global warming that is well meaning (and topical) but brings things to a halt! The cast, especially Maggie Grace as the heroine who is very capable of looking after herself and Home and Away alumnus Ryan Kwanten do what they can with a script that is clichéd, implausible and predictable, the hidden villains not hard to spot. However with a thriller called The Hurricane Heist and director Rob Cohen an audience expecting a hurricane, a heist and full on action will not be disappointed.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The Hurricane Heist is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     Except for one sequence in the eye of the storm where the film has bright colours, the rest of The Hurricane Heist occurs either under leaden skies or within the raging hurricane so grey and steely blue colours dominate. Blacks and shadow detail are very good, allowing all the action to be seen. Practical detail, including the rain, the vehicles, the disintegrating buildings and debris is firm. However, the strength of the HD presentation results in some of the CGI, such as the tsunami wave, the storm clouds racing across the landscape, the skull in the clouds or the trucks flipping, looking less than convincing. Contrast and brightness is consistent. Marks and artefacts were absent.

     English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is English DTS-HA MA 5.1 plus English descriptive audio (Dolby Digital 2.0) using a male voice.

     Films set within storms are what surround systems were made for. In the US The Hurricane Heist comes with Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 but here we get only a DTS-HA MA 5.1 mix. Those without a 7.1 set-up will however find the audio we have impressive. From the very beginning in the 1992 sequence there is thunder and wind in all speakers; during the later storm the wind howls, the rain buckets down, there is breaking glass, groaning metal and debris, including cars and towers, crashing down. Within this gunshots are loud, engines in the car chase roar, impacts and the explosion reverberate, all fully supported by a subwoofer that seldom lets up. Dialogue is not drowned out, however, resulting in an excellent sound design.

     The score by Lorne Belfe was a bit generic but it is loud and bold so does what is expected.

     There are no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     A “Play All” option is provided for the extras. They consist of EPK type featurettes with film clips, on-set and green screen footage, miniatures and stunts plus comments by director Rob Cohen, cinematographer Shelly Johnson, cast Toby Kebbell, Ryan Kwanten, Maggie Grace, Ralph Ineson and Jamie Cutler and special effects people. Because a lot of the effects were done practically the on-set footage with the actors is impressive, so as an EPK these are not too bad.

The Eye of the Storm (17:49)

     An overview of the story, the characters, the stunts as well as Cohen’s storyboards.

The Dominator – A Hero’s Journey (5:37)

     Designing and building the “hero” storm chaser vehicle and some of the stunts it was used in.

Truth is Stranger than Fiction: SFX v VFX, Stunts (9:58)

     Shows how many of the stunts and storm effects were achieved in camera and some of the sequences that were CGI. Additional comments by special effects coordinator Elia Popov.

Casting The Hurricane Heist (8:47)

     This is not really about the casting but is instead about the characters and their interrelationships.

VFX Reel (4:11)

     Shows the layering of VFX onto practical elements in a number of sequences.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The US Region A Blu-ray of The Hurricane Heist comes with Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio that reviewers say is spectacular. It also has a different set of extras. It does include The Eye of the Storm and VFX Reels we have but not the other extras but it adds an audio commentary by Cohen, a conversation with Rob Cohen (23:45) and deleted scenes (2:11). If your system is Region A compatible and has Dolby Atmos, that is the version to get. Region A also has a 4K release of the film.

Summary

     You know what you are going to get with a film called The Hurricane Heist; howling wind, the rain bucketing down, destruction of buildings and vehicles, a tsunami, gunfights, a car chase, good guys, a heroine who is capable of saving herself (and others) and a heist. The film is loud and dumb, but is exciting and visually impressive enough to hold one’s attention as long as you don’t think about the implausibility of the thing too much. But, hey, it is a thriller after all.

     The video is very good, the audio impressive, even in 5.1. The extras are mostly light weight but the on-set stunt footage is interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, November 01, 2018
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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