I recently rented a DVD version of "Hard". There were some extras, most notably two commentary tracks and some Q&A sessions at gay film festivals. For me the most interesting part of the whole experience was listening to the ex-police advisors discuss the problems they had when their departments found out the advisors were gay. Examples from these experiences (harassment, beatings, no back-up, etc.) were on display in the film. If you rent the DVD, be sure to check out the extras.
The film-makers make the statement that they wanted to show how the police disregard low prestige victims (e.g., hustlers), how the police make life a misery for gay cops, how serial killers really behave, and depict the plight of street people in general. Well, hustlers and others just show up in time to be victims and then are turned to bloody messes. So the focus is really on police behavior and on the killer.
Several scenes, especially the torture and darkened interior scenes, are lit and photographed well. The victims all come across with some personality. The bad guy was the most effective actor. The rest of the adult actors were just OK. Pacing was all right. The protagonist is a closeted gay man who has just been promoted to detective; he has to learn some things the hard way.
Your liking of the movie will depend some on your own fantasies. The police environment and issues raised are useful for everybody to consider.
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