Hard words. I know plenty of hard words, like, “Are you callin’ my pint a poof?” and, “I shagged yer mam… and she was shite!”, all of them perfect for an evening of binge drinking, slobbering at the bar, trying to impress some slapper whose beer-gut, spilling from beneath her bright yellow crop-top, is ridden with purple, rope-like stretch marks and whose high-heels can barely support her rippling, flabby gas-fire legs. It’s amazing, you know, how much like Brad Pitt you appear to the ladies, when you find the smallest, softest-looking bloke in the pub and try out a Hard Word or two on him. Even the classiest chick will forgive you puking all over her carpet for that.
Australian director Scott Roberts’ The Hard Word is also known as Blood And Guts, which is in itself a damn good reason to watch it. Basically, three brothers (“Dale’s the smart one, Mal’s the good one and I’m the fuck up,” as Shane, the fuck-up, explains), together with their crooked lawyer, Frank (who’s also been banging Dale’s missus), try to rip off the bookies at the Melbourne Cup, only to have their master-plan go tits-up when one of Frank’s psychotic heavies freaks out and lets rip willy-nilly with his shooter.
For the most part, The Hard Word is a fairly light-hearted film, focussing on its array of fairly inept, unusual but still likeable, characters rather than prolonged scenes of graphic sex and violence. Indeed, the most shocking aspect here is the extensive four-letter language, strong enough to make a sailor blush. But suddenly, during the big job, the movie’s tone changes in the blink of an eye and The Hard Word becomes an extremely savage, vicious spectacle, and although the film’s humour returns within a few minutes, there’s a pretty dark cloud hanging over The Hard Word up until it’s pretty drawn out (too much so, I’d say) conclusion.
Since Reservoir Dogs, modern gangster films have been pretty much the same, and many of them are fairly average, and The Hard Word is really no exception. But at the same time it’s very well made, fairly exciting and, most importantly, bloody good fun. In fact, if you want to see a bunch of crude fuck-ups firing guns whilst simultaneously turning the air blue, then this is one good place to be, as it is if you want to see sexy Rachel Griffiths wiping her fanny-batter on the window in the prison visiting room.