Celebrating the release of The Hurricane Heist to theaters on a relative shoestring budget, director Rob Cohen is making his feelings known about the ongoing trend of action movies with astronomical budgets.
The Hurricane Heist follows a band of thieves as they try to undertake a daring heist in the midst of a Category 5 hurricane. Already dubbed the Sharknado of heist movies, The Hurricane Heist includes a cast of TV favorites like Toby Kebbell and Maggie Grace and manages to keep its costs down in the wake of natural disaster movies like Geostorm and its $120 million budget.
Speaking to SlashFilm about The Hurricane Heist, Cohen celebrated his movie's $35 million budget and didn't hold back against some of Hollywood's bigger action movies while taking a pop at The Fast and the Furious series:
"That’s a problem with some of these films. You know when you look at… I mean, I was the godfather of a certain franchise about cars. You look at what they do and they spend $350M and, yes, there’s a lot of spectacle on the screen, but it feels wasteful. It feels like certain things have been lost in order to get the spectacle. You know, I think the audience has a very good sense of when a movie is overproduced and when it’s too raw and too under-cooked."
Considering that Cohen managed to direct The Fast and Furious for just $38 million back in 2001, you can see where his feelings might be coming from. Including a cast like Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson can't come cheap nowadays, but alongside eye-watering stunts and the use of submarines, the budget for The Fate of the Furious clocked in at $250 million. That being said, the eighth movie in the long-running racing franchise broke the $1 billion barrier and set a record for the highest-grossing opening of all time.
Cohen isn't necessarily dismissing the ever-popular Universal series that he started all those years ago, but he is calling out the genre as a whole. As the Fast series has moved away from simple street racing, it has remained the same style of popcorn viewing but moved to even bigger vehicles, ranging from airplanes to tanks. It may be a far cry from the movie he first brought to screens, but it still pulls in the figures at the box office. Given that Cohen has already thrown his hat in the ring to direct the final chapter for Fast 10, who knows whether the man who started the engines revving will get to round off the franchise.
Although Cohen only had a hand in The Fast and the Furious, it would've been interesting to see where his low-budget approach to moviemaking would've taken the series. The Fast franchise lingered in mediocrity for a few films before brilliantly jumping the shark around the time of 2009's Fast & Furious. These days there seems to be no stopping Hobbs and co., while various reports of more movies and even a Johnson/Statham spinoff promise that Cohen's legacy will carry on trucking, with or without his stamp of approval.