Release dateOctober 28, 1996 CastKeith Brown, Ken Campbell, Vincent Regan, Lee Ross Similar moviesLock - Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
TaglineYou Call. They Deliver. It Ain't Pizzas.
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Hard Men is a 1996 British crime gangster black comedy film directed by J. K. Amalou. A forerunner to Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, it was originally shown at the London Film Festival on 28 October 1996. It was released in cinemas on 28 February 1997.
The plot resolves around three friends Tone (Vincent Regan), Speed (Lee Ross) and Bear (Ross Boatman) working as debt collectors on behalf of notorious crime boss Pops Den (Mad Frank Fraiser). Tone discovers he has a baby daughter and decides to retire from gangster life. Pops Den subsequently orders Bear and Speed to kill Tone and to deliver his hand at 9am the following day. The story shows the fears that Bear and Speed have, while trying to think of a way to kill Tone by giving him one last big night to remember.
Hard Men received mixed reviews. Loaded gave the film a positive review and went on to say "In a nutshell, The Krays meets Reservoir Dogs." On the other hand Variety wrote a negative review, as they felt that the "Film has a consistently interesting look on an obviously meagre budget, with atmospheric use of grungy London locations and much use of close-ups in dialogue sequences. The latter, unfortunately, only serve to emphasize the script’s weaknesses."