Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Hard Cash

HARD CASH (2002)

Directed by: Peter Antonijevic
Screenplay: Willie Dreyfus
Starring: Christian Slater, Daryl Hannah & Val Kilmer

An all star cast featuring those mentioned above alongside William Forsythe, Bokeem Woodbine, Balthazar Getty and even a fairly funny Verne Troyer in a hip, edgy action thriller all about stealing money, double crosses and the odd bit of violence and with an edgy European director at the helm means Hard Cash is one cool ride. Unfortunately not. Not quite the unholy, god awful mess you may have been lead to believe but certainly a mish-mash that eventually buckles under it’s own ineptitude, Hard Cash could have been so much better. The plot concerns Slater’s career criminal getting caught, getting released then setting about another heist only to get caught up in all bloody kinds of double crosses, switcheroos and bent cops, when, of course, all he really wants to do is give his daughter a good life.

The problem with Hard Cash is it’s not very original and there’s not enough action for it to be a full blown action picture or enough thrill for it to be a gritty thriller. Then there is the ropey black comedy which doesn’t come off very well either. Some characters ham it up, while others play it straight and Troyer appears in disguise as the pregnant bump of one of the characters. It will make sense if you see it, sort of. Slater just does his thing, the rest of the cast are completely wasted and Kilmer looks like he really doesn’t want to be there but still manages a relatively engaging oddball character. The action aint bad, all firepower and vehicular stunts, with a cool bit featuring an armoured car and a massive JCB falling into a river. But it is the car chases that make this flick infamous. The exterior/wide shots of all the cars and stunts are well done and flips and crashes impressively staged but the interior shots suffer from some of the worst back projection ever seen. Probably the worst. No one will be able to stop laughing when seeing the rubbish backgrounds fly all over the place as the actors pretend to drive. Shameful, especially when the rest of the film and stunts are competently filmed.

Hard Cash
should have been a fun ride and something different from Saviour director Antonijevic (who has all but disappeared since making this flick). Fans of the actors may enjoy it and it is entertaining in parts but is overall another misfire from Nu Image when they were obviously trying to segue into bigger budget fare.

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