3 June 2006 | sol-kay
When those guns hit the street a lot of our boys are gonna get killed
**SPOILERS** Very similar to the Jean-Claude-Van Damme 1990 prison hell raiser "Death Warrent". The film "Hard Justice" has ATF agent Nick Adams go undercover in a state penitentiary to uncover the murder of his friend and fellow ATF undercover agent Larry. Who was murdered when he got wind of a major gun smuggling ring working out of the prison.
At the start of the movie Nick, with very little help from the ATF, is involved in a shoot-out with a number of hoods belonging to a local L.A Asian street gang. Nick was not able to prevent, when he kicked up his gun that he was forced to drop, the murder of a young woman by gang leader Jimmy Wong. who he was holding the woman hostage. Sick and depressed over the woman's death Nick dropped out of sight until the tragic news of Larry's murder hit him.
Determined to find Larry's killer, or killers, Nick has himself put behind bars as a convicted criminal. Not just to track down Larry's killers but find out what he uncovered. That later lead to Larry's murder. Nick finds that the very officials in both the prison and his own law enforcement government agency, the ATF, were not only behind Larry's death but are running a major gun smuggling ring right out of the state penitentiary!
With Warden Pike in charge who together with his captain of the guards Riggs the two are working with convicts Lee & Chow ,two top Asian street gang members. The two convicts are using the prison basement to store enough guns to equip an entire US Marine battalion. Nick's cover is blown as soon as he enter the "clink" by someone very high up in the ATF. Knowing that's he's an undercover cop, or ATF agent, Nick is a marked man with no one to help him in or outside of prison and has to battle it out with the scores of vengeful and homicidal prisoners who are out to murder him.
The film "Hard Justice" is saved by it's almost non-stop action scenes, that ends with an amazing helicopter chase and fight sequence on and over the streets of L.A. That makes you forget just how ridicules it's plot really is, especially the connection between the AFT prison Warden Pike and the Asian street gang. With Charles Napier giving the best acting performance in the movie as the corrupt and, what later turns out to be, crazed Warden Pikes. Pikes who was a POW in Vietnam never seemed to have gotten over his psychosis of being in prison. When he came back to the states, after being released by the Viet Cong, Pikes could only feel at home in a lock-up; but this time as the the guy in charge not the one behind bars.
David Bradley as ATF agent Nick Adams was, as expected, very good in his fight action scenes but his acting, that you wouldn't expected much of, was a lot better then you would have expected it to be. What I couldn't figure out about Nick was why he had a fresh head wound over his left eye all throughout the movie, who's story took place well over a week in movie time. Without it ever healing or even being dressed and covered with a band-aid?