02
Aug
07

Die Hard 4.0 – really dead now..

Die Hard 4.0 A couple of nights ago I went to see the new Die Hard movie, as I actually enjoyed the first three. I mean it’s Bruce! And, forgetting Hudson Hawk, how wrong can it go? In retrospect that was the illegitimate offspring of painful naivety and boundless optimism speaking there. The first Die Hard escapades made up for their preposterous plots and one dimensional characters by building a wonderful relationship between the John McLane character and the bizarre film world he’s placed inside. Each was like a special layer cake of crisis, conspiracy and jeopardy with just a sprinkling of sardonic humour. Where this fourth outing is a bland, horribly low fat affair that any overflying bluebottle would cross without landing, even to rest.
It makes me wonder if the makers of this one actually saw the first three, it has almost no relation to them other than having a character called John McLane in it. None of the other characters appear in it at all, not even Bonnie Bedelia turns up as his now ex-wife Holly, she’s seen only in an old production photo!
Actually, maybe they saw the script and passed whatever contrived appearance had be planned, I’ve no idea. How cool would a Richard Thornburg (William Atherton) or Sgt. Al Powell (Reginald Veljohnson) cameo been? Very, but they passed on those too. Instead 90% of the movie is Matt Farrell (Justin Long) and Bruce, and for roughly that time Bruce plays ‘Mr unappreciated’ and Long plays ‘I’m young and shocked’…to the point of utter tedium. To be fair Bruce actually looks bored with this role from the second he arrives on screen to the last frame, and Justin Long’s expression could be interpreted as ‘hey – that Herbie movie wasn’t so bad after all’.
But where this Die Hard really goes wrong is in the villain, Thomas Gabriel (played by Timothy Olyphant ) who is about as threatening as a Ernie from Sesame Street. Given the track record here of Alan Rickman and others I’d of thought they’d of gone for someone with more depth than this, but they didn’t. I was impressed with Olyphant in DeadWood, but this performance has me quite worried about the Hitman project he’s currently doing.
I could warble on about the other arbitrary characters in this production, like McLane daughter, but frankly I didn’t care if her character lived or died, so she was hardly worthy of discussion. I could also mention the Kevin Smith cameo, other than it might encourage him to squeeze his slight frame into yet another movie franchise he once liked. In this one he couldn’t even be bothered to learn his lines, as he quite blatantly appears to be reading some of them from cue cards out of shot. I’d of found Pee Wee Herman a more convincing hacker than Smith. I was embarrassed for Bruce and Kevin in that scene.
In the end this movie was overly long, and my life too short.
Note to Hollywood; Please stop taking old well loved TV shows and Film franchises and crapping on them from orbit!

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