In HARD RAIN, armored car guards Charlie (Ed Asner), and Tom (Christian Slater) risk their lives to protect $3 million against a band of armed robbers. Broken levies due to a HARD RAIN threaten to flood the small town of Huntingburg. So an armored car has been dispatched to remove $3 million from the bank. Career criminal Jim (Morgan Freeman) and his henchmen try to steal the loot after they intercept Charlie's radio transmission. With the money bags in tow, Tom flees on foot into the thigh-deep waters and tries to take refuge in a historic church which is being protected by Karen (Minnie Driver). Thinking Tom to be a looter, Karen knocks him out and turns him over to the local sheriff (Randy Quaid), who turns against her and Tom. Thus, Tom and Karen find themselves in a life-and-death battle, not only against greedy men, but against the relentlessly rising flood.
Although there is one negative Christian stereotype, HARD RAIN also has an instance of thanking God genuinely when an obnoxious older woman (played by Betty White) thanks God for saving the life of her husband. Although HARD RAIN has no nudity or sex, it contains enough violence and offensive language to warrant extreme caution.
(Pa, B, C, Ab, LLL, VVV) Pagan though moral worldview with mild Christian elements & some anti-Christian elements; 36 obscenities & 15 profanities; and, relentless action violence including men shot, man stabbed, man blown up, man electrocuted, & man hit by boat propeller.
In HARD RAIN, broken levies due to a hard rain threaten to flood the small town of Huntingburg. So an armored car guarded by Charlie (Ed Asner) and his nephew, Tom (Christian Slater), has been dispatched to remove $3 million from the bank. When the armored car gets stuck in rising water, a crew of highway robbers, led by a career criminal, named Jim (Morgan Freeman), intercepts Charlie’s and Tom’s radio transmission. Jim and his henchmen try to rob the armored car.
Operating on adrenaline and ingenuity, Tom is able to flee by foot into the thigh-deep waters with the money bags in tow. A chase ensues, and Jim won’t give up easily. Tom takes refuge in a historic church which is being protected by Karen (Minnie Driver). Thinking Tom to be a looter, she knocks him out and turns him over to the local sheriff (Randy Quaid). Regrettably for Tom, $3 million is enough to taint even the sheriff. Tom and Karen find themselves in a life-and-death battle, not only against greedy men, but against the relentlessly rising flood.
A worthy action thriller, HARD RAIN has too many expletives to qualify as a family movie. The producers and screenwriters have wisely chosen to set the flood as a backdrop to a high-concept heist drama, rather than promoting the film as another natural disaster movie. The real issue is moral responsibility versus greed. Viewers see this conflict played out in numerous ways throughout the film. The roles of the protagonists and the antagonists are clearly defined from the beginning, yet the enforcers of the law are portrayed as fallible human beings themselves, who can be corrupted by the lure of big money. Karen and Tom prove they are willing to sacrifice themselves and their agendas to save each other, clearly delineating their motives from the evil intentions of Jim and his henchmen; but, by movie’s end, even Tom’s honesty is tainted.
Producers Mark Gordon and Gary Levinsohn have proven their ability to produce action movies with a fast pace, in such blockbusters as SPEED and BROKEN ARROW. HARD RAIN is their second collaboration with SPEED’s screenwriter, Graham Yost. Director Mikael Salomon is an Academy Award nominee for visual effects in BACKDRAFT, and for cinematography in THE ABYSS, so he knows how he wants the shots to appear on film. Most of the movie was shot under controlled conditions in a huge aircraft hangar in Palmdale, where the town of Huntingburg was reproduced. Although there are flaws (such as the fact that despite spending most of the night in water, no one is affected by hypothermia), the movie will not disappoint its audience. The actors do an admirable job under what must have been depressing production conditions.
Moral audiences may find fault with the rough language and extensive violence in HARD RAIN, but there is no nudity or sex. A victim foils an intended rape in a violent manner. One of the thieves is a stereotypical Bible-quoter, but there is also one instance of thanking God genuinely when an obnoxious older woman (played by Betty White) thanks God for saving the life of her husband.
On a personal note, actor Christian Slater was present at the premiere the night before he was incarcerated on drug charges. The press has given much play to this fact. Christians should pray for Mr. Slater. What he sees as a disaster in his life might actually represent a great opportunity to change directions. Although Paramount did not intend HARD RAIN as a metaphor for sin, the flood waters are rising, and Jesus Christ is the Life Boat.
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