“Hard Rain” – Action, Crime, Drama or Disaster Movie?

The next of my posts about movies which I studied for my article “Disaster Narratives by Design: Is Japan Different?” is about Hard Rain (Mikael Salomon, 1998). On IMDb this movie is classified as being ‘Action, Crime, Drama’ genres. IMDb has no ‘disaster’ genre, but I included this movie as Mitchell et al had done in their 2000 study on disaster movies. Although I didn’t include all of the movies from that study in my study (as I discuss in my article, I didn’t include Backdraft (Ron Howard 1991)) , I did try to include all if they met the definition of a disaster narrative that I used in the article. Hard Rain remained in the list on the basis that had it not been for the flood in the movie, there would have been no story at all.

A summary of the movie on IMDb is as follows:

The nephew of an armoured-truck driver tries to prevent three million dollars from being taken by a local rival gang during a catastrophic flooding caused by a severe storm.


Much like Firestorm, Hard Rain is much more of a crime story than a conventional disaster movie. The focus of the protagonists is responding to the crime rather than the disaster – the disaster is just another thing that has to be handled. Perhaps because of this, in terms of the revised list of conventions that I developed as part of my article “Disaster Narratives by Design: Is Japan Different?“, the movie scored only 10 out of the 17. The movie currently has an average of 5.9 on IMDb – which may have been boosted by the inclusion of Morgan Freeman and Christian Slater in the cast rather than anything to do with the plot itself.

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