The Hard Way (1991)

Rating: 7/10

Dir: John Badham
Star: Michael J. Fox, James Woods, Stephen Lang, Annabella Sciorra

[10] Yet another buddy-buddy cop movie, except this time, one cop is really an actor, Nick Lang, pretending to be a cop to prepare for a part. This spoilt brat is played by Fox – you will not be surprised to hear he is quite good at this. However, the real cop is Woods and you will not be surprised to hear he is very good, combining manic tension, hyperactivity and self-doubt as he searches for the Party Crasher (Lang), a serial killer who calls the cops before each murder. He’s taken off the case to babysit Lang – does this stop him? You will not be surprised, etc, etc. This predictability runs through the movie but the joy to be had watching Woods struggling to call Fox “Susan” more than makes up for this. Keep an eye out for one glaring continuity error – the finale takes place on an enormous billboard head, whose eyes move when seen in close-up but in long-shot they’re embarrassingly static…