Today’s Prayer Focus

Hard Rain

MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for violence

Reviewed by: Dave Rettig

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Action Adventure
98 min.
Year of Release:

Starring: Christian Slater, Morgan Freeman, Minnie Driver, Randy Quaid, Edward Asner / Director: Mikael Salomon / Released by: Paramount Pictures

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.

Viewer Comments
The name of the town in the movie “hard rain” is named after the real town of Huntingburg, Indiana (not Mississippi). Huntingburg was also in the movie “A League of Their Own” as the home of the Rockford Peaches, and was also used in the HBO movie “Soul of the Game.”
Steve Huckelby
This is a typical and predictable movie throughout with many men taking their last shot at the secular ring. However, the use of language and the scenes of destroying a house of God is extremely offensive. Why does Hollywood always have to mock God in some form. Christian Slater was involved in the production of this movie and turns in the usual average performance. The one Bright spot is Morgan Freeman, however his character in the end finds temptation too hard to pass up. I’d definitely pass this one up.
Mike McCann, Age 46
I have reviewed many a movie for my high school paper. I thought that “The Edge” and “Volcano” were tied for the most ridiculous “nature event movies. “Hard Rain,” for better or worse, takes the cake so far. Poor Morgan Freeman. He must need money. I thought that it was a new twist that the good guys became bad, and the bad guys (at least, the one who survived) were shown in a good light by the end.
Michael “Movieman” Mastroianni, age 15
Personally I thought that “Hard Rain” deserves a higher movie making rate than the reviewer gave it. The movie makers went out of thier way to bring total action to the screen. There was one use of the F-word by a some what suprising member of the cast. Even though this is a desaster movie, it goes beyond the usual disaster movie. Where “Twister” and “Dante’s Peak” deal with people investigating and tying to work to stop a natural diaster, this movie isn’t as much about stopping the disaster itself. The main theme in the story line of this movie is what can happen in this type of intense situation. It is more about how Morgan Freeman uses this natural diaster to his advantage, and as part of a plan to seal a few million dollars. Not only about him stealing this money but then there are the unexpected reactions of the people involved and the range of outcomes due to the weather itself. There is one upstting idea that can some times be seen in the world around—you never no what some people may do if they believe that they can get by with it and there never be another person who finds out what really happened.
Heather, age 23
I thought “Hard Rain” was a good movie. The plot was a little thin because it changed so much but the special effects were awesome. The reviewer forgot to mention those. Personally, while not the best movie, I think it is worth the time. It is short but the excitement will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Thomas Burke, age 16
…This movie wasn’t all as bad as that. It may not have been a startling drama with a deep story line, but it wasn’t supposed to be. I can’t agree that it was “typical of natural disaster films.” I found this to be very creative and original.

I would love to know what it would be like to explore my whole town under 8 feet of water. In most natural disaster movies the theme is ultimate panic. Thousands of people and national monuments will be destroyed at the hand of nature. In this movie only a handful of characters are involved and the only place destroyed is a practically a ghost town already.

Ultimately this movie was meant to be an action film. The reviewer described “lots of shooting with amazingly poor accuracy.” Let me ask the reviewer if he has ever tried shooting a gun, in the middle of the night, in the pouring down rain, standing waist deep in rushing water. I felt that this was an aspect of the movie that just made it more creative. To make another point; Minnie Driver specifically bought very modest undergarments for this movie because she was told that she would have to wear a white t-shirt in the rain. She mentions this fact in a “Behind the Scenes” interview.

Honestly, I don’t feel like this was a “typical Hollywood” movie. The thieves were not evil. They were not professionals or murderers. They were just normal guys (one was an ex-high school teacher) who were caught up in the world. Even Christian Slater’s character mentioned that it could happen to him. The truth is that no one is strong enough to stand up to the pressures and temptations of the world without God. This was definetely not a christian movie. Even though a church was involved and scripture was quoted, God was not present. It was a movie about the weaknesses of the human nature.

It had a great deal of offensive language in it, but the violence was mild. I don’t feel that this is a movie that corrupts innocent Christian souls. It may not have been a blockbuster like “Titanic” (which although was a wonderfully done movie, it had plenty of more offensive scenes) but it definitely is a movie that I can tip my hat to.
David, age 20