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The Hard Word

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

Starring: Guy Pearce, Rachel Griffiths
Director: Scott Roberts
Rated: R
RunTime: 102 Minutes
Release Date: June 2003
Genres: Action, Drama, Foreign

*Also starring: Robert Taylor, Joel Edgerton, Kate Atkinson, Vince Colosimo, Paul Sonkkila, Dorian Nikona, Don Bridges

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

Just when you thought the last of the Quentin Tarantino wannabes were gone, Australian writer/director Scott Roberts shows up with THE HARD WORD, a crime caper comedy that is one more Tarantino rip-off. The movie has trouble establishing a consistent tone with too much time spent in petty bickering and not enough in robbing people.

A sometimes entertaining but completely forgettable film, it stars MEMENTO's Guy Pearce as Dale, the head of a small gang of crooks, whose members include picky-eater Shane (Joel Edgerton) and meat-loving Mal (Damien Richardson). In the best of the film's many quirky episodes, Shane finds a sympathetic, prison therapist named Jane (Rhondda Findleton) who has a uniquely satisfying way of helping him deal with his mommy issues. Rachel Griffiths plays Dale's wife, who is aptly described as "a greedy little tart," an expression that she would probably agree with.

The gang goes in and out of prison, thanks to Frank (Robert Taylor), their triple-dealing lawyer. Whenever they are out, they start working on their next, even bigger heist. The movie suffers from a bad case of multiple ending syndrome. After a decent conclusion, Roberts just keeps tacking on extra endings, with each one being worse than the one before it.

THE HARD WORD runs 1:42. It is rated R for "strong violence, language, sexuality and brief drug use" and would be acceptable for older teenagers.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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