The Hard Word

2002. Directed by Scott Roberts.

THE SHOT: Guy Pearce and his gang of robbers are forced by an unscrupulous lawyer to undertake a job holding up a bookie convention.

TONE: Glib, sunny 00s noir.  Occasional violence, but mostly the protagonists don’t seem too concerned about anything going on, even when they find out they’re being set up to be killed.

THE JOB GOES SOUTH WHEN: You’ll never guess, but there’s a last-minute addition of — A TRIGGER-HAPPY, SHOTGUN WIELDING MANIAC!  In an ironic twist, he is also dyslexic.  And hilarity ensues.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Strange romantic subplots that start out of nowhere, end suddenly and have no impact on the narrative.  And, quite a bit more about blood sausage than I care to know.

LIFE LESSON: Women, apparently, are good after all.

DOES CRIME PAY? Ultimately, yes, very well.  A number of headaches on the way, but once you finally kill someone who needs to be killed, you get to be really cool.  Your gang even gets the slow-motion Reservoir Dogs “walking to the job in sunglasses” shot.

In a final, ironic twist, we never find out what the hard word is. Unless it refers to being able to understand some lower-class Australian criminal slang.
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