Hard Rain

The Boston Phoenix

DIRECTED BY: Mikael Salomon

REVIEWED: 01-20-98

After the drugs, the guns, and the arrest, Christian Slater was bound to run into a little luck. Thanks to Firestorm, Hard Rain (originally titled The Flood) is not the most ridiculous natural-disaster flick of the week.

When armored-truck drivers Tom (Slater) and his Uncle Charlie (Ed Asner) break down in a flooded small town, they radio for help. But when a group of thugs led by Jim (Morgan Freeman) show up demanding the loot, Tom and Charlie realize their transmission has been intercepted. Only problem: we see Jim discussing the robbery with his cronies before Uncle Charlie called for assistance. Once we and Tom figure that out, Hard Rain becomes a decent chase movie, with the bad guys after Tom and the money, the town's lame duck sheriff (Randy Quaid) after the bad guys, and Minnie Driver and Betty White caught in between so it's not an all-male affair. Everything is made more exciting (though hard to see) by the fact that it all happens at night in the middle of a terrible flood. Too bad screenwriter Graham Yost (Speed) throws in a second twist that's so absurdly stupid, you're surprised when Howie Long doesn't appear.

--Mark Bazer

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