This film is overdue for cult status, if not even a more loftier appraisal. We took a look at it because of the director, Stephen Frears, and the excellent cast. Dustin Hoffman's work as Bernie Laplante is a fantastic study in selfishness, shallowness and beaten=down survivor who at the end emerges as a noble human being. But his redemption is anchored in unremitting allegiance to the character Dustin Hoffman has created, a Chaplinesque criminal bottom feeder who has lost his way. At the end, the writers redeem Bernie Laplante and Hoffman deftly makes his beatification believable even while protecting the basic essence of the character.
That being said, the premise and the themes that are subtly examined in this film make Hero a timeless indictment of humanity's virulent hypocrisy. Many will homage the mad cap humor and fabulous reparte given to Chevy Chase, Tom Arnold and Joan Cusack who are all given wild opportunities to level commentary on single parenthood, gray-area operations and in Chevy Chase's case, the best uncredited performance any actor has given.