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Review: Hard Night Falling

Posted on December 10, 2019 by

Dolph Lundgren has had success in the past in Die Hardesque movies like the incredibly fun Command Performance but his latest, Hard Night Falling, is, unfortunately, a sloppy, boring mess.

Dolph stars as Michael Anderson, a veteran Interpol agent who is attending a fancy gala at an Italian villa to try and reconnect with his estranged wife and daughter.  Unfortunately for Anderson, the host of the gala is hiding a cache of extremely valuable gold coins, which is the target of mercenary/thief Goro (Hal Yamanouchi) and his men, who take over the villa and take everyone hostage. Anderson has to get his wife and daughter to safety and get word to his elite Interpol team to come and assist in resolving the situation.  One of the major issues of Hard Night falling is that it fails to really establish the space (or characters or really anything).  The best movies in the Die Hard scenario genre establish the location our hero will be trapped in and then a lot of the fun is how the hero exploits that space.  It’s never clear in Hard Night Falling where anyone is or where rooms are in relation to each other and it also feels like the most casual Die Hard hostage situation in movie history, as it seems like Dolph can just come and go as he pleases.  When his team arrives to assist, they also seem to just be able to come and go at will, which drastically lowers the stakes and tension to almost nothing.  There’s also really no sense of characters or background information.  It kind of feels like you just jumped into a random episode of a TV show that is two or three seasons in and expects you to just know the characters and plot setup.  Dolph disappears for large periods and his team is a boring, barely defined trio, one of whom literally does nothing for the entire movie.  Things happen in the plot that seemingly come out of nowhere because nothing feels established or explained.

In a rare occurrence, Dolph really feels like he’s going through the motions here, like he showed up because he was contractually obligated but gives nothing to the character and seemingly wants to be anywhere else.  The rest of the cast kind of blends into a stew of mediocre, unknown actors except fro Hal Yamanouchi, the one main bright point of the movie.  Yamanouchi gives a villain performance that deserves a much better movie, chewing scenery, leaning into his villainy and just seeming like he’s the only one having a good time.

Hard Night Falling is a sloppy and boring mess that wastes the charisma and action chops of Dolph and fails to do anything with it’s tried and true premise.  If you’re looking for an actually legitimately fun and well done Die Hardesque movie with Dolph, definitely check out the previously mentioned Command Performance instead and just skip this one.

(Hard Night Falling is on DVD, On Demand and Digital now)

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