Hard Cash

This intricate caper movie whips us invigorating plot twists within the confines of crime-film conventions. No sooner does Thomas Taylor (Christian Slater) exit jail than he goes straight — straight to his former partners in crime. Using his new job as a paramedic as a cover, Thomas and EMS partner Eddie (Balthazar Getty) respond to a false heart attack...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This intricate caper movie whips us invigorating plot twists within the confines of crime-film conventions. No sooner does Thomas Taylor (Christian Slater) exit jail than he goes straight — straight to his former partners in crime. Using his new job as a paramedic as a cover, Thomas and EMS partner Eddie (Balthazar Getty) respond to a false heart attack call from a betting parlor. While their moll, Virginia (Daryl Hannah), distracts a money handler, the gang shoots up the place and Thomas and Eddie whisk away an allegedly wounded Virginia, whose stretcher contains concealed moolah. Rock (Bokeem Woodbine), the in-house security guard who drives off in Thomas's ambulance, is another accomplice. Corrupt FBI agent Cornell (Val Kilmer) admires Thomas's gumption, and decides to use his position to plan robberies that Thomas's gang can carry out on his behalf. Meanwhile, Thomas discovers that the cash from the betting parlor is marked. While he's making arrangements to launder the bills, Cornell intercepts the dirty loot and forces Thomas's crew to set his master plan in motion. To ensure Thomas's loyalty, Cornell kidnaps Megan (Holliston Coleman), Thomas's young daughter, and pressures his long-time girlfriend, Paige (Sara Downing), to betray him. Thomas does as Cornell asks and topples an armored van off a pier so his cohorts can rob it underwater! But Cornell isn't about to share the wealth, and has stashed Megan aboard a boat packed with explosives. A stellar cast jazzes up this familiar examination of dishonor among thieves, as do the far-out set pieces designed by director Peter Antonijevic and screenwriter Willie Dreyfus. When was the last time you saw a robbery involving a supposedly pregnant who's actually got a larcenous midget (Verne Troyer, of the AUSTIN POWERS pictures) stashed under her clothes?

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