Die Hard 4.0

Get me! No more of this damn, I meant to go see… If not the first showing, I’m at least in the cinema for the first day. Blimey, it’s busy. Maybe I should’ve gone see the Piaf movie. Ssshhh, you lot.

The first Die Hard movie is a classic. Possibly the ultimate high concept action/thriller. It may not have invented the genre, but it’s certainly one of the great exemplars. One man, one location, he’d rather not be there, but it’s personal and he’s got no shoes. Genius. For Die Harder they gave him shoes, but moved it up from one tower block to an airport. It a film built almost entirely around the joke of here we go again. And, to an extent it worked. By Die Hard With A Vengeance we were into big money franchise territory, and he’s got a whole city to play with. It’s a good solid bang-for-bucks movie but the elements that made the original so great are nearly diluted beyond all recognition. The fact that this was a touch-up of a script that had been sitting on the shelf (after cheap knock-off Under Siege managed to – pretty admirably it must be said – beat them to the idea of an ocean liner) is writ very large across the screen.

And so to Life Free Or Die Hard (as it’s rather uncoolly called stateside) wherein it’s the entire western seaboard of the states that he gets to run around. So, he doesn’t want to be there? Check! Nasty terrorist types? Check! (In fact, this time they’re cyber-terrorists bringing the nation to it’s knees in a story inspired by John Carlin‘s prophetic A Farewell To Arms article.) Is there a loved one in jeopardy? Erm…check. In fact the whole let’s-kidnap-his-daughter element of this film only comes into it quite late on and really does seem terribly tacked on. Which is kinda the problem with the whole thing. There are plot wholes you could drive an eighteen wheeler (being chased by an F-35 – more of which later) through. Character, tension all that rigmarole is dispensed with aand replaced by the sheer joy of BLOWING THINGS UP!!!.

If truth be told, there’s no need for Bruce Willis to be reprising the role of John McClane in this movie other than the box-office pulling power he/the franchise brings with it. This is simply a movie that moves from one insane set piece to another, at breakneck (often literally) speed. This could well be possibly the biggest loudest stupidest action movie ever made. Suspension of disbelief? Not bloody likely. Gawping in disbelief, more likely. Is watching a F35 bomber chase a big rig truck about Baltimore‘s version of spaghetti junction your idea of fun? Then this is for you. If not, what’s up with you?

And, yeah, he’s got shoes in this one.

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Written by Tony Kiernan

06 July 2007 at 3:02 pm

Posted in Film

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