The Hard Word (DVD, 2004) - Used

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In this action-comedy directed by Scott Roberts, a trio of Melbourne prison rats work with a crime boss on the outside, trying to pull off one last scheme to satisfy the man so he'll spring them from jail. The Twentyman brothers consist of leader Dale (Guy Pearce), ex-butcher Mal (Damien Richardson), and shadowy Shane (Joel Edgerton). Shane is the baby of the bunch, and the star of the show, who keeps every moment real with his utterly candid way of telling it like it is--providing a string of priceless one-liners. On the outside, sleazy lawyer Frank (Robert Taylor) wheels and deals, all the while using his considerable financial charms to win over Dale's wife, Carol (Rachel Griffiths as the prototypical tart). A botched bank robbery organized by Frank sets the brothers off on a crooked course, and when they realize that they've been set up, they scramble to claim their promised freedom at any cost. Some hilarious revenge sequences involve a grosser-than-gross food poisoning gimmick, and the entire film is punctuated by wonderful cat-and-mouse chase games with Frank. Though THE HARD WORD is a tough, rigorous crime caper, underlying its action is the clear comedic intent, albeit a dark and mischievous brand of humor. In his directorial debut, Roberts has crafted a fast-moving and highly entertaining film with its strengths lying in character development and a uniquely quirky script.


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