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The Hard Way

57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Michael J. Fox and James Woods team up for hilarious action-adventure from director John Badham. Nick Lang (Fox) is a popular movie star who joins forces with a tough New York detective (Woods) in order to break out of his "nice guy" screen image. On the trail of a ruthless serial killer, the last thing Moss needs is a pampered Hollywood sidekick.

Amazon.com

In this raucous, high-energy action thriller from 1991, Michael J. Fox plays a spoiled Hollywood movie star who wants to bring vivid authenticity to his latest role as a big-city cop, so he recruits the real thing (James Woods) as his experienced mentor. This unlikely partnership doesn't sit too well with Woods, a hot-headed New York street cop who's a magnet for action-packed trouble. But that makes him just the right guy for Fox's research, which goes so far as to include Woods's girlfriend (Annabella Sciorra) and participation in some death-defying crime work. Fast, vulgar, and cranked at high volume, this is the kind of movie that contributed to the destruction of quality storytelling in mainstream Hollywood movies, but the screenplay scores bonus points for its lively characters and even livelier dialogue. Director John Badham is no slouch when it comes to action scenes, either, so if you buckle up and hold on tight, doing things The Hard Way can be surprisingly entertaining. To display the action in full widescreen glory, the DVD presents the film in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Featurette
  • Music Video
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Michael J. Fox, James Woods, Stephen Lang, Annabella Sciorra, Luis Guzman
    • Directors: John Badham
    • Writers: Daniel Pyne, Lem Dobbs
    • Producers: William Sackheim, Rob Cohen
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish
    • Dubbed: French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: R (Restricted)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: November 17, 1998
    • Run Time: 111 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: 0783230060
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,527 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "The Hard Way" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kelly VINE VOICE on March 25, 2008
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Nick Lang is a very popular actor starring in big blockbuster films, but he is not happy with his success, there is a role he covets, and is willing to do whatever it takes to get it. After seeing Lt. John Moss in an interview, Nick is convinced that if he spent time with him the role would be his. Using his considerable tinsletown clout, he arranges to be his temporary partner. Moss is angry about his new "assignment" taking him away from his big case of the Party Crasher. This guy has attached himself to Moss by calling him before he commits his next crime. Moss is determined to ditch Nick Lang, so he can concentrate on what is really important.

    As these two men spend time together, the inadvertently learn life lessons from each other that help them in ways they couldn't imagine. I really liked this movie! I have always been a huge James Woods fan, and Michael J Fox was surprisingly good.
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 21, 1999
    Format: DVD
    Action is action, but the thing that makes this movie worth one's time is the dialogue. If your tongue is getting dull, this film makes a wonderful whetstone. It is not really either star's best work, but scenes from it are among the first images that come to my mind at mention of Woods or Fox. DVD technology is a major asset, because it brings the experience as close as it can be to sitting in the theater -- which is, really, the way films are designed to be enjoyed.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nuisance on July 5, 2009
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    The Hard Way and Last Action Hero are somewhat similar in one aspect: they both show the viewer to differentiate between the movies and real life. I saw this movie 1995 and I loved it. I bought the DVD years later and I still love it. The Hard Way is not only an action comedy but its also a clever one.

    The story: a pampered and naive movie star Nick Lang(Michael J. Fox) wants to nail a movie part as a serious cop so he gets assigned to become partners with a hard-nosed, no-nonsense cop called John Moss(James Woods). Moss is amped on catching a murderer named "Party Crasher"(Stephen Lang) and is in no mood to look after a gullible movie star.

    Looking back at this movie I never realized how much of a character Michael J. Fox was. This guy had personality out the wazoo and you're guaranteed to laugh at his hijinks in this movie. James Woods is always perfect in those tough guy roles and he nails this one as Detective John Moss. His character reminds me of Jack Cates of 48 Hrs. Stephen Lang is good as the nutty villain "Party Crasher". He comes across as a total schizo but is smarter than he seems.

    The humor in this movie is funny whether its Nick's naivete' or Nick showing John to tell Maria(Annabella Sciorra)how he feels about her or John's growing weary of Nick's behavior. This movie is great mix of comedy and action and is one of the most underrated and overlooked buddy comedy of all time.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Ian Crutchley on March 23, 1999
    Format: DVD
    Try to forget about plot and characterisation, and simply sit back and enjoy a good old-fashioned mis-matched buddy movie with the emphasis on laughs. The ever watchable Woods steals the show as usual, but is given a close run for his money by Michael J Fox, who gleefully sends-up his goody-goody image. Woods himself described his character as 'The most easily annoyed man in the world', who gets stuck with 'The world's most annoying man'. And so the scene is set for a series of confrontations between the mis-matched pair, while on the trail of a serial killer- The Party Crasher. Annabella Sciorra provides the token female character, losing out on the charisma stakes to a young Christina Ricca, as Woods' girlfriend, but to be honest her scenes seem out of place in what is otherwise a vehicle for the comedic talents of the two male leads. And when needed, Woods can be relied on to provide his customary grit to the proceedings. True it may be a bit of a 'no-brainer', but the two leading men spark off each other so well, you will enjoy it anyway. 'A Room With a View' it certainly isn't, and once in a while thank the lord for that!
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JediMack on June 19, 2003
    Format: DVD
    I am a james woods fan and a big MJF fan so i just made to enjoy this one. Rent it first to make sure you agree, cause I am the only one in the family that cares for this movie.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LARRY on June 3, 2007
    Format: DVD
    Michael J. Fox is Nick Lang. Nick is an accomplished actor. His latest gig was playing for the Shooting Gunn series. Shooting Gunn is a clone of Indiana Jones. Nick wants to do something else. By happenstance, he sees an interview of a NYC cop and decides to pull his fame strings to "observe" for his upcoming film.

    Meanwhile, Det. John Moss is not happy having to "babysit" Nick. Moss makes it clear that Nick is to hang back and observe. But most of all, just shut up. Nick doesn't get it and repeatedly gets involved and messes up Moss' strategies.

    At the same time, the Party Chaser has been terrorizing the city. Officially, Moss is off the case but that doesn't stop him. However, he gotta keep Nick at a distance before he does further damages.

    It's just a little too silly, especially with Fox as a neurotic, spoiled actor who doesn't know his social (and professional?) limits.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By imapony on April 4, 2008
    Format: DVD
    The Hard Way scores as a hyper-deranged double satire, taking on spoiled-rotten Hollywood and the macho lunacy of buddy-cops flicks. There's a ton of smart dialogue amid the cusswords, NY is shot briliantly through a grimy lens (and LA through a glittering lens), a bar scene between Fox and Woods deconstructs a century of gender roles in the movies, and even the car chases/crashes are parodies.

    Even though the salty language kept MJF's kiddie audience away, it's one of his few genuinely funky roles, Woods is at his apoplectic finest and the smaller roles are cast right on the money(Delroy Lindo, Annabella Sciorra, Christina Ricci...). For maximum effect, see in tandem with Eddie Murphy/Robert DeNiro's Showtime.
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