HARD TIME

hard time

HARD TIME (1998)

TAGLINE: None. Though may we suggest ‘No Time Harder’

           IMDB rating: 5.2/10

It’s been coming. During the previous few films, his complaints have been vocal, his irritation tangible and his disappointments made obvious – however, after about 10 minutes of ‘Hard Time’, Tim has his first proper tantrum….

 

“This is f*cking balls. I mean, what did that voice over even mean? What did it even mean? Look, I mean…how many minutes have we been watching? Six? Six minutes. And how many scenes have there been? What? Yes, I want you to go back and check. Just f*cking check it. JUST GO AND F*CKING CHECK. There…so…7 scenes. In 6 minutes. I mean what the f*ck? It’s just sh*t. F*cking sh*t. Look mate, it’s a f*cking SATURDAY. IT’S SUNNY OUTSIDE. LOOK, THERE ARE PEOPLE OUTSIDE. PEOPLE OUTSIDE IN THE F*CKING SUNSHINE. WHAT THE F*CK ARE WE DOING? THIS IS SUCH A WASTE OF OUR F*CKING TIME. WHY ARE WE INSIDE ON A SATURDAY WATCHING BURT REYNOLDS WADDLE THE F*CK AROUND? WHY AM I NOT OUT WITH A WOMAN? I COULD BE OUTSIDE. TALKING TO GIRLS. BUT INSTEAD I’M IN HERE. WITH YOU. WHAT? YES, I KNOW I’M SINGLE. AND I’M GOING TO BE SINGLE FOR A LOT F*CKING LONGER IF I SPEND MY WEEKENDS WATCHING MORE OF THIS SH*T. WE’VE STILL GOT LOADS OF THESE FILMS TO WATCH, FOR F*CK’S SAKE. WHAT ARE WE DOING? WHAT…? YES I KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING BUT WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME DO IT? IT’S ALRIGHT FOR YOU- YOUR GIRLFRIEND DOESN’T LIKE YOU ANYWAY AND SEEMS HAPPY TO LEAVE THIS HOUSE AS QUICKLY AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. IN FACT, THIS WAS PROBABLY ALL HER F*CKING IDEA. EH? NO, I DON’T THINK THAT’S HARSH. I CAN’T F*CKING DO THIS ANYMORE [He is thumping the armrests of the chair now]. I AM 35 F*CKING YEARS OLD AND I AM SPENDING A SATURDAY AFTERNOON WITH YOU WATCHING THIS…THIS…I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THIS IS. ACTUALLY, I’LL TELL YOU WHAT THIS IS. I’LL TELL YOU WHAT THIS IS. IT’S PURGATORY. IT’S PUNISHMENT. IT’S F*CKING ABU GHRAIB TASTIC.  F*CK YOU. LIFE’S TOO SHORT, MATE. IT’S TOO F*CKING SHORT…”

 

[He pauses]

 

NOW PRESS PLAY YOU B*STARD””

 

Now in Tim’s defence, if he was going to flip out, ‘Hard Time’ was the obvious catalyst. It’s one of the worst yet- and yes, I know we seem to be saying that a lot, but believe us, ‘Hard Time’ is an appropriate title.

Director Burt Reynolds must have thought long and hard about the ideal actor to bring the brilliantly-TV-movie-named-character Logan McQueen to life. Who could play a tough veteran cop who is an astonishing cliché in almost every respect? The answer hit Burt Reynolds immediately. That answer being: Burt Reynolds.

 

burt reynolds

"Toupee or not toupee? That is obviously not the question..."

Logan McQueen is a cop. A cop on the edge. On the edge of type 2 diabetes by the look of him. Burt is almost certainly wearing a girdle but as director, is savvy enough to realize that the best way of slimming down the portly McQueen is to give him an even fatter partner. Step (gingerly) forward Charles Durning, a fine actor in classics like ‘The Sting’ and ‘Dog Day Afternoon’, but who now bears a worrying resemblance to Mr. Creosote.

It’s not worth recalling the plot. It’s every bad 70s cop movie plot. Bent partners, cop framed for murder, battles with City Hall- it’s all there. Yet this film was made in 1998. It’s at least 20 years out of date. And it’s staggeringly bad. It took real courage to finish watching it. ‘Hard Time’ represents the most occasions we’ve exclaimed out loud, ‘Look at that guy’s hair’, ‘Christ, he’s fat’, and of course, ‘This is f*cking rubbish’.

There’s a wonderful scene where Burt is beaten up by a boxer wearing lead gloves, but who is unable to leave a mark on Burt’s shiny face. It may be that several surgeries have left Burt’s face so tight, it is impossible for it to bruise.

 

There are 4 overwhelming highlights though:

 

  • The baddie has a white eye. Just like all baddies should- everyone knows that
  • Lando Calrissian plays the DA. And he is ace. As always.
  • When Burt is in the bail bond office, a woman with enormous breasts walks right into the middle of the shot. Pauses briefly for a close up, then walks out again. Obviously someone ‘promised to make her a star’ etc
  • The film ends. Impossible to overstate the joy of this one.

 

After William ‘The Shatner’ Shatner’s performance in ‘Land Of The Free’, we honestly believed that it was impossible for a ‘name’ to deliver a performance that was as lazy and amateurish. But we have underestimated the determination of Burt Reynolds. And let’s not forget that this guy was one of the world’s biggest film stars during the 70s.

It turns out that ‘Hard Time’ spawned 2 sequels that are, by all accounts, significantly worse than the original. This doesn’t compute. But it does intrigue. I briefly consider suggesting to Tim that we should search them out ‘just for fun’ but one glance confirms his fragile mental state. Plus he is holding a mug of hot coffee. I go off to choose our next DVD, leaving him staring blankly out of the window, at the smiling faces of passers-by, with their laughter, their ice creams, and their joy. B*stards.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Duncan says:

    You had my sympathies right up until Lando Calrissian appeared. That’s a cool name. He should be in other movies.

    I’m also hoping that no orang-utans were hurt in the course of that fight scene…

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