Skip to content

The Kenny Powers Indoor Jet Ski Action Scene Awards: Hard Rain vs. Deep Rising

January 5, 2018


No sooner is there an indoor jet ski chase in “Hard Rain” than there’s one in “Deep Rising.”

Roger Ebert, 1998

In January 1998, 20 years ago this month, Hard Rain (01/16) and Deep Rising (01/30) were released and had several things in common.

  1. Critics really disliked them.
  2. Water played a main role
  3. They featured indoor jet ski action scenes that featured people driving through narrow corridors while being chased.

If you’ve been reading MFF for sometime you know that I’ve long been a fan of analyzing films that feature jet ski action scenes. There is something intrinsically boring in how jet ski actions scenes play out because they just go in straight lines and people simply wipe out into water when they crash.  I love how the films that feature these scenes have an average Rotten Tomatoes score of 29%, and average $59 million domestically (inflated) on $82 million budgets.

The following post breaks down the indoor jet ski action scenes featured in Hard Rain and Deep Rising and award one of the with the “Kenny Powers Jet Ski Action Scene Award.” There are 10 categories and whichever film has the most points wins. If there is a tie, the film with the higher critic/audience average wins.

Here are the jet ski  clips and some facts for each film.

Hard Rain: 

  • Tomatometer Average: 29%
  • IMDb score: 5.8
  • $70 million budget / $20 million domestic gross
  • Best Roger Ebert line from his review:

 By the time we finally arrived at the story, I was essentially watching a documentary about wet actors at work


Deep Rising

  • Tomatometer Average 31%
  • IMDb Score: 6.0
  • $50 million budget and $11 million domestic gross
  • Best Roger Ebert line from his review:

The owner of the ship (Anthony Heald) makes several speeches boasting about how stable it is; it can stay level even during a raging tempest. I wonder if those speeches were inserted after the filmmakers realized how phony their special effects look.



Here are the 10 categories and the points allotted

  1. Were the jet skis heavily featured in the marketing? (-1)
  2. Did the jet skis outrun an explosion? (+1)
  3. Which film represented indoor jet skiing more appropriately? (+1)
  4. Did the characters think they looked awesome while riding? (-1)
  5. Did the jet skis do anything other than go in a straight line? (+1)
  6. Did the characters say something similar  to “YYYYEEEEAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH” while bursting through something? (+1)
  7. Who started on the jet ski? The good guys or the bad guys? (+1 bad guys) (-1 good guys)
  8. Do you think that somebody on set said “We gotta have more jet ski!” while filming? (-1 if “yes”)
  9. Were the jet skis needed? (+1 if “yes”)
  10. Were any of the characters featured in Goldeneye? (+1)

Deep Rising – 1 point (1,2,4,5,6,7 (-1), 8, 9, 10)

Treat Williams was acting like a motherf***ing boss on that jet ski and I never bought one second of it. The dude was flying around like a maniac and never had to worry about debris or smooshing into a wall. Also, the jet ski was featured on the movie poster and I 100% guarantee (zero proof) everyone on set was giving each other high fives when they were filming the indoor jet ski scene.  Thus, it can’t muster more than one point.

Hard Rain – 6 points (3, 5, 6, 7 (+1), 9, 10)

I appreciate that Hard Rain featured an indoor jet ski scene that was cumbersome, awkward and practical. Nobody looked cool, and whenever they had to turn it was a nightmare because of all the debris floating around. Hard Rain is not a good movie, but it respected us enough to realize that jet skiing around hallways would look dumb. I earnestly applaud you Hard Rain and I’m stoked you won the first annual Kenny Powers Jet Ski Action Scene Award!

Next up: Transporter 2 vs. Transporter: Refueled.



No comments yet

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

%d bloggers like this: