Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Movie Review - The Hard Way

If I see the names Michael Jai White or Luke Goss, I set my expectations at a certain level. When they credits roll, they get equal billing, then are followed with "And Randy Couture:, and I know I'm in for a whole new lower level of hell.

Even with lowered expectations, I managed to feel disappointed in The Hard Way.

There's a way to start a movie with a running chase, and this wasn't it. Pointless, ungrounded, and a character no one cares about finally dies. Meaningless words, then the credits roll.

Next scene is Michael Jai White being all mysterious and bad ass, fight scene to show that he's bad ass, then he finds out his brother is dead.

The movie progresses in pretty much the same way. Just one scene after the other, barely connected, usually with boring cinematography or head-splitting edits. The story is so paper thin, I'm pretty sure it was written on a cocktail napkin. Wait, a gang leader is a bad guy, and he is doing bad things to these vulnerable girls? Shock and surprise. The big twist is predicated on an event you didn't know was being set up? Color me bored.

Couture was somehow worse than normal, and I think it was because too much was asked of him. Annoying, because he wasn't really playing an in-depth character, so for him to be even more wooden and unable to emote...Enough said.

Whomever edited the fight scenes should be immediately taken out back and be beaten with wet towels. They should feel deep shame, and never be allowed near martial art fight scenes again. There is zero reason for so many cuts when you're dealing with guys that talented.

Not only were there too many cuts in the fights, many of the scenes were transitioned with this fade to  grayscale B-roll cuts of the surrounding city, and sometimes there was random narration that was supposed to be deep and meaningful. The director clearly had some high ideas of what kind of movie they were making, and wanted to elevate it to some artistic level, but was too heavy-handed with everything. And he wasn't realistic enough with admitting what he was actually making and got it into his head that this was artsy.

BUT MY ACTION MOVIES SHOULDN'T BE ARTSY!!!

No amount of badass Michael Jai White or hot Luke Goss makes this worth watching. Rewatch pretty much any of their other movies instead.

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