DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

HARD RAIN (director: Michael Salomon; screenwriter: Graham Yost; cinematographer: Peter Menzies Jr.; editor: Paul Hirsch; music: Christopher Young; cast: Morgan Freeman (Jim), Christian Slater (Tom), Randy Quaid (Sheriff), Minnie Driver (Karen), Ed Asner (Uncle Charlie), Michael Goorjian (Kenny), Richard Dysart (Henry), Betty White (Doreen), Roy Baker (Mayor), Wayne Duvall (Hank), Dann Florek (Mr. Mehler), Ricky Harris (Ray), PeterMurnik (Phil), Mark Rolston (Wayne); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: R; producerss: Mark Gordon, Gary Levinsohn and Ian Bryce; Paramount Home Video; 1998)

"It impresses because of the way it makes the flood look so vital to the narrative."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Originally a disaster movie that switched to a suspense thriller. It impresses because of the way it makes the flood look so vital to the narrative. Michael Salomon ("Big Driver"/"The Lost Future"/"Freezer") directs with an eye for nature bringing out the worst in mankind. It's preposterously written by Graham Yost, as no matter how you look at it everything is hard to fathom. Though it satisfies by moving along at a fast-past, by the excitement of its extended water chase and its odd look of a flooded town under siege.

It rains hard for a few weeks straight in the evacuated small town of Huntingburg, Indiana. Christian Slater and his uncle partner (Ed Asner) are truck driver armored guards hauling $3m in the back. They are robbed by Morgan Freeman's gang. A retarded gang member (Michael Goorjian) doesn't know the robbery was set-up by Asner and he shoots him dead. Slater flees and hides the bags of money in the underwater cemetery, while the gang searches by boat for Slater and the money.

While hiding out in a local church, Slater is mistaken by the church art restorer (Minnie Driver) as a looter and whisked off to jail. When the sheriff (Randy Quaid) hears about the robbery, he decides to take the money and with the help of his deputies shoot the bad guys and kill the witnesses Driver and Slater. 

The water may rise to deep levels, but the characters remain shallow.

REVIEWED ON 4/11/2016       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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