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Soundtrack review: The hurricane heist (Lorne Balfe – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: The hurricane heist (Lorne Balfe – 2018)

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“The Hurricane Heist” is an upcoming American heist action film directed by Rob Cohen and written by Cohen, Carlos Davis, Anthony Fingleton, Jeff Dixon and Scott Windhauser. The film stars Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten, and Ralph Ineson. A team of tech hackers embark on a $600 million robbery from a coastal U.S. mint facility at the same time a disastrous Category 5 hurricane is set to strike. The remaining people left in the deserted beach town are a meteorologist, a Treasury agent and the meteorologist’s ex-Marine brother. Together they not only must survive the hurricane, but also stop the mastermind thieves from accomplishing the heist of the century. Lorne Balfe wrote the score.

I remember some 20 years ago there was a movie “Hard rain” with Christian Slater and Morgan Freeman that involved a high stakes heist during a heavy rain. The plot here seems like an upgrade. Lorne Balfe wrote the score and for disaster movies there’s hardly anyone better. The score opens with the title track and it’s more on the softer, emotional side; I must admit I expected Lorne to just storm out of the gates but he decided to also address the drama elements in the story. There are usually easily recognizable sounds for heist movies and disaster movies but it’s not easy to combine them; Brian Tyler used to do a great job of it and naturally I get a Tyler vibe from
“Hurricane heist”. This unfortunately also means I am having trouble at times connecting with this score since I am not a big fan of this particular mixed sound.

Luckily there are pounding, percussion heavy cues like “The compound” or “In on it” to get my fix and they actually make me think of Junkie XL’s “Mad Max” score; they have the same energy, the same power and I can’t wait to try them for my running playlists. The score alternates power moments like these with quieter, more emotional electronic pieces like “Back to Utah” or “Follow me”. In some moments the action music feels rushed but I can understand that since it’s a heist movie where everything moved fast. Lorne Balfe didn’t want his music to intrude, just to add a little extra excitement when needed. It works in the movie but makes the score a bit lacking as a standalone listening experience at times. For example a cue like “Twist of fate” goes into that quiet, generic tense zone that I’m not a big fan of.

“The hurricane heist” is mostly Lorne Balfe on confidence autopilot; still, Lorne on autopilot writes better music than most so I found enjoyable moments on this score. It compares unfavorably though to his previous disaster score, the excellent “Geostorm”; it just lacked that bite and, in the end, spent too much time in that murky tension that doesn’t work outside the context of the movie. For me the highlights where the two sparkling action pieces “The compound” and “In on it”.

Cue rating: 80 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 11 / 42

Album excellence: 26%

Highlights:
The Compound
In on It
Back in Utah

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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