So, I caught an early screening of Die Hard 4.0, or Live Free or Die Hard (which title is the worst, I can’t quite decide on) yesterday evening at a filled Imperial here in Copenhagen. We were told that it was one of the earliest showings of the movie in the world, which I guess puts the pressure on me to post something akin to a review up here.
Now, let it be known that I love the first Die Hard, I sorta like Die Harder and I think Die Hard With a Vengeance is an alright action romp, but it has nothing to do with Die Hard.
And I was by and large entertained while watching Die Hard 4.0, but at the same time I honestly felt ‘Michael Bay-ified’, in the bad way. Yes, the action sequences were well-produced and larger than life (much, much larger!). And yes, it does follow the bare minimum of the ‘genre’ conventions (A hero played by Bruce Willis by the name of John McClane, evildoers with some (rather weak) European ties, some Yippie-Kai-Yay’ing (with a cheap politically correct motherf*BANG*r tagged on to it) and Bruce getting beat up, while firing off witty one-liners).
The problem is just that if you peel away the items on that list from the movie, all you’re left with is a generic movie which has succumbed to the by-the-numbers execution the first movie so elegantly sidestepped.
I could honestly write a book about the overall lackluster quality of this movie. It is patronizing to its audience, lacking any and all believability and often moves the story along with ‘oh, I’ll just reroute the satellites and align the API. Oh, and I can fly a helicopter! no problem!’.
Characters, no matter if they’re ‘shallow’ action stars from the 80’s, aren’t like putty. You can’t just take John McClane and all the things he stands for, and dump him into any ol’ script and hope for the best… McClane doesn’t fly a fucking helicopter! He doesn’t fight an F-35 with a truck!
Well you can, but you’ll have young angry people like me, who feel deceived write things like: Slapping well-produced versions of seen-before action sequences into an unbelievable plot and wrapping it up in by-the-numbers writing, filming it in seen-that-been-done locations and hoping that the laughter from the absurdity of pitting a truck against an F-35 (and the stupidest pilot in the world, ever), doesn’t make a satisfying action film, only a hell of a lot of noise.
The first Die Hard had John McClane walking on glass for fuck’s sake! It’s one of the most famous scenes in an action film ever; and all he does, is walk on glass, and pull the glass from his feet! This time around, he can’t even say the word fucker without it being covered up by a gunshot!
In my humble opinion, this movie fails on such a fundamental level at being a Die Hard sequel, not to mention being an even half-witted action romp, that it’s worthless talking about actor performances or individual story or plot points.
Is it a worthy sequel to Die Hard? No.
Is it a sequel to Die Hard? The jury is still out on that one.
Can you go to the cinema and enjoy this? Yes. There is large explosions, outrageous action, oneliners and the handsome mug of Bruce Willis.
The 80’s are dead. Long live the 80’s.