Maggie Grace – The Hurricane Heist

March 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Interviews

In the genre mashup “The Hurricane Heist,” actress Maggie Grace (the “Taken” franchise) stars as Casey, a U.S. Treasury agent who teams up with a meteorologist (Toby Kebbell) and his former Marine brother (Ryan Kwanten) to stop a group of criminals trying to steal $600 million from a U.S. Mint facility during a Category 5 hurricane.

So, did your socks get wet making this movie? I hate that feeling.

(Laughs) I was really committed to having some waterproof shoes! All the soldiers are right. If you keep your feet dry – dry socks – you’ll be fine. We were pretty much beat up and soaking wet and hanging upside down in harnesses in midair for like three months. But everybody was really game on.

When you heard about the idea for this movie and how they were going to mash up genres, what was your initial reaction?

It’s definitely self-aware. It’s a really fun, unrelenting action [movie]. Certainly, with a title like [“The Hurricane Heist”] you pretty much know what you’re in for and know what a genre mashup will bring as well. I think knowing where the director (Rob Cohen) was coming from with “xXx” and “The Fast and the Furious” and all these crazy action movies, you know there’s going to be some wild car chases thrown in and lots of vehicles flipping and things exploding unpredictably. You’re going to slightly bend the laws of physics. It’s all in good fun. Once they get going, it doesn’t stop. It’s really a wild, wild ride.

Have you ever experienced a bad storm before in real life? How did you handle it?

Nothing close to 160 mph winds. It’s crazy because we shot this in the fall of 2015. Then [hurricanes] Matthew, Harvey and Irma happened nonstop. I think climate change is really the threat and villain of our time. We’re getting more and more intense storms in real life. I like to think of that as the villain that we’re all fighting.

When you small talk, do you bring up the weather?

I do bring up the weather a lot because I’m shooting “Fear the Walking Dead” in Texas and it’s just the most manic weather ever. (Laughs) Maybe it’s me because I’m getting older, but I bring up the weather a lot.

Are you a fan of rain or storms in general? Do you like the smell of rain or the sound of thunder?

Yeah, if it’s by a fire with a good book. Nothing like [the storm in “The Hurricane Heist”]. (Laughs) Getting submerged in flood tanks makes you appreciate nice weather.

Taken

January 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Kiko, Reviews

Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace
Directed by: Pierre Morel (“District B13”)
Written by: Luc Besson (“Unleashed”) and Robert Mark Kamen (“The Transporter”)

Since its released date was pushed back last year by Twentieth Century Fox a few times before landing in U.S. theaters in January 2009, one may wonder why “Taken,” a Liam Neeson-charged action thriller, seemed to finally be tossed out like an insignificant ball on a roulette table.

A theory: The studio had so many appalling movies hit theaters in 2008 (“Meet the Spartans,” “Shutter,” “Meet Dave”), it’s only natural that after being scorched so many times, they would pull their hand away from the fire.

“Taken,” however, isn’t as flawed as other Fox attempts last year like “What Happens in Vegas,” “The Happening,” and “Max Payne.” Basically, it’s a standard offering to the genre that neither scrapes the bottom of the barrel nor makes you hope Neeson wants Matt Damon’s “Bourne” gig in the near future.

In “Taken,” Neeson plays Bryan Mills, an ex-CIA agent who moves cities to be closer to his teenage daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) so he can make up for lost time. Kim lives with her stepfather and mother Lenore (Famke Jenssen) who still holds a grudge against her ex-husband for always prioritizing his job before his family when they were married.

Still, Bryan is ready to be the father he never was and starts by telling Kim he doesn’t want her to go on a trip to Paris that she has planned with her girl friend. Although Bryan is well aware of how dangerous it is for two young female American tourists to be traveling alone, he gives in when he sees how detested he is when playing the role of overprotective father.

His intuition proves to be right, however, when an underground Albanian gang known for human trafficking kidnaps Kim and her friend in Paris. With only a 96-hour window to find her (as a ex-spook he knows this), Bryan jets off to France to use his “particular set of skills” against the men who have taken his daughter.

In a quick and painless 86 minutes, “Taken” is efficient in pacing and delivers some satisfactory fight choreography but fires blanks as an innovative narrative. “Taken” feels so much like other revenge films before it, each scene becomes more and more predictable that the one it follows.

While Neeson is no Harrison Ford, his physicality is believable enough that we can endure his trek across Europe to find his child. But when screenwriters Luc Besson (“Unleashed”) and Robert Mark Kamen (“The Transporter”) give him dialogue like, “I’ll tear down the Eiffel Tower if I have to” to describe his fatherly rage, “Taken” squanders the opportunity to at least be a guilty mindless pleasure.