Hard Rain

on January 16, 1998 by Dwayne E. Leslie
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   "Hard Rain's" action centers around a broken-down armored car, $3 million, and the villains who want it (led by "Amistad's" Morgan Freeman) bad enough to kill the person sworn to protect it (Christian Slater). At the same time, the town in which this heist is to take place is forced to evacuate when a deluge of rain brings the water in the reservoir to a critical level.
   This film reunites co-producer Slater with screenwriter Graham Yost and producer Mark Gordon, who worked together on the similarly flawed actioner "Broken Arrow." Like that film, "Hard Rain" elicits laughs from disbelief rather than the intended dramatic tension. "Hard Rain" may have impressive jet-ski action and speedboats crashing through windows, but the film is too busy trying to convince the audience that this scenario is remotely plausible. The characters also never seem to get tired from sloshing around during an relentless life-or-death chase in knee, to waist, to neck-deep water. And where did they hide the never-ending supply of ammunition? The intensity of the action becomes less thrilling when all the audience can do is concentrate on is how many bullets are being shot from weapons that are never reloaded, and the fact that people are being shot at point blank range, falling down, and quickly recovering. Suspension of disbelief is, unfortunately, consistently waterlogged. Starring Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, Randy Quaid and Minnie Driver. Directed by Mikael Salomon. Written by Graham Yost. Produced by Mark Gordon, Gary Levinsohn and Ian Bryce. A Paramount release. Action/thriller. Rated R for violence. Running time: 98 min
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