|Page 1 of 5:||    |
|Index||48 reviews in total|
"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.
Truth be known this would be a fairly average action comedy if it wasn't for the performances of James Woods and Micheal J.Fox, both of whom are perfectly cast here. Woods plays detective John Moss, a hard boiled cop who's trying to catch a killer known as the party crasher. Fox plays film star Nick Lang, who wants to play the part of a police officer in an upcoming film. After seeing Moss being interviewed on the news, Lang feels that if he were to hang around with him and get to known what motivates him, what makes him tick etc then he would be well prepared to audition for the part. So Lang arranges to be Moss's partner. However, Moss isn't so keen on the idea as he still has his sights set on catching the party crasher(cue a series of highly amusing interactions between Woods and Fox).So with Lang as his new partner, Moss continues his investigation on the party crasher. Out of the two, Woods takes the acting honours, as his John Moss character is by far the more entertaining. I read somewhere that this film didn't do so well at the box office, which is a real shame given the performances of it's leading stars.
Wildly violent, but hilarious comedy about a showboat-like Hollywood action star (Michael J. Fox) who in order to prepare for his next film, comes to the Big Apple and tags along with a hard-boiled police detective (James Woods) who is desperately determined to nab a notorious killer dubbed "The Party Crasher" (Stephen Lang) despite nearly getting himself killed in the process. Fox and Woods certainly make an interesting comedy team. There's no way that this movie could without the presence of a seriously funny actor like Woods to be included in the film. The film has a few great moments including one where the Woods character impolitely asks the captain (Delroy Lindo) to get the Fox character off his back and the film's climax is exciting and makes a great reference to "North by Northwest". It's the "The Odd Couple" meets "Dirty Harry" head-on.
The Hard Way is a great action comedy, but totally underrated. In this film Michael J. Fox plays an action actor Nick Lang, who wants in his next film play the New York cop John Moss, played by James Woods.So Nick spends some time with Moss, like lives in the same apartment with him.Moss doesn't like this at all, he's not such a big fan of Lang.And then there is also a bad guy, played by Stephen Lang.So there are two problems that Moss has to get rid of.And John has a girlfriend Susan, who is played by Annabella Sciorra.And John's having some problems with her too.But everything turns out fine with Moss, Lang and Susan, but not so fine with the crook. This was a great film with great actors.Michael J. Fox was great as usual and it was nice to see James Woods in a comedy.It would be nice to see a sequel for this, but the movie wasn't so successful as it should have been, so maybe not then.
Entertaining mix of action and comedy, at least for the first two-thirds of its length. Then there are some rather overextended action sequences and the film loses some of its comic edge. Still, the acting is first-rate all around, with Fox and Woods offering many laughs when the script gives them the chance, and Stephen Lang a highly enjoyable, totally loony villain. (**1/2)
THE HARD WAY was made at the tail end of the buddy flick phenomena . It uses
the formula fairly well of having a street smart hardened cop who has seen
everything and pairs him up with a partner who is the complete opposite .
These type of movies aren`t so hit and miss but you do get the feeling that
when you`ve seen one you`ve seen them all .
This movie is actually better than most down to the fact the two stars James Wood and Michael J Fox are two entirely different type of actors who suit there roles perfectly . It`s also a movie that doesn`t take itself or Hollywood seriously , check out the line about that little Scottish fella Henry the Fifth . Unfortunately the dialogue isn`t the greatest that`s ever been written for the screen with Woods tough cop spouting " Dammit " and " F**k " in equal measure . Take it from me that if someone curses with the F word they never EVER say " Dammit " and vice versa . Some people may also complain that THE HARD WAY is somewhat lightweight when compared to something like 48 HOURS and I suppose it is but there`s no real jarring in serious scenes and the more humourous ones unlike some buddy movies
THE HARD WAY isn`t a movie that`s going to change your life but it is entertaining , especially if you like James Woods or Michael J Fox
"The Hard Way" is a good old fashioned popcorn flick which gets off to a fast start and keeps moving until the credits roll. Fox plays an Indiana Jones type adventure movie star who goes to NYC to hang with a badass cop (Woods) to learn what being a cop is like and becomes embroiled in a serial killer caper. The well crafted, unpredictable screenplay is chock full of action, comedy, stunts, suspense, light drama, etc. with nary a dull moment to be found. Good not-to-be-taken-seriously Hollywood fun stuff worth a second look for those who saw it a decade ago.
When I saw this, I didn't expect much from it. However, it turned out to be
just great - it just happened so to press all the right buttons!
Michael J. Fox plays a PG-movie star (think Brendan Fraser) who wants to star in a serious cop flick. For this, he tags along with a real cop for a few days. But the real cop assigned to baby-sit him isn't exactly a fan of his, instead, he sees the wimsy character of Fox as a leech in his balls. This may sound like just any other buddy-movie "yea, they don't match from the starters but in the end, learn to get along", but give this little movie a chance, because: As bold as the casting, at least for what it comes to Fox, may sound, the chemistry really works here- you can almost see the sparks flying between the stars! Woods gives a powerhouse performance as a very "Dirty Harry" - like cop almost on the verge of a nervous breakdown because of his BS assignment. Fox is surprisingly good as his counter-part. And the directing is the usual good Badham- stuff, where a good action -comedy is spiced up with a little bad language and violent themes. I just don't understand how come he nowadays seems to have lost his touch? The man who did this and "Stakeout"? Even "Another stakeout" had it's moments...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Hard Way is set in New York where detective John Moss (James Woods)
is on the case of a ruthless killer nicknamed the Party Crasher
(Stephen Lang) who taunts police as shoots people dead, he phones the
police & invites them to watch as he kills people. While chasing the
Party Crasher detective Moss is injured & his boss Captain Brix (Delroy
Lindo) takes him off the case in order to babysit rich Hollywood action
film star Nick Lang (Michael J. Fox) who is researching a role as a cop
poses as Moss' new partner, Moss is horrified at having Lang follow him
around as he won't let the Party Crasher case go & drags Lang into
Directed by John Badham this action comedy thriller is the second Badham flick I have seen in the space of twenty four hours, I didn't plan it that way but the other was Blue Thunder (1983) & having watched both for the first time I am struck that while they are both decent enough action thrillers neither are particularly great & both feel rather routine. Here in The Hard Way we have the whole mismatched cop partners scenario with average results, a popular but over-crowed genre at the time there are better examples that spring to mind such as Lethal Weapon (1987), Red Heat (1988) & Tango & Cash (1989) to name but three. The difference fans of the film will point to is that Lang is an action film star but for all intents & purposes The Hard Way plays out like a straight cop thriller with little in the way of depth. The two main character's of Moss & Lang are great & equally great performances by Woods & Fox carry the lightweight script & it's them who make this as watchable as it is, the interplay between the two is funny at times & the gradual warming of the character's towards each other works pretty well. However beyond a spirited couple of leads The Hard Way is routine & clichéd, there's the grumpy police captain, the bad guy with a personal vendetta against the hero, the veteran cop & his rookie partner, a love interest & a final confrontation to the death. The Hard Way is also very predictable in the way it unfolds, at over 110 minutes it's maybe a little long, Moss or any other NYPD cop doesn't seem to do any real police-work other than what he wants & the Party Crasher is given virtually no background or motivation other than the excuse he was killing criminals which gets explored with all of one line of dialogue.
There are some funny moments here for sure but maybe not quite enough, Moss screeching through New York shouting profanity as everyone around him or the one to one in a bar with Lang where he pretends to be Moss' girlfriend is also a highlight but beyond the energy & goodwill brought to the film by the two leads (both character's & actor's) there's just not that much here as any sort of plot takes a back seat. While not particularly violent The Hard Way is full of profanity so if you have sensitive ears in that regard be prepared. The action is pretty good but there's not enough of it, there's a couple of car chases & stunts, an explosion at a petrol pump & the final confrontation above Times Square in New York which looks impressive but lacks excitement. Apparently James Woods had his own hairdresser on set at a cost of $6000 a week.
Flopping at the box-office I would suggest the buddy buddy cop film had lost it's appeal somewhat & The Hard Way is a fairly routine example anyway. This has that big budget Hollywood look about it & looks nice enough. The acting by the two leads is great with the always excellent James Woods taking first prize, Fox is very good too while rapper LL Cool J has a small role as a cop.
The Hard Way is a standard mismatched cop action thriller that is made watchable by great performances by it's leading actor's & some pretty funny moments & one-liners but story-wise this is less than average & there's certainly not enough plot here to fill 110 minutes.
'The Hard Way' blends action and comedy perfectly. It is a very funny film, but also a great film for action-lovers. Michael J.Fox plays an actor who wants to learn how to play a cop in his next film, so he is assigned to work with James Woods. The combination confront some good and funny situations while James Woods can't stand Michael J.Fox. There is a good speech about how many takes (chances) a cop gets to get it right and how many an actor gets. The climax at the end is great, as is the location. This film does not disappoint and delivers another buddy cop film with a difference. One of the cops doesn't like the other.
|Page 1 of 5:||    |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||Newsgroup reviews||External reviews|
|Parents Guide||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|