Hard Time Review

Hard Time is one of those movies that is basically all about a day on the job as an officer in a corrupt environment. As the film is going it hits all of the usual beats you would expect it to while throwing in some twists to keep things fresh. It’s a fairly by the numbers film with some good action and a solid story behind it. Ultimately it is held back a bit by some uninteresting characters and a generally weak introduction. The movie mainly picks up once all of the big players like the mob start to take an active role but can take some time in getting there.

The movie starts with Logan on graffiti watch which he finds boring and a bit insulting since he is used to the tougher cases. Unfortunately for him he has gotten into some trouble over the years for getting a little too aggressive and violent in in some instances. Well he spots an active crime in progress and quickly steps in to help but after a long chase scene one of the crooks shoots the other one and escapes. Fortunately Logan prevented him from stealing the cash but now he is apparently the lead suspect in the shooting and is being taken to court. He’s going to need his attorney to really bring her A game to beat the charges but they don’t really get along all that well from prior encounters. She doesn’t much like the cops and he doesn’t much like attorneys. They’ll have to put these differences aside for now but ultimately the best way for Logan to ensure his innocence is to find the people who were actually behind this and bring them to justice. He better do this quickly as the mob is after him as well.

You may wonder how Logan could possibly have been framed for shooting the one crook. Well, during the chase there was a point where he finally caught up to the crooks but badly underestimated them so they stole his gun and his handcuffs. Unfortunately Logan did not share this with his attorney which comes back to bite him later on and it also makes the whole thing a lot more realistic when you consider which gun was used to murder the crook with. This was definitely all on Logan since you really do need to tell your attorney everything if you intend to stand a chance in court. A single omission or lie can completely turn the tables against you and at that point it is very hard to gain the upper hand again.

It was also rather sloppy of him to let the crooks go there. Basically he had them at gun point and told them to have their hands against the wall. Usual strategy so far so good. Where he went wrong is he gets in close to shove one of them and starts to talk tough so the other one just backs up and lands a kick on Logan. Once he’s down then it’s easy for the two to overpower him from there. This is a common mistake they make in the movies. If you have a gun then the whole point is to stay at mid range. If you get within arms reach then you are basically asking them to make a move. It’s definitely not worth it and will get you killed every time. If anything Logan is super lucky that they didn’t finish him off there. It’s not like they planned to frame him either, they just figured murdering him would increase the heat so they were better off running.

In general Logan does look good during this film, it was just the opening that hurt him a lot. He goes on to defeat multiple attackers even after he was tied up and he never really looks back. Logan is a tough fighter to bring down and he knows it. Perhaps that’s why the confidence got to his head but by the end he is taking numerous opponents down and showing why he was the best in the business. He also figures out the truth of what happened before anyone else which helps him a whole lot in the climax. His partner Charlie would have been really doomed without him.

Now as I mentioned above there is a lot of corruption in this town as the mob owns just about everyone. This becomes a bit of a subplot later on and the film wants to make sure you don’t forget it so we get a lot of flashbacks. That’s one thing which is overdone in this film. We don’t need a lot of flashbacks in any movie because you should remember what you just saw unless it was a really small detail that you want to point out. This one has flashbacks to moments over and over again which didn’t need it. The film’s not as confusing or complex as they may have thought it was. Ultimately the cast is also small so you shouldn’t have a problem remembering any part of the movie. Just saddle up and you’re all set.

Logan’s partner Charlie isn’t quite as impressive as a character. He let himself get really out of shape which is dangerous in his line of work. The guy doesn’t really end up helping Logan much at all. He does talk tough with just about every character in the film but considering that he would likely lose every fight, it wasn’t as impressive as it could have been. I wasn’t giving him any major thumbs up at least. I actually liked the rookie a lot but unfortunately he didn’t get to appear all that much. He was very confident in himself though and that goes a long way.

I really liked the idea of the mafia showing up to weigh in and complicate matters. It helped make the world feel more alive even if I was surprised that they didn’t do more at the very end of the film. The climax was definitely very explosive though. It’s almost tragic in a way because the body count gets a little high and you have to wonder if all of these guys are villains or some are just getting manipulated. If the latter is the case then that is really a rough way to go out. You have to figure that some of the villains probably got away in the end just by sheer numbers but on the whole it’s still a semi happy ending. Things may be tough for Logan as well with the court case. Technically that may not have really changed much even after the climax and then one villain also seems to get off rather easy. There was actually some decent humor at the very end though which did give me a bit of a chuckle.

Overall, Hard Time was a fun movie. It’s a fairly standard action title all things considered but it delivers with the fights and a solid main character. You’re invested in seeing how it all ends and we get a lot of action near the end. I’ll be interested in seeing how the sequels play out but at the end of the day this is a film which delivers even if it is fairly unknown compared to most other big titles. You want action and it delivers so it accomplished the objectives it set out to achieve.

Overall 6/10

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