Updated: Jun 29
This is the perfect genre film of 2018, I believe. Rob Cohen made this morally recommended real disaster masterpiece. Any bad disaster film is just to show a disaster game which does not focus on conflicts between the human protagonist and antagonists. This category 5 hurricane is just a narrative device like zombies in George Romero's Dead series.
A true disaster film tells human conflicts under disaster about the monster-like disastrous phenomenon itself. We can say the shark is not the antagonist of JAWS (1975), but the mayor and the entourage are the true antagonists in the human conflict. This is the correct point of view in terms of story-telling. The Hurricane Heist mainly describes the heist related conflict between U.S. Treasury officers and corrupted local police men during a category 5 hurricane. The main drama is the Die Hard-like heist incident, not the monster hurricane. I can say that Armageddon (1998), Deep Impact (1998), Twister (1996) are just disaster games rather than serious human conflicts. This hurricane is equal with the fictional function of any monster in filmmaking. All of them are not antagonists but are devices to express human conflicts among human characters. Any defect of humanity is lack of true drama.
The Hurricane Heist makes us realise what the true antagonist should be. Besides this important structural achievement, we also cannot ignore the clear cinematic refrain between tight sequences at the end of Act 2 to Act 3, which are chase scenes from the federal bank to the highway with a category 5 hurricane threatening them from behind.
The corrupted police officers and Perkins' decision to betray their duty, Will and Casey's decision to be loyal to their duty are perfectly and consciously contrasted in the story structure. Decision making is the nature of the plot and it embodies the meaning of subtext in the entire cinematic expression. Moreover, this decision-making was finally refrained after the escape from the hurricane.
The protagonists, Will and Casey, don't make the kind of decision to steal the federal bank money when they can do it like the failed villains. This is the structure. The screen writer is highly conscious of the plotting that expresses the meaning of the entire context clearly. I was really impressed with this quality work among other genre films in 2018! US film is the best of the best!
A disaster film should not be a disaster. Its main focus and content must be human conflicts, not a conflict with the narrative device itself.
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