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The Hard Truth

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Hard Truth

Starring: Eric Roberts, Michael Rooker
Director: Kristine Peterson
Rated: R
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: January 1994
Genre: Action

*Also starring: Lysette Anthony, Ray Baker, Don Yesso

Review by Dragan Antulov
2 stars out of 4

Some people have misfortune to discover some facts about life they didn't want to know. One of them is protagonist of HARD TRUTH, 1994 thriller directed by Kristine Peterson. Jonah Mantz (played by Michael Rooker) is a policeman who has spent the best years of his life trying to save the public from the street scum. Yet after the years of pain and sacrifice Mantz has realised that his efforts would remain unappreciated and that he would spend his old age as a poor man. Hamilton Nichols (played by Ray Baker) is a city official who had adopted somewhat more pragmatic view of the public service and the results of such practice are stashed in his safe. Nichols' secretary Lisa Kantrell (played by Lysette Anthony) happens to be Mantz's girlfriend and the policeman would use this in order to steal that money. Unfortunately, his plan requires extra hand so he hires Chandler Etheridge (played by Eric Roberts), electronics expert and part-time burglar. But Etheridge soon shows that he is interested in something more than his share of the loot.

Among many low budget thrillers that used to be made in mid 1990s, THE HARD TRUTH stands out because of its faithfulness towards film noir principles. The tone of the film is pessimistic, the atmosphere is dark and the ending is rather unpredictable, at least compared with the average example of this genre. Yet the biggest asset of this film is Michael Rooker, character actor who was very good choice for the role of disillusioned and world-weary protagonist. On the other hand, hard look of the film is compromised with the overuse of erotic scenes that are often distracting and give THE HARD TRUTH unmistakable taste of exploitation cinema. Yet, even with this flaw taken into consideration, Kristine Peterson's direction and Jonathan Tydor's make this film much better than its title would indicate.

Copyright 2002 Dragan Antulov

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