Exploring similar themes than Taxi Driver, only having the seedy underbelly of LA as its location, Hardcore doesn't take the easy route of completely moralizing the sex industry, but explores the sleaziness from the perspective of a confused and uncomfortable outsider. And let's face it: the sex industry, like everything else, has its dark side. It's not all fun and games and people who do it for pure pleasure.
Not as nuanced as some say, not as puritanical as others say. Perhaps that's the problem, the film never feels like it a foothold until the climax. Which is essentially a Taxi Driver rehash. George C. Scott & Peter Boyle are excellent as always, special mention goes to Season Hubley's character who makes the audience care for the Scott's character more than we should
"Well then we're just alike. I mean, you think sex is so unimportant that you don't even do it. I think it's so unimportant that I don't care who I do it with." Complicated in its sexual politics, HARDCORE could have taken a morally righteous stand on its topic, but it doesn't, and offers something much more nuanced instead.
A curio which further shows the versatility of George C. Scott, again bringing dynamism, energy and reality to his role. Playing a zealous father coming from a place of righteousness, he finds himself traveling narrow-mindedly through an unknown and alien world. A squalid, existential and underrated gem.