Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard

What's that you say? Another Die Hard movie? Great! I've never missed a Die Hard movie. I'll tell you that much. When I was in 2nd grade, sometime there in the late 80s, I had every line in the first Die Hard movie memorized. "Ho! Ho! Ho! Now I have a machine gun." "Welcome to the party pal." "Come out to California, have a few laughs." What great cinematic intensity! While the stupid level went up for the 2nd and 3rd Die Hards, they were still an enjoyable ride. Nothing to set your clock by for an annual viewing with friends all wearing Die Hard themed costumes, but it didn't take much for me to get into the spirit of John McClane. So my roughly 90 minutes in the theater with A Good Day to Die Hard felt like some kind of bad joke.
Willis went from a likeable cop to some kind of programmed cyborg who finds "bad guys" to mow down with machine guns. Finding bad guys, what a letdown. The most hopeful criticism I could come up with was that this Die Hard film was taking aim at the unpopular Bush administration's predilection for creating bad guys out of thin air to wage war against. My friend Bob thought I was trying too hard to prop up an idiotic movie and quickly listed the horrors: 1. Weirdly edited scenes in which time is taken to set up a shot and it's dropped. a. the Willis spit scene in the ballroom b. the helicopter blade coming toward the statue at the nuclear facility 2. Disregard for time a. a very long journey to the nuclear facility appears to be a twenty minute jaunt. 3. Disregard for science / reality a. leafblowers can remove radiation? b. Willis can take a hit from a car, skid across the road and jump back up as if he were at a Cypress Hill concert It hurts to think through these things, to see that movies don't have to be good for people to pay good money to see them. We've left the days of great original movies like Die Hard and entered into the world of the Die Hoard, where every distinguishing facet of a beloved movie franchise is turned into an ever increasingly poor parody of itself. I'm thinking of working on my own Die Hard screenplay called "Born to Die Hard". It will be a reprisal for Hans Gruber and Karl who, I will explain, we're too pissed to die and have been recruiting and plotting among Euro terrorists for the past 25 years on a hostile simultaneous takeover of the two biggest banks in America. It would have all worked out fine if it wasn't for the fact that McClane Sr is in one of the banks and Jr in the other. A coincidence? Not at all, they aren't even thieves anymore, they are back with a vengeance and could care less if they rob a penny, they want blood, McClane blood, and they'll have it!

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