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The Hard Word
2002 - R - 102 Mins.
Director: Scott Roberts
Producer: Al Clark
Written By: Scott Roberts
Starring: Guy Pearce, Rachel Griffiths, Robert Taylor, Joel Edgerton
Review by: Joe Rickey
Another entry into the heist sub genre of films, The Hard Word tells the tale of three criminals who happen to be brothers, recently released from prison, which plan to pull off a heist. The leader of the group is Dale (Guy Pearce, The Time Machine) with Mal (Damien Richardson) and Shane (Joel Edgerton, Star Wars: Episode II) Twentyman completing the trio. They have been just released from prison where they had served time for armed robbery. They quickly attempt another job and are brought in by two detectives who are actually criminals themselves as they are hoping for the group to pull off another job. The detectives and the brothers’ lawyer (Robert Taylor) want them to pull off just one more job before they can retire in peace. Dale though isn’t sure if he wants to do the job because he has a suspicion that the lawyer is in an affair with his wife Carol (Rachel Griffiths, The Rookie). In the end, he and his brothers set up the heist as a way of getting themselves out of prison again.

The lawyer then introduces two new members to the group, Tarzan (Dorian Nkono) and Paul (Kim Gyngell). Facing no other choice, the brothers agree to allow the new members into their group. That is until someone gets injured and the brothers flee with the money given to them for the heist with their lawyer hot on their tail.

The Hard Word features many solid performances as every cast member does an admirable job in their respective roles with Guy Pearce once again turning in a charismatic performance. The film also features some rather humorous lines of dialogue.

Unfortunately, the film really treads over territory that many have seen done many many times before. There are usually one to two heist films released every year so audiences have seen basically everything that can be done with regards to heist films. The Hard Word doesn’t really attempt to do anything to distinguish itself from other similar films. The pace is rather slow at first, which doesn’t help as the film takes its time (too much time) developing the characters and the base situation of the film. Once it really gets to the point of the film the heist is handled in a disappointingly dull fashion, which makes all the protracted build-up not nearly worthwhile as it rightly should have been.

Overall, The Hard Word is filled with twists that are mostly preposterous and the meat of the film, the heist, is executed in such a slow and unexciting fashion that the film can be only recommended for die-hard fans of members of the cast or the heist genre.

Movie Guru Rating
Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better. Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better.
  2 out of 5 stars

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