Volume 91, Issue 63

Wednesday, January 21, 1998

grape vine


Keep out of Hard Rain

By Tara Dermastja
Gazette Staff

"Put your ass on the line for someone else's money." Would you be willing to do it? Or here's a better question: would you be willing to sit through approximately 90 minutes of Hard Rain to find out who would?

How far would you be willing to go for a load of cash that's not exactly yours?

Set in the small, flooded American town of Huntingburg, one of the latest cinematic attempts asks that question and leads viewers through moments of intense suspense and chilling encounters.

When their armoured transport vehicle carrying $3 million gets stuck in town, Tom (Christian Slater) and his uncle/partner Charlie try to evacuate in hopes of finding help. When the only aid available appears to be a group of suspicious men with extra strength flashlights, Tom and Charlie know they're in deep.

Morgan Freeman, who goes against his usual "cop" image to play the lead bad guy, seems to share an awkward chemistry with Slater until events progress and a friendship evolves. Randy Quaid shows up as the crooked town sheriff.

Betty White, of Golden Girls fame, babbles her way marvelously throughout the film, driving anyone and everyone insane because she doesn't want to leave... and because she's annoying. Minnie Driver, the town church fixer-upper, seems to know a good role when she sees one and transforms her character as Karen from an innocent victim to a witty lifesaver. If you miss Justin from Party of Five, Michael Goorjian appears on the big screen as Freeman's dim-witted protégé.

With original stunts and loads of humour, Hard Rain tries to separate itself from the rest of Hollywood. But by analyzing the plot – greed, zero trust, bombs and guns (which almost always seem to miss the good guys), the only things different about this movie are its name and the fact that there's more water than Baywatch.

While it may seem like an unlikely comparison, picture Mitch and company on jet skis and fishing boats (in this case) speeding over the water trying to dodge trees and bullets at night. Put in some big names – and you're watching Hard Rain.

If you're interested in violence and don't really care that you are having déjˆ vu, go ahead and wander down to a Famous Players. In fact, you probably won't be disappointed. Then again, you could wait until the movie shows up at Western Film and check out something else, something that plays with a little more fire.

©Graphic by Janice Olynich

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1998