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A suspended cop and his girlfriend blackmail an electronics expert into helping them break into the safe of the girlfriend's boss, a corrupt city councilman who's on the local mob's payroll. Written by
Mild action/thriller marred by terrible acting. (spoilers)
The Hard Truth is one movie that nearly stinks up the place, marred by its leads, Michael Rooker and Lysette Anthony. In fact, Eric Roberts may well be the only tolerable character in the film simply for his ability not to overact this time (he relieves familiar audiences of his usual eerie, sleaziness that you may find present in his characters in "The Voyage" or "Runaway Train," for example).
Rooker and Anthony play two lovers, Mantz and Lisa, plotting to break the safe of Anthony's boss, a corrupt city councilman (this doesn't mean that Rooker and Anthony are doing this to make up for the city councilman's moral reprehensibility in a Robin Hood sort of fashion, their in it for the greed just as much as their victim). Mantz is a weird, strung out cop with some connections that lead him to blackmail Chandler Etheridge, a clever safecracker who's reluctantly become involved in the plot (although, he too, enjoys the rewards). Little by little, their once solid scheme, begins to fall apart, namely because of mistrust among the characters, especially with the penchant to revert to the conventions of old film noir where the blonde beauty is the double crosser and the alienated cop, the sympathetic fool (even if he's just as greedy and weird as the rest). You can get the feeling of foul play right from the beginning.
Although, for the most part the story was generally entertaining due to a few interesting subplots that begin to emerge and of course, the interactions among the main characters, the movie becomes irritating with over acting courtesy of both Rooker and Anthony (who does her best to ham up most of the finale when you should be well immersed in the climactic face-off among the players). Rooker does his best to both over act and become bitterly annoying throughout the whole movie, which makes me wonder, despite several predictable story lines and the incessant need to be repetitive in the beginning (at least every three minutes, we must watch Mantz and Lisa having sex where neither are looking like their enjoy it), if the movie could have been greatly improved were it simply for the substitute of a reasonable actor. Mantz hardly evoked any sympathy from me. I just kept cringing at his ridiculous nature.
I'd say, Eric Robert fans are at least likely to enjoy his performance as, among a cast of horrible actors anyways an the ability to detached himself from his usual weird character, he shines and at least keeps you very interested in his part of the story. Otherwise, I think I've made it clear what you're getting into.
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