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HARD RAIN

SYNOPSIS:
Set in Huntingburg, Indiana, Hard Rain is about an armoured car heist and a whole lot of water. After flood waters force the evacuation of the small town, the local sheriff (Randy Quaid) and his deputies patrol by boat, searching for any stragglers and keeping an eye out for looters. Meanwhile, an armoured car breaks down on the outskirts of town, stranding drivers Tom (Christian Slater) and his Uncle Charlie (Ed Asner ). A radio call for help results in the arrival of Jim (Morgan Freeman) and his crew, but their goal isn't assistance. They want the armoured car's treasure; $3 million in cash. When the "rescue team" opens fire, Tom snatches the money and takes off on foot into the ever-deepening waters. The chase is on, with everyone pursuing Tom.

"Here is another action flick that dares to be different, but isn't. Not really. Take away the impressive sets and Morgan Freeman, and you end up with --- another chase movie with some sharp twists to alleviate the tedium. What is impressive about Hard Rain is its cinematic qualities. Technically, the film is dazzling. Shot pretty much on a large-scale set duplicating a small town besieged by water, the film captures the intense flooding with intricate realism and detail, coupled by some astonishing visual and sound effects, to heighten a sense of waterlogged realism. The acting has mixed results. Morgan Freeman is one of those actors who can turn a simplistic character into an interesting human being, and as usual, he's a pleasure to watch, while Slater has less room to move within the confines of a rather uninteresting character. Star-on-the-rise Minnie Driver does little to . . . er, drive the narrative except in a series of improbable sequences. It's nice to see Ed Asner on screen, while Randy Quaid is his usual snarling and predictable self. But this is not a character-driven piece; the real star of Hard Rain is the water, and on that level, the film excels. It moves fairly briskly, the editing is sharp, and the music is unusually effective for a genre movie. There are doses of wry humour, but more is needed. The film does take itself a tad too seriously, but it's a fairly entertaining piece of fluff that remains a well-made, if ultimately forgettable sample of Hollywood silliness."
Paul Fischer

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 1

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HARD RAIN (M) 15+
(US)

CAST: Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, Randy Quaid, Minnie Driver, Betty White, Ed Asner, Richard Dysart, Mark Rolston, Peter Murnik, Michael Goorjian, Dann Florek, Ricky Harris, Wayne Duvall

PRODUCERS: Mark Gordon, Gary Levinsohn, Ian Bryce

DIRECTOR: Mikael Salomon

SCRIPT: Graham Yost

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Menzies Jr

EDITOR: Paul Hirsch

MUSIC: Christopher Young

PRODUCTION DESIGN: J. Michel Riva

RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: PolyGram

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 12, 1998







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