Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Independence Day: Live Free, or Die Hard

Let me tell ya'll a story.

I went with my family to see the sequel I've been waiting for all summer.

As it is not yet July, I can't be referring to "Harry Potter". No, this was a manly, patriotic romp to be remembered for all times: the return of the legendary John McClane.

At first, we were delayed trying to get to the theater. It seemed that the heavens opened and decided to dump a few floods on top of my area of Texas.

Whilst inside the theater, the power gave way a few times--which was a great way to pay tribute to the show...but things didn't follow suit.

About five minutes into the film, right before the awesome started, the power gave out again. It appeared that a tornado--a spinning vortex of wind and debris that can be easily described as the vengeful finger of an angry god--dropped down a few blocks away and trashed the power grid.

No manager came in to warn us theater goers. In fact, when the whole building went black, not a single agent of the cinemaplex seemed to give the ass of a rat about us patrons.

At the same time, this torrent of rain prevented me from making my flight back to Beantown, keeping me in Texas just long enough to make another go of seeing the film with family.

This time, victory was mine.

And thus I saw Live Free or Die Hard

And wow. Where do I begin?

Firstly, let's just get the elephant out of the room and address the rest of the summer's film offerings. They were awful.

I mean Bubonic Plague, sores spreading across your torso, infested thromboembolisms of the liver and spleen.

Basically the worst parts of the Bible.

Ocean's Thirteen wasn't bad. Pirates 3 was better than the second, if still inferior to the original. And I'm not even going to mention the rest of the shlock that I saw on the silver screen.

What I'm gonna say right now is going to sound a little bit like gushing, but bare with me.

This movie is perhaps on par with Rocky Balboa.

Firstly, let's address the main attraction: Bruce Willis back in his best role.

Some of us (myself included) remember the great days of the original "Die Hard" Trilogy. Alan Rickman took a break from kicking the face off of stage theater to portray one of the greatest villains of all time. William Sadler ("The Green Mile") did an OK job in the slightly lacking sequel.

And who can forget Samuel L. Jackson (A twelfth degree BAMF) who joined in as Zues in "Die Hard: With a Vengeance", this time with Jeremy Irons as an equally amazing badguy.

I mean, what a freakin' line to follow.

Let's start with the basic premise.

Deal with it.

America is under attack from within. Techno-terrorists are taking down our power grids one leg at a time, and they can't be traced or stopped.

Their plan is perfect, except for one small flaw: They didn't factor in John McClane.

Start with a fairly hot asian woman tricking several hackers into opening back doors into every system we rely on. (Maggie Q from "Mission: Impossible III")

Throw in a beaten and war weary John McClane on a rookie's errand picking up a wanted suspect, Matt Ferrell (Justin Long, the Apple guy).

Now add the most devious mind of all time, a super-techno-home-grown-terrorist (Timothy Olyphant, the sherriff from "Deadwood")

What you get is a damn fine movie, probably the best action movie of the summer.

Let's go through some of my favorite moments:

-Basically anytime John taunts the badguys

-Kevin Smith as, well, Kevin Smith

-The amazing fighting from Maggie Q vs the balls-to-the-wall knucklings of Detective McClane

-Probably the most visceral chases ever

I can't go into too much detail because this is honestly the kind of action movie you need to be a part of. Sure, there are the "don't forget the G-men are stupid" moments and a few political pokes at both sides of the aisle, but for the most part this movie is about the original American Badass and his quest to right the wrongs of society.

And believe me, John McClane rights his wrongs with a passion not seen since George Washington dropped a train on some unscrupulous British folk.

If you have never seen a single "Die Hard" movie, you still owe it to yourself to see this film based on its power as an action staple.

I give this nine stars, though this is adrenaline talking right now. As I see it over and over, flaws will no doubt reveal themselves, such as plot holes that are inevitable with an endeavor such as this, but who cares.

This was an enjoyable experience and I'm not gonna take back my recommendation.

Go on, indulge in a little patriotic bad-assery this Fourth of July. Live Free, or Die Hard. Your choice.

And then go see "Transformers".

Watch carefully.


Unknown said...

I would like to pick my favorite scene but I am going to have to say the whole movie. Yippikaye MF!

Anonymous said...

you forgot to mention that his daughter was the technopath in "Sky High." SO CLEVER!!!!

and it's Zeus, not Zues.

and you are a silly bunny.