Die Hard? Boy does it...
<...an Ill Literate post>
Nothing (except The King of Queens) dies harder than the Die Hard series. Sure, it's been 12 years since unstoppable cop John McClane's third adventure, Die Hard: With A Vengeance, 17 since Die Hard 2: Die Harder and 19 since the original classic Die Hard.
But Bruce Willis is back this summer in Live Free or Die Hard, which could well be the worst movie title Hollywood's drummed up since... um... Die Hard: With A Vengeance.
Live Free's release is still two months away, but the trailer's been getting plenty of play. Which brings me to my mixed emotions. The original Die Hard remains one of the coolest, most perfect action movies ever. The two sequels, while lesser, still are far better than most "supercop" fare.
I have high hopes for the fourth installment, but lowered expectations. Why? For one, the credited writers have mediocre resumes, and director Len Wiseman's only previous films are the two Underworld flicks. (Granted, they're not too bad. But hardly Die Hard worthy.)
I'm buoyed by the supporting cast: Timothy Olyphant, awesome in Deadwood and Go, is the big baddie. (No one will ever top Alan Rickman, but Tim's a good call.) Justin Long, the "Mac" in those Get a Mac commercials, plays McClane's sidekick. He's a likeable kid. (OK, he's 28. But he looks younger.)
My two big issues: One, the action sequences in the trailer (watch it below) look cool, but some are so over-the-top and clearly computer-generated they look like Die Hard cartoons. And two...
Bruce is bald in this one. Hey, there's nothing wrong with that. Your Juice* authors basically are too, at least at the moment. (Yes, Josh, I shaved my head. See you at soccer.)
But Bald Bruce just isn't John McClane to me. Bald Bruce just looks like the same guy from Hostage and Tears of the Sun and a bunch of other (mostly) bad movies.
Look, I realize all the Rogaine in the world won't make the guy Sanjaya, but come on. He's still pulling the receded-hairline look in recent flicks like Perfect Stranger and Lucky Number Slevin--so why suddenly go chrome dome when you're back playing McClane? (That's him from the third film in the pic. Now that's John McClane.)
Think I'm overstating the point? Let me know. Check out the trailer and let me know if that doesn't look more like the chunky-phase Britney blowing away the bad guys:
[Photo: Times files]