DVD Review
by Rachel Buccicone

    MOVIE: **** (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5 stars)

    Henry Thomas as PAUL WESTON
    Vera Farmiga as DR. CHARLIE BROOKS
    David Boreanaz as ROGER HARGITAY
    Nick Lachey as JASON BURNS
    Gary Busey as VINNIE

    Rated R
    Studio: HBO

    Directed by: Ari Ryan
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I didn’t have an opinion about “The Hard Easy” one way or the other until I saw Nick Lachey’s name on the cover. Luckily, Jessica Simpson’s ex-hubby doesn’t hold a large enough part to harm the film.

“The Hard Easy” starts at the end with a glimpse of a diamond robbery attempted simultaneously by two different groups of theives. The remainder of the film chronicles the events of the week prior to this robbery thus explaining how all individuals became involved.

We first meet Paul Weston (Henry Thomas) gambling his life away in Vegas. We quickly learn that Paul has been on a losing streak for six months and owes a couple million dollars to loan shark who threatens to kill his ex-wife before breaking his finger.

Paul’s friend Vinnie (Gary Busey) first sends him to the female Dr. Brooks (Vera Farmiga) who splints his finger and later seduces him. Next, Vinnie presents Paul with a scheme that will relieve his debt. All he has to do is be the forth member of a crew set to rip off 15 million dollars-worth of diamonds.

Meanwhile, Roger Hargitay (David Boreanaz), his two colleagues and his boss are in some trouble as their floating, phony bond operation has backfired. The group needs at least four million dollars to keep reimburse investors and keep themselves out of jail.

“The Hard Easy” is actually a very good story and reminds me in some ways of films like “Snatch” and “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”. There is not one dull moment from start to the very twist-filled end. Additionally, the robbery scene is shown repeatedly from a few different perspectives, thus breaking traditional linear narrative form.

My only complaint is with some of the writing, mostly for the boss character in the white-collar group. His dialogue is filled with too many clever, sarcastic remarks to convince us anyone actually speaks in that manner.

The acting was not bad. Nick Lachey’s part could have been played by anyone and he brought very little enthusiasm to the role, but what are we to expect from a former pop star. The two leads, David Boreanaz (“Bones” [TV]) and Henry Thomas (“Gangs of New York”) are both seasoned actors without being big names, and they deliver impressive performances.

The editing and cinematography on this film was rather impressive. Fast editing and sound effects made the film compelling to watch and created an entire movie that seem action-packed. Oblique angles made things more interesting to watch throughout.

The bonus features are brief with audio commentary with the director and producer plus a behind-the-scenes interview with the director.

While neither an action film nor a Nick Lachey fan, I found “The Hard Easy” a very entertaining and well thought-out picture. Anyone interested in action movies should definitely see this, while I’m sure the majority of people with other tastes (like me) wouldn’t be disappointed by “The Hard Easy” either.

Specifications: 5.1 Audio. Widescreen (16:9). English Language Track. English and Spanish Subtitles.

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