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The Low Down

Why You Should Give ‘The Hard Way’ Another Chance

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There are several films that remain popular for decades. They’re classified as “classics.” But there are other films we completely forget about. They fly under the radar, earning them a place as a cult classic. This includes the 1991 action The Hard Way, starring Michael J. Fox and James Woods. What’s the story behind the movie?

An Action-Packed Adventure

The movie focuses on Nick Lang (Fox), a spoiled Hollywood action star. He wants to break free from his stereotypical roles, so he decides to play a hardboiled cop role. In order to get into character, he chooses to experience the real thing. He meets a loner cop (Woods), who needs help hunting down the notorious hitman, The Party Crasher (Stephen Lang).

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Just Like His Character

In the early 1990s, Michael J. Fox was just like his character; he was at a crossroads in his film career. His successful sitcom Family Ties had ended its run and he wrapped up the iconic Back to the Future trilogy. He needed a new role to regain momentum in Hollywood.

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A Risky Move

Fox teamed up with action-comedy director John Badham, who had previously directed Stakeout and Bird On a Wire. Fox knew The Hard Way would be a risk. To many critics, he was too “boyish” to star in an action film. But he was willing to give the movie a try, but unfortunately, it didn’t work too well in his favor.

Universal Pictures

Considered A Flop

Sadly, The Hard Way failed at the box office— only earning $25 million. The movie not only affected Fox’s film career, but it also hurt Badham. But despite the disappointment, some fans have remained loyal to the film since its 1991 release. According to many, it’s a movie you need to watch, but why?

Universal Pictures

Why It’s Actually Great

Like most films starring Michael J. Fox, The Hard Way should have become a classic. Many fans love the movie’s combination of comedy and action. Fox and Woods have undeniable onscreen chemistry. Like many films, it was unappreciated when it first released. But it’s time to give the movie another chance. It deserves attention.

Universal Pictures

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