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The Hard Way (1991)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime  |  8 March 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 13,539 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 27 critic

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Party Crasher
John Capodice ...
Pooley (as Luis Guzman)
Captain Brix
Drug Dealer
Frank Geraci ...
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Pizza Waitress


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There's only one way these two are going to get along... the Hard Way. See more »


Action | Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Duro de aguantar  »

Box Office


$25,895,485 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of James Woods' perks was to have his own personal hairdresser, at a cost to the studio of $6000 a week. The average on-set hairdresser usually costs about a third of that. See more »


John's tone of voice is different in playback during the "Me to You" news report, most noticeably during the line "He's probably a pervert". See more »


[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 »


References White Heat (1949) See more »


Momma Said Knock You Out
Written by LL Cool J (as J.T. Smith), Marley Marl (as M. Williams) and Bobby "Bobcat" Ervin
Performed by LL Cool J (as L L Cool J)
Produced by Marley Marl and LL Cool J (as L L Cool J)
Co-produced by Bobby "Bobcat" Ervin
Courtesy of Columbia/Def Jam Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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