The Hurricane (1999)

Who can Denzel not play!

Denzel Washington lands a knockout punch as Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a prizefighter who — at the zenith of his boxing career — finds himself wrongly convicted of a triple homicide and sentenced to three life terms. While in prison, Carter pens his autobiography, which inspires Brooklyn teen Lesra Martin (Vicellous Reon Shannon) and a trio of Canadian advocates (Liev Schreiber, John Hannah and Deborah Unger) to help prove Carter’s innocence.

From the first 30 minutes of this film it didn’t prove to be anything special. Actually, if anything it just proved to be a bit sloppy. I didn’t understand what the intention of how to tell this story was, but it started to grow on me.

The one thing that this film does is that it doesn’t take the old cliche route of telling the story of The Hurricane from birth all the way up through his years as a boxer. We get a short glimpse of how his childhood was ruined, and then we go into his older life before he was put in prison. I think this added a new sense of story-telling for these kinds of stories and works in more ways than one.

The film is very powerful with it’s statement. It does bring out a big sense of heart within you and actually does get you into the story as it did for me. You see yourself cheering for The Hurricane as he’s going through his miserable life.

The film did have some lows however. I think that Director Norman Jewison should have focused more on how The Hurricane survived being inside of those bars, and how he changed as a person. Also, the film’s facts are a little or too way of. I think that the film creates these ideas of what really happened and spins them in their own way for the dramatic effect. In some ways, I didn’t mind this but I know how the real story goes and it’s not quite like this.

Denzel once again plays his ass out! This is one of Denzel’s best acting performances that I’ve seen from him, as he shows that he can play a character with such anger and rage, and let it all out and make it seem believable. I didn’t like how they casted Dan Hedaya and had him acting like such a bad-guy just because he looked like one.

Consensus: The Hurricane is a powerful film that boasts a fresh way of story-telling and a excellent performance from Washington, but seems to suffer from some inaccuracies, and a slight bit of misfires.



  1. Great post.

    I’ll be posting a podcast on Monday where we actually talk about Denzel Washington movies in honour of BOOK OF ELI, and I spent a good little while talking about this one, as I believe it’s one of his very best. For me, it was actually his Oscar winning performance – the TRAINING DAY win was just a make up award for not getting it right the first time.

    Oh, and I also gravitate towards this film for the scenes shot in my hometown of Toronto!

  2. My main problem with “The Hurricane” is Dan Hedaya’s character, who has about 1/18th of an inch of depth. Denzel, however, gives a dependably strong performance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s