Die Hard 4

Went to watch Die Hard 4 yesterday. Die Hard was one of the first action movies I saw, so I am somewhat senitmentally attached to the series. The film was OK but some things were kind of annoying.

Locations: All the action seems to be conventiently located within driving distance. So Bruce and the FEDs have no problem being at the correct power plant at the right time. They just need to look out of the window at the White House when they suspect it just had been blown up. Even Warlock, the hacker guru who helps them is within CB radio distance, which from a truck could be just about 3-4km (although they had to fly there by helicopter).

Exaggeration and Coincidences: While McCLane have had the bouncebackability of a roly-poly in all films, they still pretended to be kind of realistic. This one tries to impress with nice scenes without even pretending to be realitstic. A police car taking down an helicopter. A truck against a fighter jet (and winning). All the gas of the US is being sent within 10 seconds to one powerplant, …

Virtualness: While all previous films were about stealing concrete stuff (shares, gold bars) or freeing an dictator, this one remains very fuzzy about what’s actually going on. So the bad guys download all data from companies and stock markets on a USB drive? How exactly are they supposed to benefit from that and why would all the data be lost for the US if terrorists steal the backup? This remains very unclear. I did not like the main bad guy anyway, he remains a very weak and unspecified character. It never becomes clear whether he is a mean sadistic bad guy, or just an insulted hacker who wants to help the country becoming more secure. But then it is pretty hard to come close to Alan Rickman, the bad guy from Die Hard 1.

And, of course, then there are the computers. If I want to see computer screens I go into my office. This one tries to be very modern and looses out on the action part and on the credibility part. Does Hollywood really think I am impressed if a guy mumbles sth like “yeah, I isolated the host, booted the API, redirected the TCPIP stream. This will prevent the power plant from being blown up” while popping up some dozen windows on the screen with cute progress bars showing the progress of the hacks (or whatever). Did anybody else also find that the hacker buddy of Bruce looked a bit like Neo from the matrix? At least the matrix guys showed some real world hacks rather than just eye-candy.

Given the above flaws it is still a nice movie to watch, but it would have been better if it just relied on Bruce Willis doing some good old ass kicking in the style of the 80s action films. Although he definitely looks older he can still pull it.