Written and directed by Scott Roberts.
Running Time: 103 mins
Rated: MA 15+
When bank-robbing brothers Dale (Pearce), Shane (Edgerton) and Mal (Damien Richardson) are released from jail their crooked lawyer Frank (Robert
Taylor) lines up another job for them. On the first Tuesday in November he
wants them to rob the Melbourne Cup bookies of all their earnings. The boys
find out that Frank also intends to have them killed after the deed is done, so he can keep all the loot and make off with Dales' wife Carol (Griffiths) with whom he is having an affair. Everything goes wrong.
The Hard Word is aptly named. The very rough language used throughout would be enough to put most people off, but the story is also implausible and the morality is objectionable. Given that the brothers are idiots, gullible and
conspicuous, it beats me how these boys have ever been successful at any of their previous robberies.
The writing is not funny enough to turn this into a screwball comedy and lacks any tension that might see it pass for a drama. Even the British hit man bought in to do over our Aussie gangster trio is a stereotype: dyslexic, sensitive and violently sociopathic.
The Hard Word is just a series of half-smart scenes in which a high level
of violence is glorified, and then the film peters out. What a pity that Pearce and Griffiths came home from Hollywood to make this waste of celluloid. It doesn't do them or us any credit at all.
Richard Leonard SJ