The Hard Way

1991

The Hard Way

Critics Consensus

The Hard Way's overly familiar formula is enlivened by a witty script and the excellent comedic chemistry between Michael J. Fox and James Woods.

75%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 20

52%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,219

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Movie Info

Action film director John Badham bites the hand that feeds him in this action movie spoof that features ribbing of pretty-boy Hollywood action stars by Michael J. Fox and a parody of colorful, hair-trigger James Woods types by the man himself. Woods plays New York homicide detective John Moss, who is within an inch of closing in on a serial killer who calls himself The Party Crasher (Stephen Lang) because his specialty is shooting his victims in the middle of discos. Chasing The Party Crasher after his latest victim has been dispatched, Moss finds himself hanging onto the door of a speeding truck with The Party Crasher at the wheel. When Moss is thrown off the truck and nearly killed, The Party Crasher escapes, and Moss is taken off the case. Moss is given a new assignment --to tag around with Hollywood action film star Nick Lang (Michael J. Fox), the popular hero of the "Smoking Gun" movies. Lang spotted Moss on a television news show and thinks he would be the ideal cop to study for adding authenticity to an up-coming police action picture. Posing as Moss's rookie partner, Lang follows Moss everywhere, proceeding to spoil his pursuit of The Party Crasher and interfering with Moss's burgeoning affair with his girlfriend Susan (Anabella Sciorra).

Cast

Michael J. Fox
as Nick Lang
James Woods
as John Moss
Stephen Lang
as Party Crasher
LL Cool J
as Billy
Mary Mara
as China
Delroy Lindo
as Captain Brix
Conrad Roberts
as Witherspoon
George Cheung
as Drug Dealer
Frank Geraci
as Newsman
Sophie Maletsky
as Pizza Waitress
Kathy Najimy
as Lang's Girl Friday
Dante Smith
as Dead Romeo
Dwayne McClary
as Dead Romeo
Sharrieff Pugh
as Dead Romeo
Anthony Thomas
as Dead Romeo
Shawn McLean
as Dead Romeo
Keenan Leung
as Asian Gang Leader
Bill Cobbs
as Raggedy Man
Reno
as Diner Waitress
John Costelloe
as Fake Dead Guy/Cop
Jack Gindi
as Ticket Taker
Leif Riddell
as Head Mugger
Karen Lynn Gorney
as Woman in Subway
Janet Sarno
as Continental Representative
Jan Speck
as TV Reporter
Holly Kuespert
as `Smoking Gunn' Girl
John Ring
as Homeboy Cop
William Truesdale
as Witherspoon's Bodyguard
Mark Woodcock
as Clothing Salesman
Ed Setrakian
as Chief Villain
David O. Sosna
as Frog Dog Vendor
Adore O'Hara
as Dead Entertainer
Merrill Witten
as Scared Subway Woman
Mario Bosco
as Boy in Theater
View All

Critic Reviews for The Hard Way

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for The Hard Way

  • May 08, 2008
    Funny action flivk. James Woods is great in this one.
    Jason S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 11, 2007
    Action film director John Badham bites the hand that feeds him in this action movie spoof that features ribbing of pretty-boy Hollywood action stars by Michael J. Fox and a parody of colorful, hair-trigger James Woods types by the man himself. Woods plays New York homicide detective John Moss, who is within an inch of closing in on a serial killer who calls himself The Party Crasher (Stephen Lang) because his specialty is shooting his victims in the middle of discos. Chasing The Party Crasher after his latest victim has been dispatched, Moss finds himself hanging onto the door of a speeding truck with The Party Crasher at the wheel. When Moss is thrown off the truck and nearly killed, The Party Crasher escapes, and Moss is taken off the case. Moss is given a new assignment --to tag around with Hollywood action film star Nick Lang (Michael J. Fox), the popular hero of the "Smoking Gun" movies. Lang spotted Moss on a television news show and thinks he would be the ideal cop to study for adding authenticity to an up-coming police action picture. Posing as Moss's rookie partner, Lang follows Moss everywhere, proceeding to spoil his pursuit of The Party Crasher and interfering with Moss's burgeoning affair with his girlfriend Susan (Anabella Sciorra).
    Martin D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 09, 2007
    One of my favorite buddy/comedies ever made.
    Michael S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 13, 2007
    Michael J. Fox plays an actor who teams up with a cop (James Woods) for research for an upcoming role. The movie is supposed to be a Lethal Weapon type of action thriller, it's hard to take it seriously though. Especially when Fox goes for laughs even through what's supposed to be serious action scenes. The movie still works as a comedy though and it's hard not to like it due to the fun performances by Fox and Woods. The Hard Way is basically just an entertaining bad movie.
    Jim W Super Reviewer

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