George C. Scott stars as Jake Van Dorn, a conservative man whose strong values have served him well in life. He is a man of means, neither frugal nor wasteful with his money, who one day discovers that his precious little girl has been appearing in X-rated porno films. Paul Schrader's Hardcore is a grimy, dirty look into the underground world of pornography, following Jake Van Dorn as he goes on a desperate search to locate, and bring his daughter home. As far as I am concerned, Paul Schrader is one of the most underrated filmmakers in the history of American cinema. Prone to explore and dissect the underbelly of America in his films, Hardcore turns his sights on the X-rated film industry with some fantastic results. George C. Scott gives one of the best performances of his entire career as this father figure. He brings such a subdued furiosity to the role, capturing the disgust, confusion and anger which one would imagine a father going through this would endure. Schrader's direction combined with stellar visuals and sound design create this great atmosphere of filth and intrigue, effectively transporting into Jake Van Dorn's POV - seeing a strange, grimey world which is as alien to him as another planet. While the score is amazing at capturing Van Dorn's increasing anger and emotion, my one complaint would be that it comes off a little too overbearing at times. Nevertheless, Paul Schrader's Hardcore is a great film chronicling a man's dissent into a strange world, in which it is clear that this man's anger and hatred are approaching a tipping point. Essentially, It's a film that is similar to Joel Schumaker's better known '8mm', though far superior in showing a character's strongest attributes confronted by the environment around him.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.