So we come to another entry in the “Scott Varnham reviews films you’ve probably seen” week. The usual spoiler warnings apply, but it’s a two-year old movie that has probably been talked to death on other websites, so I’m not too concerned about spoilers.
I rewatched the first film in this series with some mates a week or two ago, and we had a few laughs at its expense. Especially Alan Rickman. But it was a pretty good film, if you’re into action and ‘funny’ dialogue. Same with Die Hard 4.
This film wasn’t that great, reviewed as an actual attempt at film making, but if you just want clichés and don’t want to have to think too hard about what you’re seeing then this is the movie for you. You are heavily required to suspend your disbelief here to think about how John McClane could possibly survive everything that’s thrown at him and more.
The characters themselves are walking clichés, from the main man himself, John McClane (Bruce Willis) as the reluctant hero of the film, the annoying hacker boy sidekick (Justin Long, of Dodgeball fame) to his action gal daughter who develops her oh so ‘touching’ relationship with her father throughout the events of the film. It’s not really explained why she’s so full of hate for him at the start, but their interactions and characterisations in this film remind me of the later film “Taken” (which was actually pretty good, if again Clichéd).
Now we come to my biggest gripe with this film and the thing that disinclined me to watch it in the first place. The famous exchange that got quoted everywhere:
Dude From Dodgeball: “You just killed a helicopter with a car!”
Da Bruce: “I was out of bullets…”
The actual scene didn’t fare up better than I thought it would when I heard the line. The gunner inside the helicopter saw the car coming and decided to leap out of the helicopter that was about ten to fifteen feet in the air. I’m not sure how he thought that was going to work out, especially considering that he landed on a car bonnet. Much to my incredible surprise, he survived. This is part of the reason why I consider the suspension of disbelief an essential thing to have to watch this film. In another scene, the villain has employed some Hacker Henchmen to do his evil bidding. The chief of these Henchmens gets called away by the boss (tipping the wink as he walks out), and as he leaves the room, the soldier who relayed the message opens fire on them, killing them all for no reason. I fail to see any sense behind it.
But maybe I’m approaching this with the wrong mindset. The thing about the Die Hard movies is they’re not really designed for you to take them too seriously. I’m sure that they are best appreciated with a beer and some snacks to keep you going through it. They don’t have any serious message to get across (with the exception of Die Hard 4, but that’s a message that needs drumming into the minds of the people, so I’ll let it pass), so they can just be enjoyed for what they are, which is entertaining action movies. Cheesy as hell, sure, but that’s part of the fun.