Hollywood movie star Nick Lang is after a role as a policeman, and to get background, pulls strings to get seconded to a New York detective for a fortnight. Lt. John Moss is less than overjoyed by his new partner who is soon cramping his rough streetwise style. But when it comes to getting on with the lovely Susan, the lieutenant could do a great deal worse than listen to Nick's advice.
Nick Lang is a famous Hollywood actor, well known for his action movies. For his next movie, he needs the proper motivation and inspiration for his role. Thus he teams up with the reluctant New York policeman Lt. John Moss. Not only does he have to put up with Nick, who is laborious and out of touch with realities, but he also has to catch a coldblooded murderer.
There's something different about "The Hard Way", something in its approach to a well-worn genre. Buddy cop movies were all over the place back then, and here's another one to throw on the pile. But having a pampered actor hang around a disgruntled cop offers an opportunity for Hollywood satire, which freshens up the mismatched partners angle. James Woods tends to be hit-or-miss for me, but he's ideal in such a hothead role. And wired Michael J. Fox provides a great foil. The whole thing works; the script's focused, the action's energetic and it always has that meta feel to it.
7/10 (Originally reviewed:07/03/2017) John Badham's The Hard Way would be tagged as formulaic at first glance but what the film really was, was a film that had formula but introduced a breath of fresh air, a cop picture where Woods has to look after movie star 'Nick Lang' (Michael J. Fox) during his research of the real life portrayal of a cop, but instead of play it basic, he takes him on his own personal vendetta, one that requires the stopping of a killer who continuously murders people and considers Woods's character a role model. Maybe you've seen it before in a different context but never this way and be aware this picture was released in 1991, so I'm quite sure this was something different at the time and I doubt anyone could challenge Woods's performance, as he was the most badass, out of his mind with a vengeance cop since Lethal Weapon's Martin Riggs played by Gibson and I of course mean in reference to the first two films which I consider some of the best examples in the genre.
The film is mostly entertaining from start to finish, with the exception of a joke where the villain 'The Party Crasher played fairly well by Stephen Lang play's back a short television interview where Woods's character raving about how he's nothing and so forth and knowing he'll be watching, but within this sequence the quote "from me to you" is played back a dozen time's and it gets tiresome, once would have been sufficient; one other thing I didn't care for was a poorly staged action sequence in a cinema that was messy and all over the place with no real style or choreography; but other than that the picture is very enjoyable with crisp one liner's, some cool chases and action scenes and an adequate screenplay from Lem Dobbs and Michael Kozoll. I wanted a highly entertaining picture with some lively performances and strong comedic chemistry between Woods and Michael J. Fox, and that's exactly what I got, and the last sequence is extremely satisfying. The Hard Way is a competently made, entertaining as hell action picture. 646f9e108c
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