December 14, 1998 12:00 PM

TNT (Sun., Dec. 13, 8 p.m. ET)

“What are you going to do when you get too old to punch any noses?” an attractive female lawyer (Mia Sara) asks a tough but graying cop (Burt Reynolds) in this TV movie. It’s a searching question for the star as well as his character. After the 62-year-old Reynolds earned an Oscar nomination for playing an aging pornographer in 1997’s Boogie Nights, we figured he might see the advantage of accepting nonpunching roles. But here he is in the first of three TNT outings (the second is due next year) as Logan McQueen, an unorthodox Miami policeman who is slightly over the hill but still quick with his dukes. The poorly developed plot, in which the protagonist is wrongly accused of killing a suspect, is punctuated by tired banter between Reynolds and Charles Durning, as his surrogate father and police partner (looking way overdue for retirement). Reynolds also directed, so he bears some responsibility for a pace so slow that Hard Time sometimes feels like a trilogy in itself. There’s a decent twist at the end, but it’s not worth waiting for.

Bottom Line: Don’t sentence yourself to this

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