The Hard Way ***1/2

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How is it that I have never heard of “The Hard Way” before now? It is one of the best directed and most entertaining buddy cop movies I have ever seen. This obviously had to of been inspired by the success of “Lethal Weapon” but instead of just imitating that series, “The Hard Way” comes up with the hilarious twist that one of the cops is actually an actor who is studying for his next role.

The movie stars James Woods and Michael J. Fox. Woods is John Moss, and NYPD detective who finds himself saddled with Michael J. Fox’s Nick Lang, who is more than excited to be shadowing a copy. Moss is very unhappy about this, especially since he is on the trail of a deranged serial killer known as The Party Crasher (Stephen Lang). This killer only goes after criminals and joys in tipping off the police before he kills so that they can see the favour he is doing them.

Fox and Woods are hilarious together. Fox in particular is over the top funny. Seeing him get excited and giddy around Wood’s character are the best parts of the film. Woods is the best at fast taking insults and cutting right to the point.

I also have to throw some praise at Stephen Lang, who is brilliant at playing a ruthless killer who thinks he is purging the streets.

Director John Badham was an expert in action thrillers and out of the ones that I have seen, this one is his best.

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