The Hard Way (2019)

Posted in Reviews by - March 12, 2019
The Hard Way (2019)

No-one can quite enter a room, admonish the bad guys and kick their asses quite like Michael Jai White. This is another serving of prime B-movie fodder for the Black Dynamite star, showcasing his unique brand of high-kicking, wise-cracking pugilism; knowing, punishing, and ever so stylish. Frequent collaborator Tim Man (Accident Man, Triple Threat) prepares fight choreography which plays to White’s strengths on the ground and as a master kicker (his fight with ex pro-wrestler Randy Couture is a high-point), and director Keoni Waxman displays the kind of disciplined efficiency that has seen him deliver nine Steven Seagal films in ten years. The film’s flaws are glaringly obvious, from its cheap Euro-pudding feel to its tired buddy cop formula with clichés older than one of Luke Goss’ leather jackets. There are dancing girls being used as drug mules, a mysterious cartel leader known as ‘Toro’ who disguises his voice, a missing videotape (remember videotapes?) with incriminating evidence, a damsel-in-distress with a vulnerable younger sister; all seemingly lifted from the most perfunctory of Seagal thrillers. But White is determined to mix up the formula, and for the most part, he makes it all very watchable.

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