Hazard Poster

Hazard (2022) Review

Noah Hazard (Dimitri ‘Vegas’ Thivaios, It’s a Wonderful Knife, Yummy) loves his girlfriend Lea (Jennifer Heylen, Northern Lights, Under Fire) and their daughter Zita (Mila Rooms). But more than that, he loves his car, a gold Lexus bearing the vanity plate H4Z4RD, which was also the film’s original title. Indeed, Hazard opens with him spending so much time taking care of it that he’s almost late picking them up, something that gives Lea’s mother (Sylvie Nawasadio, Two Much for the Job) another reason to complain about him.

After dropping Zita off at school and Lea at work, he promises to pick the girl up at 3:30. He wants to go have the chip in his windshield fixed, but he has other obligations. He’s agreed to do a job for his not so bright cousin Carlos (Jeroen Perceval, Dealer, Fair Trade) but what was supposed to be “just a little spin” soon has him picking up the Hitler-moustached Kludde (Frank Lammers, D-Railed, All Inclusive) from prison and driving him to the location of some drugs he and Carlos say will be easy to steal.

Mila Rooms

It’s maybe not surprising that the director of Cub, Jonas Govaerts, and the writer of It Came From the Desert and Mad Heidi, Trent Hagga, would team up for a film. The fact it’s not a horror film but an over the top car and crime film, shot entirely from inside the car no less, is. I was concerned that having the entire film shot from within Hazard’s Lexus might lead to a lot of gimmicky, repetitive shots, but Govaerts and cinematographer Dries Delputte (Thieves of the Wood, Hidden Assets) are quite creative when it comes to ways to frame shots and I soon stopped noticing it.

What you can’t help but notice however is the way Hazard goes well over the top. You know a simple job never turns out that way, and this “easy score” becomes anything but easy when Hazard’s car is identified by its vanity plate and Zita is kidnapped. Leaving Noah and the high AF Carlos racing against time through the streets of Antwerp to recover what’s left of the stolen drugs, risking his life, and his car, to save her.

Hazard 1

Hazard includes some animated hallucination sequences showing viewers the effects of whatever it was that they stole on Carlos, but the plot has so many bizarre characters and incidents that they really aren’t needed. From grenade loving gangsters, an escaped wolf and, perhaps strangest of all, a security guard (Tom Vermeir, Soil, The Hive) who gives a whole new meaning to auto-eroticism there’s plenty of weirdness without chemical intervention.

If EDM is your music of choice, you may recognize Hazard’s star Dimitri Thivaios from his work as half of the DJ team Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and there is plenty of music playing on the soundtrack, much of which is actually identified in the subtitles. This may be the first film I’ve seen with a built-in playlist. And even if, like me, you’re not a huge fan of EDM there’s no denying its tempo fits many of the film’s driving scenes.

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At times, watching Hazard may feel more like watching someone playing Grand Theft Auto: Belgium than a movie, the results are quite entertaining as the characters race from one outrageous, frequently bloody, incident to the next. Incidents that show Hagga’s twisted mind isn’t good only for writing horror, after this I’d love to see his take on a bloody British gangster film.

Overall, Hazard is a fast-paced, fun, and darkly funny crime film that should prove to be well worth a rental for fans of the genre, especially those with a slightly warped sense of humour.

Already released in its home country and elsewhere, Hazard has now been released to North American VOD and Digital Platforms by Samuel Goldwyn Films.

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