Hard

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Thriller

For those who found CRUISING a little soft, here's a similar treatment of that film's themes that ups the sex and violence quotient, but with surprisingly little impact. Raymond Vates (Noel Palomaria) is an L.A. cop with an ex-wife, a small daughter and a big secret: He's gay. Raymond (actually his name's Ramon; sexuality isn't the only thing he's hiding)...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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For those who found CRUISING a little soft, here's a similar treatment of that film's themes that ups the sex and violence quotient, but with surprisingly little impact. Raymond Vates (Noel Palomaria) is an L.A. cop with an ex-wife, a small daughter and a big

secret: He's gay. Raymond (actually his name's Ramon; sexuality isn't the only thing he's hiding) has just made detective, and he's no sooner teamed with new partner Tom Ellis (Charles Lanyer) than the mutilated bodies of male prostitutes begin turning up. Raymond and Ellis are assigned to find

the killer, a bearded drifter named Jack (Malcolm Mooreman) who's as careful as he is sadistic. And then one night at a bar, Raymond plays right into his hands. He unwittingly invites Jack back to his place, and wakes up cuffed to the headboard while Jack pockets his badge and threatens to expose

Raymond -- unless Raymond can catch him first. "The game," Jack intones menacingly, "is on." Director John Huckert, who also edited and co-wrote the screenplay with cinematographer John Matkowsky, deserves credit for creating something out of next-to-nothing: The film was reportedly shot in little

over a month for under $100,000, and some of it looks quite good. But it covers a lot of the same ground as the less coherent but far more interesting CRUISING (hate masking desire, police indifference to violence against gay men and women), and falls victim to obvious dialogue and sub-par acting.

Oddly, given that he seems to have few qualms about graphic material, Huckert shies away from shooting the film's crucial scene: Raymond's coming out to his partner. God knows there have been enough coming-out scenes in the recent spate of gay-themed films, but in one that's all about concealment

and exposure, it's a bewildering elision.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: For those who found CRUISING a little soft, here's a similar treatment of that film's themes that ups the sex and violence quotient, but with surprisingly little impact. Raymond Vates (Noel Palomaria) is an L.A. cop with an ex-wife, a small daughter and a… (more)

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