29th Aug2013

‘Hard Rush’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones, Randy Couture, Gianni Capaldi, Carly Pope, William McNamara | Written by Agustin | Directed by Giorgio Serafini


At the rate Dolph Lundgren is pumping out direct to market action movies, you get the feeling that a quality script is not his highest priority – after all many of his recent solo efforts have been severely lacking in both story and action, with only Stash House coming anywhere close to being a top-notch action flick. Thankfully Lundgren’s ratio of good to bad movies seems to be in his favour this time out and Hard Rush hits plenty of action-movie targets, even if it does succumb to a lot of genre cliches and stereotypes.

Lundgren stars as DEA Agent Maxwell who is closing in on an international cocaine smuggling operation run out of L.A. by criminal mastermind Vincent Camastra (Jones). When Maxwell sends his lover and fellow DEA agent, Beverly, undercover and she finds herself deeper than she can handle, the case becomes personal and he finds himself combating ruthless killers and dirty cops in his quest to bring Camastra and his cohorts to justice.

When does Dolph Lundgren ever sleep? Over-taking Steven Seagal as the currently most-prolific DTV action hero, Lundgren seems to be on a roll, seemingly embracing his mono-syllabic performance style and aligning himself with some great supporting actors. This time round Lundgren works alongside one of my favourite, and under-rated, Canadian actresses, Carly Pope (Popular, 24) and Britains’ very own movie hard man, Vinnie Jones. However, and this is the real surprise, the real star of Hard Rush is Randy Couture! It seems Couture’s time working on The Expendables and DTV flicks such as Hijacked have actually allowed Couture to hone his acting skills and here he makes for brilliant reckless dirty cop. And whilst there’s a much greater calibre of acting in Hard Rush, at least compared to others of its ilk, what really raises the film above its movie brethren is the action and stunt sequences, which were apparently directed by Jimmy Lui (Man of Tai Chi) and Benny “The Jet” Urquidez – two legends of martial arts moviemaking.

Of course Hard Rush can’t compare to multi-million dollar action flicks like The Expendables (the budget isn’t there for a start), but it is a great example of what can be done on a tight budget with a group of dedicated actors and crew. It would seem that Lundgren has found a great group of guys to work with (Giorgio Serafini, Agustin), making this film stand head and shoulders above the majority of the direct to market dross we’re subjected to on an almost weekly basis. I’ve no doubt this is due to the different experiences of those behind the scenes – Serafini has a real European snsibility to his direction and Agustin’s script has an authentic “street” feel. Thankfully some of the crew are also behind the scenes for Lundgren’s next two movies – Blood of Redemption and A Certain Justice – so that bodes very well for those!

A hard-hitting action flick with a great story and great performances, Hard Rush is released on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on September 23rd by Signature Entertainment.

9 Responses to “‘Hard Rush’ Review”

  • CMF

    How is STASH HOUSE close to being a top notch action film since it’s more of a thriller with no action whatsoever?

    How can you dismiss the fact that Lundgren, Jones and Couture are not the main characters but unknown Daniel Bonjour and Gianni Capaldi are?

    Don’t mean to be rude but that doesn’t read like a legit review but PR promo.

    • Phil Wheat

      I think STASH HOUSE qualifies as an action movie – I said so in my review of the film back when it was released. Yes, its a thriller but there’s plenty of action in it as well.

      As for “unknown Daniel Bonjour and Gianni Capaldi” as the main characters – I think Lundgren and Couture have as much screen time as those two. I was trying to point out how good Lundgren and Couture are in the film (as some of their films can be bloody awful) and I think they bring much more to the film than Daniel Bonjour and Gianni Capaldi.

      • Serrinda

        They bring more to the film than Daniel Bonjour and Gianni Capaldi? Have you watched it? I doubt it. Think that was a very harsh statement to make, I’ve previewed it unlike you, and those two stole the show.

        • Phil Wheat

          Let’s just say I saw the film a week ago and I already can’t remember much of Daniel Bonjour and Gianni Capaldi’s performances. But I definitely remember Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Carly Pope’s roles very clearly.

          • FilmPR

            You obviously haven’t seen the film, Gianni Capaldi’s role as Eddie is one of the most memorable and colorful characters of the film. This is obviously a PR review.

          • Phil Wheat

            It’s that’s what you think then fair enough… I could take a photo of the UK DVD screener disc I was sent to review the film if that will convince you.

            Or is it more likely you’re a PR working to promote Gianni Capaldi? Seems that way to me.

  • FilmPR

    No, I review like you, but when you failed to comment on the two main characters to opt for a commercial twist (Lundgren and Couture) then it needed pointed out. Hardly acting greats.

    Question has to be asked, are you working to promote Lundgren?

    I also have to agree in the STASH HOUSE debate. Top notch action film?

  • oigroig

    Thank you for the review. It made my day. Gianni and Daniel did an outstanding job. So did the rest of the cast. Let’s not forget DP Marco Cappetta, editor Scott Evans, score, producers…etc. A team is really what it takes to do a movie. When the team is great the movie has a chance. otherwise it doesn’t. One thing is sure is that I don’t know Phil Wheat and he doesn’t work for my PR, therefore I can only thank him for the words he wrote as far as I am concerned. I had a blast shooting this one. G

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