Reviewed by: Dave Rettig
Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, and Minnie Driver star in “Hard Rain”, Paramount Pictures' January 1998 action release. Tom (Slater) unwittingly becomes wound in a web of crime when the armored truck he and his uncle Charlie are driving becomes trapped in the flooding hamlet of Huntingburg, Mississippi. Would-be armored car robbers, Jim (Morgan Freeman) and associates, pursue Tom and Karen (Minnie Driver) hoping to snag the three million dollars and escape the ever rising waters while Tom seeks to save the millions and the day!
“Hard Rain” is very typical of the natural disaster films of late (“Twister,” “Dante’s Peak,” “Volcano,” “Firestorm”, “Mr. Bean”) only it’s water. Lots of shots of homes being destroyed, lots of shots of the overwhelming force of nature, and lots of old people who should have left when the authorities told them to evacuate. And if disaster films are not your cup of tea, “Hard Rain” is also an action film. Lots of shooting guns (with amazingly poor accuracy), lots of unnecessarily gory deaths, and lots of exploding things. The best of both worlds, if you’re not looking for anything to think about too deeply.
“Hard Rain” contains lots of violence, some gore, profanity, and a girl in a wet t-shirt. The film also contains rampant moral relativism and religious prejudices. The film almost makes you glad that the bad guy gets some reward (because, after all, he wasn’t all that bad). Fortunately, scripture is quoted a couple times and one character prominently displays a cross. Unfortunately, both the scripture quoter and cross wearer are the criminals. “Hard Rain” does show the sinful nature of man and that love of money will corrupt, but this, I’m certain, was not intentional.
“Hard Rain” is too intense for younger audiences, and the violence and profanity definitely warrant the R-rating. Although “Hard Rain” is a fairly good natural disaster-action film, I’d recommend passing on it and waiting for something with a better moral base.