Reviewer's Rating 1 out of 5  
Hard Rain (1998)
15

When foul weather and a broken dam cause extreme flooding the town of Huntingburg is evacuated. Armoured-truck drivers Tom (Slater) and his Uncle Charlie (Asner) get swamped while removing $3 million from the region's banks. Plenty of crooks soon turn up to grab their share, but when one of them shoots Uncle Charlie, Tom is determined not to let them have it.

Action movies are usually a catalogue of preposterous incidents. If, however, the audience is sufficiently exhilarated, and the script provides enough momentum, we praise these routine absurdities as great set pieces. Graham Yost, who'd previously given us "Speed", wrote "Hard Rain", but none of that film's tempo is evident here.

In the hands of Swedish cinematographer-turned-director Mikael Salomon we might at least expect things to look good. Yet another disappointment. Set over a single night where most of the light is provided by torches and fire, "Hard Rain" is as murky as it is damp.

That leaves the cast, an ensemble deserving of better material. Of them all, only Randy Quaid as local sheriff with a screw loose manages to seem at home. Christian Slater demonstrated his action hero credentials in "Broken Arrow" (also written by Yost), but he has little to offer here. Likewise, the best efforts of Minnie Driver cannot make much of her watery role. Saddest of all is Morgan Freeman. Seeing this erudite master of screen dignity play a villain is a fascinating prospect, but together with his incompetent henchmen, he is utterly adrift in this washout of a film.

End Credits

Director: Mikael Salomon

Writer: Graham Yost

Stars: Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, Minnie Driver, Randy Quaid

Genre: Crime, Thriller, Action

Length: 96 minutes

Cinema: 1998

DVD: 23 June 1999

VHS: 6 June 2000

Country: USA

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