Hard Rain

A spectacular natural disaster spiraling out of control, a crime gone wrong and a poor jerk caught in the middle: Yes, it's a standard action-picture recipe. But what a difference a cast makes: Morgan Freeman, Randy Quaid and even perpetual wiseacre Christian Slater have the chops to transform what could be a by-the-numbers bore into pretty satisfying entertainment....read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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A spectacular natural disaster spiraling out of control, a crime gone wrong and a poor jerk caught in the middle: Yes, it's a standard action-picture recipe. But what a difference a cast makes: Morgan Freeman, Randy Quaid and even perpetual wiseacre Christian

Slater have the chops to transform what could be a by-the-numbers bore into pretty satisfying entertainment. Armored-car drivers Tom (Slater) and his uncle Charlie (Ed Asner) are stuck on a washed-out road in an empty Indiana town: There's a flood watch on, and everybody's been evacuated. They're

carrying a lot of money because the local banks have emptied their vaults, so the four men who appear out of the rain, shouting offers of help, are a very welcome sight indeed. But they're not Good Samaritans, and next thing you know, Charlie is dead and Tom is slogging through the water, dragging

that big sack of green. The muddy water keeps rising, and Tom ricochets between soggy encounters with the embittered local sheriff (Randy Quaid) and his men, spunky local gal Karen (Minnie Driver), stubborn old coots (Richard Dysart and Betty White) who won't abandon their home, and the

increasingly desperate thieves, led by coolly calculating Jim (Morgan Freeman). Having said that the plot is formulaic, it does pull off a nice twist about halfway through, something to do with shifting alliances and people who aren't exactly what they seem. But once again, it's the casting that

makes it work: Freeman, ironically enough, actually gives a more nuanced performance than he does in AMISTAD. Oh, and then there's the flood -- it looks very wet, very cold, very muddy and very convincing.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: R
  • Review: A spectacular natural disaster spiraling out of control, a crime gone wrong and a poor jerk caught in the middle: Yes, it's a standard action-picture recipe. But what a difference a cast makes: Morgan Freeman, Randy Quaid and even perpetual wiseacre Christ… (more)

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