Thursday, 21 August 2014



First off, you're asking for trouble by calling any action movie Drive Hard, or indeed Anything Hard, because it invites inevitable comparison with Die Hard and unless you are at the very very top of your game you are not going to come out of that comparison well. Second off, for crying out loud please spend some of your budget of grading your film to actually look a bit like film. It doesn't have to look like 2001 or Lawrence Of Arabia, just so long as it doesn't look like an episode of Neighbours. I know it's all shot on digital these days but the raw unprocessed video image just gives the overwhelming impression of a cheap TV movie, and if I wanted television I'd watch television.

Third off, in the name of sanity either do something slightly different, or do the same old thing well enough for an audience to not mind the repetition. Drive Hard is two parts Getaway, two parts Vehicle 19, one smidgen Midnight Run and no parts any good at all. Thomas Jane is the former racing champion turned ordinary suburban driving instructor, now giving lessons to visiting American John Cusack; suddenly Cusack robs the safe of an investment bank run by an international crime syndicate, turning Jane into his accessory-cum-hostage and triggering a chase between them, the Feds, corrupt coppers and the Mob....

It's mostly boring, the comedy stuff isn't funny (relying on the old standards like annoying children and foul-mouthed octogenarians), the action sequences are considerably less exciting than they should be, with a car and biker gang chase that's frankly less Drive Hard and more Driving Miss Daisy, and both the characters are frankly tiresome. That it's directed by Australian exploitation veteran Brian Trenchard-Smith is the biggest surprise on view, because frankly he should know better. In retrospect maybe I should have known better as well.


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