Hard Rain [Blu-ray]
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I recall seeing publicity shots in 1997 for scenes (and characters) that aren't even in the movie. I guess we'll never know what Graham Yost's script was originally about. Paramount figured that the public had had enough of disaster movies and re-tooled 'The Flood' as a heist flick midway through filming. I can't say if it's for better or worse, but Hard Rain is still an exciting action ride.
Yes, the characterization is thin, but it avoids the cliche of making them all annoying as a quick way of defining them (something Twister, Volcano, and Dante's Peak were guilty of). The stragglers caught in the deluge as Huntingburg, Indiana is swept off the face of the Earth don't need to define themselves. They are who they are. Since the movie virtually takes place in real time there's little room for meaningless development.
Minnie Driver's unconvincing accent aside, the cast do pretty well with the material, and Slater makes for a better action hero here than he did in Broken Arrow (ironically, by the same writer).
Hard Rain works best in the cinema. It's too bad that it flopped because the big screen is where it deserved to be seen. Too many folks have seen and criticized this film from TV viewings that do the scope of the action no justice whatsoever. The water and chaos is very well shot and brilliantly staged.Read more ›
Morgan Freeman dishes up his usual excellence in this role - a crook looking for a retirement fund, with a typical crew to help - a screwup 20s rowdy, an unemployed high school science teacher, and a scripture-quoting pro.
Christian Slater is, well, Christian Slater - I've been a fan for years, and this is yet another appearance of the wisecracking, intrepid guy that Mr. Slater plays so often. It'd get repititious if it weren't so much fun. He's at the end of a "clean out the banks before they're flooded" run, with $3 million in the truck when it's stuck in a deep spot in the ever-present water.
Minnie Driver does a fine, if understated, job as the woman who stayed in town too long, preparing a church she's been restoring to weather the flood, who gets involved in the scramble for the cash. While she's on the side of the good guys, there's no real steam between her and Slater.
Randy Quaid is the Sheriff who recently lost his re-election, and is bitter and angry, but determined to do a good job as long as he's on the clock - until the temptation of that money proves to be too much for him.
For a film set almost entirely in a nighttime rain, the camerawork is amazingly good. The effects work nicely, the flood gives us an element that's unusual in action films, and the cast works well together, even when the script gets a tad overblown.
The widescreen DVD has a few basic features, but is pretty scant in extras - no deleted scenes, no trailers for other movies, nothing you'd not have seen in the theatre but the trailer for this film - which was a disappointment, but not fatal.
All in all, a fun 96 minutes of video, if you're not in the mood for something deep and meaningful.
Christian Slater's laconic performance is reminiscent of a young Jack Nicholson, but he seems awkward and clumsy as an action hero (ditto BROKEN ARROW), but he's pleasant. Morgan Freeman reprises his bad guy role from CHAIN REACTION and the future NURSE BETTY with his usual grace and precision. Morgan's probably never given a bad performance. Randy Quaid is grim and vile as the sheriff gone bad, and Betty White/Richard Dysart provide some fun comic relief as an elderly couple who refuse to leave town. (Wonder what happens to them though---last we see them they're stuck in a tree?).
HARD RAIN may have benefitted from a more believable lead, say Bruce Willis, but it's entertaining and delivers, in spite of its silliness.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After weeks of rain, the floods are rising around the town of Huntingburg, Indiana. Slater's armoured-car courier is out on his usual money collection run. Read more
Excellent. This film is what a "night at the movies" is all about.Published 3 months ago by sancti-spiritus
It was great back then when it first came out and its even better now that I get to watch it with my 10 year old.Published 3 months ago by J.money
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