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Television Review

Reynolds' 'Hard Time' Gives Viewers a Rather Difficult Time

December 12, 1998|STEVEN LINAN

"Hard Time," a TNT crime drama directed by and starring Burt Reynolds, is hardly worth it. Your time, that is.

Back on the small screen since his Oscar nomination for "Boogie Nights" and Emmy-winning role on "Evening Shade," Reynolds turns in a droll, understated performance as a laconic police detective with a rep for stepping "over the line."

Unfortunately, the film's plot and pacing are as tired and flat-footed as Logan McQueen, the maverick cop Reynolds portrays.

Early on, the character huffs and puffs along the streets and back alleys of Miami in a bid to catch the bad guy who snatched a suitcase carrying a cool half-million belonging to a local gangster (Robert Loggia).

Logan subsequently becomes the fall guy for a politically motivated district attorney (Billy Dee Williams) when another perp is murdered and a chunk of the money vanishes.

Ultimately, the story entwines greed and betrayal, but it's never executed in a manner that is fresh or compelling.

Reynolds, whose directing credentials include the films "Gator" and "Sharkey's Machine," shares the screen with Charles Durning, who plays his over-the-hill partner, and Mia Sara, providing support as his alluring attorney.

Try as he might, Reynolds fails to generate any interest in this mundane cop caper, which does not bode well for the cable channel's next two installments of the McQueen trilogy.

* "Hard Time" can be seen Sunday at 8 and 10 p.m. on TNT. The network has rated it TV-14-LV (may be unsuitable for children under the age of 14, with advisories for coarse language and violence).

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