Zombie Politics

I drank your milkshake.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Is There a Third Option?

Live Free or Die Hard (from hereon out I'll simply call it Die Hard 4.0 because conceptually and thematically that title works much, much better) is a truly awful mess of a movie. People keep asking me if there's any redeeming quality to the movie, and I confessed there were a couple of good shots during a few of the action sequences, but considering the severe lack of originality, I'm sure they appeared elsewhere before (one reminded me of that sweet over-the-motorcycle shot from Paycheck, and Paycheck was a pretty terrible movie). When you long for the glory days of Paycheck, you know the movie you're watching is dreadful.

Another good thing is that guy who played Han in Fast and the Furious: Toyko Drift was in it. I really like that guy (and I liked that movie even more - Sonny Chiba as the Yakuza godfather? BRILLIANT.)

All the flaws of Die Hard 4.0 can be traced back to a single fundamental truth: doing stuff on the computer is fucking boring. No amount of jazzy editing (trust me, there's tons) or artificial graphics (computer hacking in real life never has the same level of gee-whiz high speed hijinks it has in the movies, but mercifully the 'zooming through the internet' shots from the script have been abandoned) can make people typing on a keyboard interesting. Why they decided to build an entire movie around it, much less a Die Hard movie, is beyond me. It's almost as if Hackers, The Net, Antitrust, Firewall, and that Instant Message conversation in Closer, taught us nothing. It's just laughable. Could there be anything less threatening than “cyber terrorists?” Oh yes there could, and his name is Timothy Olyphant.

He's pretty much the worst villain ever, even worse than the naked yoga guy from Die Hard 2: Die Harder. I think you can actually feel him becoming a terrible actor as the movie trudges forward. And that's not to say Olyphant is terrible all the time, he's actually been quite good, in stuff like Go, Scream 2, and Dreamcatcher (guilty pleasure). But my god, he seems to redefine the term “wooden” with this one.

Other things that are groan-inducing about Die Hard 4.0:

Its seeming never-ending running time

The fact that the climax is ripped off from True Lies, with a little bit of Mission: Impossible 3 thrown in for good measure

Them slapping around Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who I love

The awful dubbing that looks about as convincing as a TNT broadcast of Pulp Fiction (and everyone claimed they “shot it as a PG-13”)

Maggie Q as the femme fatale, proving once more that if you are Asian, you automatically know karate

The villains, who had different European accents but everyone understood everyone else and no backstory was given for any of them

Marco Beltrami's bland-as-fuck score ripping off cues from the first movie

Kevin Smith's cameo

Bruce Willis' creepily stalking his daughter

The ever-changing Bruce Willis head-scars

Timothy Olyphant's elaborate office space in the back of his big rig truck

and the best part ever...

That John McClane, who is not only an alcoholic (the third movie) but incredibly afraid of flying (the first two movies), pilots a helicopter like he downloaded the instructions into his brain a la The Matrix.

Len Wiseman has got to rest alongside Paul W.S. Anderson as one of the worst working directors in Hollywood. And I say working because, bafflingly, he keeps getting hired to do stuff. This is an ugly movie. Gone are any hint of the sheen he brought to the Underworld movies (which I also hate), with their deep, velveteen blacks and purples. This movie's color pallet is grey. That's it. Everything looks washed out, worn, and miserable. And that's how you'll feel, too, when you leave the theater.


Thank you, Fox, for continuing your trend of milking franchises long past their expiration date and putting them in the hands of talent-less hacks. This film will now proudly be placed alongside Alien vs. Predator, Garfield: Tale of Two Kitties, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, Elektra, X-Men 3: The Last Stand, and, most recently, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Goddamn, these movies blow.


Blogger Radio Free Burke said...

I can't say your review surprised me, I just wish this movie could be good. Can I just dream about my own conception of Die Hard 4 which is awesome and just, like, pretend that is what I'm watching. I might do that.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

What about the strained relationship between McClane and his daughter? All of their problems were solved because she gets kidnapped. I think they should have called the movie LIVE AND LET DIE HARD. And why were there so many homages to the first movie? It was ridiculous. The bad guys were so boring and horrible. They could do whatever the fuck they wanted! And Maggie Q was indestructible. Also, gone are the days of McClane getting his ass kicked. He was invincible! And why did he even battle the fighter jet?! It was completely unnecessary and ridiculous!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!! It had a few funny parts and a few good action sequences, but FUCK that movie. Bring back McTiernan.

12:45 PM  
Blogger bob said...

the only thing that sucked more than this movie is Drew on his knees taking a shot in the mouth

4:58 PM  

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