Road Hard movie full length review - Half The Hammer
I love Ace. I am one of donors in the credits of this movie.
Man, was this movie disappointing. And listening to Adam complain about critics' reviews is incredibly frustrating. (The LA Times's review, for example, is spot on. Negative reviews have nothing to do with Ace's politics.) A few illustrative points: 1. Show vs. Tell. Everywhere The Hammer succeeded -- construction, boxing, career frustration, romance, physical training -- it worked because the movie demonstrated those themes, without "telling" the viewer about the themes. Not so with Road Hard. Bruce was frustrated with his career; he describes his frustration. Bruce thinks he's funny; he says he's funny. Bruce can't stand his ex-wife; he says he can't stand his ex-wife. And so forth. The one exception to this is the nice conceit in which Bruce's stand-up routine is a voice-over for an actual on-the-road encounter with a motel receptionist.
2. Baby Doll. Oh, do I love Larry Miller. Oh, is this character lacking. In everything. It is a bad parody of bad showbiz agent parodies.
3. Diane Farr Romance. Not one part of this relationship was believable. From the way Farr's character off-handedly notes her first husband's death (?!?), to Bruce's heretofore unmentioned passion for woodworking upon his arrival at her workshop, to the climax of the movie ... it felt awfully rushed, like all the real exposition was on the cutting room floor.
4. Bruce. Question: is he the hero of this movie? Meaning, are we cheering for him? If yes, that's a problem, because he's a terrible person. This is the central hang-up in the movie. He treats his friends badly, his fans badly, and his potential employers badly. Then bitches about it. Daily listeners to Ace know it's obvious he loves his friends and family, and they know his other redemptive qualities. Bruce has none of them. His pure bitterness culminates in the dead-on-arrival, needlessly hateful line he gives to the homosexual casting agent. THIS is joke that makes the whole movie sink, for a lot of the reviewers. It may as well have been Bruce saying, "Shut up, faggot." It missed, by a long ways.
Others: the music was off, the stand-up felt like filler, and the reference to DAG's brilliant Teddy Pendegrast routine was limply presented.
All that said, I'll donate to the next venture.