Take Die Hard and add a $55 million art heist gone wrong, then set it in the middle of a Category 5 hurricane in Puerto Rico, and you’ve got Force of Nature. It stars Mel Gibson (Mad Max, Braveheart) as a crusty ex-cop who happens to be in the building where the heist is taking place. A couple of other cops have come to try to get him to a shelter when all hell breaks loose, and the rest is a cat and mouse game with the art thieves with lots of guns and killing with a wee bit of a romance thrown in for good measure. It all feels pretty predictable, but it is certainly entertaining for a couple of hours.
Ray (Gibson) is retired and in pretty bad health, but his daughter who’s a doctor Troy (Kate Bosworth – Still Alice, Straw Dogs) is there to take care of him. Cardillo (Emil Hirsch – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Into the Wild) is a jaded cop who just wants to get through the day without doing anything when his boss sends him along with Jess (Stephanie Cayo) to get the last stragglers to a safe place ahead of the storm. While they’re out they take a call to pick up a man who assaulted someone at a market. He begs them to let him go home to take care of his pet, and that’s how they end up in the apartment building from hell.
While Gibson is the bigger star, the film is really Hirsch’s. His character is the one that steps outside of himself. Seems he left New York after a tragedy he can’t get over and hasn’t really been the kind of cop he wanted to be. But he’s turns out to be the hero of the day and even gets the girl in the end. It’s pretty mindless entertainment, but kind of perfect for streaming with a beer or two.