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The Hard Way (1991)

An action movie star researching a role is allowed to tag along with a hardboiled New York City policeman, who finds him superficial and irritating.

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(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Grainy
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Pooley (as Luis Guzman)
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Billy
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China
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Witherspoon
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Drug Dealer
Frank Geraci ...
Newsman
Sophie Maletsky ...
Pizza Waitress
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Storyline

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. Written by Mattias Pettersson <seaman@sbbs.se>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Michael J. Fox as Hollywood's most spoiled movie star: James Woods as New York's angriest cop. See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Duro de aguantar  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,301,470 (USA) (10 March 1991)

Gross:

$25,895,485 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director of Photography Robert Primes was fired halfway through filming by Director John Badham, and replaced with Donald McAlpine. Badham thought Primes was working too slowly. He had similar complaints during the filming of Bird on a Wire (1990), their previous, and first, movie together. See more »

Goofs

When Nick Lang first meets the captain in his office, the captain asks for a autograph. You hear Nick say "Absolutely" but his mouth does not move. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Operator: 9-1-1 Emergency.
Party Crasher: Hello there! It's me - again! Well, what can I say? I'm about to crash another party.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Novocaine (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Big Girls Don't Cry
Written by Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe
Performed by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
Courtesy of Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli
dba The Four Seasons Partnership
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Surprisingly Good Comedy...
6 December 2002 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

"The Hard Way" stars Michael J. Fox as Nick Lang/Ray Casanov -- a big-time film star who is good-natured and eager to follow around real-life Detective Lt. John Moss, NYPD, played by James Woods.

When I first saw previews for this film, I thought I knew what it would be: another clichéd film, involving a snobby film star getting teamed with a cop who hates him. I was wrong.

This film, in a way, blew me out of the water, because when I viewed the film I realized that Michael J. Fox's character was not snobby, nor ignorant. He was more-or-less run by Hollywood, instead of vice versa. He is what you would call, simply put, innocent. Not in a holy context like we are used to when we hear that word in films these days, but almost like an innocent child. He really can't wait to watch, hear and learn from John Moss. Granted, he does usually mess up Moss' assignments, but not from ignorance or not caring. He messes up the assignments trying to help Woods and learn…

Woods, on the other hand, is partly what I expected, yet better. He fits into his character perfectly and plays it with such sickness towards Fox's character, that you sometimes feel like yelling at the guy for being such a jerk. I have always liked James Woods' performances in films. He just fits into his certain 'trademark' characters.

Unfortunately, the end of the film seems to stain the rest of the film's surprises, and slip into our average cop-buddy comedy, with a ridiculous climax. Luckily the very, very end of the film is slightly predictable, but Woods' outlook on Fox, while he respects him more, still hasn't changed a whole lot. He still doesn't really like the guy as a friend, but almost puts up with him because of what he did for Woods. It's a bit hard to explain, especially without throwing away the ending, but when you see it, you'll understand.

So, with that in mind, the very end of the film redeems the short five minutes or so of Hollywood cop-buddy film clichés.

'The Hard Way' was a major surprise for me, and turned out to be a very enjoyable comedy. I wouldn't really classify it in the 'cop-buddy' genre. It's too unpredictable (to a certain degree) and enjoyable.


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