OCTOBER 7, 2008
“Christian Slater, currently serving a ninety day jail sentence, was released for one night to attend the premiere of his new film, Hard Rain. Twenty minutes into the movie, Mr. Slater asked to be escorted back to his cell”
- Colin Quinn
Now, like most people (hopefully), I think Colin Quinn is one of the worst ever Weekend Update anchors on SNL, but that joke was pretty fucking gold. Even I laughed, and I’m possibly the only person in the world who even remembers this movie, let alone likes it. I looked for a trailer on Youtube, and it doesn’t even have that much. And I think it’s the only big budget movie besides Armageddon that doesn’t have a goddamn anamorphic DVD. In the ‘geddon’s case, it’s because the master negative was destroyed (spare me your jokes!), but I am guessing that for Hard Rain, it’s just because no one cares.
I honestly don’t see what’s wrong with it. It’s a pretty fun hybrid of Broken Arrow (esteemed actor and small team of guys vs. Christian Slater and a perky girl) and any old disaster movie. AND, it’s in real time! Apart from a brief time when Slater is unconscious, I’m pretty sure everything happens over the course of the 90 or so minutes that the movie lasts. That alone is worth some respect, and it even comes with an odd coincidence: The movie, which came along 4 years prior to 24, has a main theme that sounds exactly like the “Jack Bauer theme” (duhnnnn duh duh duh duhhhh DUNNNNNNNNN). Since 24 is credited with the revival of the realtime format, I think they all owe Slater and co. a debt of gratitude.
It’s also a pretty funny movie. Betty White and Richard Dysart have small roles as an old bitch and her put upon husband (respectively), and they are a riot. Slater also has a few choice lines (his one-liners suck though), and Freeman seems to be having a lot of fun in a rare villainous turn. Of course, since he’s Morgan Freeman, he can’t be all out evil, and halfway through the movie, he more or less teams up with Slater to take on Randy Quaid (lol), who turns bad for no real reason right around the same time. It’s the type of thing I dig, with bad guys switching sides and forced alliances that eventually blossom into full on bromance. If John Woo directed this movie (he’s listed as a producer), instead of the rather lazy Mikael Solomon, it would probably be better than Broken Arrow – the script isn’t AS stupid and there is better character development to boot. Plus, it’s almost all shooting action, which is more Woo’s style (as opposed to the vehicular/explosion stuff that made up most of Arrow). There’s one shootout between Slater/Freeman and the bad guys in and around a submerged cemetery that would have been fucking amazing if someone with a little more style was involved.
I also like how they keep up the whole disaster angle. Early on, Slater nearly drowns (great sequence), and throughout the movie, the water level keeps rising due to a broken dam or something (never could quite tell what was happening with that stuff – there are some lights with fractions on them that keep lighting up... no idea what the hell they mean). Hell, the finale features a goddamn house being swept down the street, with our heroine chained to a banister inside. Good stuff. Stallone was going to do a movie called Gale Force, that had a similar premise, only during a hurricane – I figure it would have been just as awesome.
Also, I think it’s the only movie in which I ever found Minnie Driver to be hot.
Hilariously, the movie was originally called The Flood, but they changed it to Hard Rain so people wouldn’t think it was a disaster movie. If a decision ever made less sense, I don’t want to know about it.
Actually I kind of do.
What say you?