Die Hard 4.0 is the most stupid, over-the-top, cliché-riddled dog of a film I have ever seen. The great irony is that for all of these reasons I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Full credit to whatever monkeys bashed out the script, because they got the action going straight away. And as soon as I saw the chisel-jawed Germanic bad guys I started a checklist of Hollywood action blockbuster cliches.
It was an embarrassment of riches. Heavily armed baddies who couldn’t hit a double decker bus with a bowl of rice? Check. Bad guys giving rambling monologues and allowing Bruce to save the day? Check. The previously nervous, bumbling, wisecracking sidekick stepping up to the plate and dispatching a surprised bad guy in the closing stages? Check.
And of course we have to have Bruce getting pumped up and having a wizened chuckle as he takes out a villain – and several billion dollars worth of infrastructure.
Another prerequisite is plot holes you could drive a truck through. (Don’t tell Bruce though because he would, quite literally, drive a truck through them – taking a few baddies out along the way). I don’t want to spoil all the fun, but the moment when Mac Guy talks a BMW remote roadside assistant into automatically starting a car – while the rest of the world’s phones / internet connections are on the fritz – is…how do I put it? Ah yes…bullshit.
The film is not shy about showing a wide range of computer hardware and making numerous references to memory, software and viruses. This guarantees that within six months this movie will be hilarious for its grossly outdated technology references. I think I heard some IT nerds up the back having seizures at inconsistencies in the techno-speak spewed up by the main characters.
Further compounding the problems of the latest installment of Die Hard were some of the truly, truly appalling effects. Even basic driving scenes looked like one of those 1950’s films set in Italy where the road is projected on to a screen behind a stationary convertible. I always loved the way the steering action of the guy driving didn’t bear any correlation to the direction of the road. And that’s what the truly crummy effects in Die Hard are like.
Now for anyone who is pissed off that I didn’t publish a spoiler warning: get serious – do you really have no idea how a Die Hard movie is going to unfold? I mean, it’s not The Crying Game, although that would have added an entertaining element to the closing scenes:
Bruce Willis and Mac guy sit in the back of the ambulance. Despite being shot to shit, band-aids have sufficed to stem the bleeding and the pair are now enjoying an amiable conversation:
Bruce: Wow, heavy day.
Mac guy: Yeah, I got shot.
Bruce: Not a bad day’s work for an old girl.
Mac guy: Yeah, I got sho… what?!
Bruce: Mac guy, I’m actually a female.
Mac guy: Wow, and I thought you were ugly for a man.
Bruce: A woman’s work is never done.
Bruce chuckles / winces. Shot widens to reveal FBI / Ambulance / Special forces running around cleaning up Bruce-induced armageddon. Credits.