Hard Rain [1998]

Director: Mikael Salomon
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, Randy Quaid, Minnie Driver, Edward Asner
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 97 minutes

It may not be a disaster movie, per se, but this terminally silly thriller is certainly disastrous, and would be pointless without the novelty of its setting in a flooding Midwestern town during a torrential rainfall. Physically impressive but idiotic in every other respect, the movie pits an armored truck courier (Christian Slater) against a smart leader of thieves (Morgan Freeman) and a corruptible town sheriff (Randy Quaid) who are vying for possession of $3 million in cash. A waterlogged game of cat and mouse, the plot is so contrived that even the most impressive action sequences--such as a jet-ski chase through flooded high-school corridors--are robbed of their already tenuous credibility. Before long you'll be yawning as incompetent accomplices are systematically dispatched by their own stupidity, in the kind of movie where the use of power boats inevitably leads to at least one death by outboard motor. What's impressive here is the physical production itself--the effect of flooding was created by building a huge replica of downtown Huntington, Indiana, in a huge, watertight aircraft hangar in Palmdale, California! --Jeff Shannon

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