Expendables buddies Dolph Lundgren and Randy Couture team up for what looks like another action packed ride but unfortunately Hard Rush doesn’t bring much action. Lundgren is experienced DEA agent Maxwell who, along with his new partner, is on the trail of two would-be drug kingpins (Daniel Bonjour and Gianni Capaldi). Couture is a corrupt cop looking for a big score so he can jet off to some tropical lands. Targeting the two young drug dealers he hopes to rip them off not realising they’ve already ripped off another drug kingpin in the form of professional hard man Vinnie Jones who is now out gunning for them. Add into all this the fact Maxwell has another agent deep undercover in the two wannabe crime lords operation and Hard Rush, despite good intentions, ends up being a bit of a mess with far too much talking and far too little B-movie action.
The cover makes Hard Rush look like it’s going to be an action packed B-movie fun ride but instead it’s more of a crime saga about the two young guys trying to get rich quick by selling a load of drugs. Which is fair enough but unfortunately their part of the story is the least interesting, takes up far too much of the run time and while the two actors (Daniel Bonjour and Gianni Capaldi) aren’t bad their characters are the least fascinating. Lundgren and Couture fair much better bringing a bit of muscular grit to proceedings. However, they are vastly underused and while Couture goes all out to be the unlikeable dirty cop he often feels like he’s in a different movie from everyone else. There is also a neat sub-plot about the undercover agent (played by Carly Pope) being seduced by the life of crime (and the copious amount of drugs) but it’s also underdeveloped and kicks in far too late into the film. Good old Vinnie Jones pops up for all of five minutes (though is suitably menacing) and to be fair the acting is decent by the cast overall but the film is just a little too all over the place to be really engaging.
Some decent lensing and some groovy split screens liven things up a little but the film could have benefitted from a few more hard hitting action scenes, especially when the cover has Lundgren and Jones brandishing big ass guns. There are a few scraps here and there and Lundgren and Couture even got toe-to-toe at one point but it’s all a little lacklustre, missing the momentum and adrenaline thrills a title like Hard Rush would suggest. Can’t fault the makers for aiming to make a more drama driven crime tale rather than an all out action ride but with that artwork and the presence of Lundgren and Couture some may be disappointed this isn’t more action orientated.
Hard Rush is released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK on 23rd September by Signature Entertainment.
Review by Andrew Skeates