02 July 2007

Live Free or Die Hard

So, I went and saw this movie last night, and it was so incredibly awesome that I was rendered totally speechless. For a good 20 minutes or so, I wandered around, dazed, just saying "Oh man. Oh man that was so great. Oh man." People asked me about it today, and all I could do was stammer, "Dude. Dude." My friend Sean asked me if I was going to write a review and all I could think to say was "Holy shit that was the greatest movie ever." Faced with this crippling incoherence, I did the only thing I could do: I went and saw it again.

Seriously, this might be one of the greatest action movies ever made. It is mindblowingly fantastic. Every few seconds, something rad happens, and you think, wow, how are they ever gonna top that? And then they do. Over and over and over. It has subtle visual references to just about every great action movie ever made; from Schwarzenneger to Stallone to Will Smith, executed, for instance, in brilliant moments of composition that elegantly cite climactic sequences from the cinematic badass canon. The plot develops gracefully into an explosive finale, with the action sequences gradually building up, repeating the kinds of maneuvers executed earlier, but on a much larger scale. It's a symphony of awesome, fist flying, cars soaring, walls of flame licking the bloodied faces of the protagonists. It has pretty much everything you could ever want in a movie of its kind (well, except for Samuel L Jackson. And snakes.). Armageddon, hackers, fighter planes, semis, helicopters, badass guns, incredible fighting skills, hot women in lowcut shirts kicking serious ass, massive explosions, cheesy one liners, witty comebacks, crude insults, plotical critique, patriotic rhetoric, romance, family tensions, sarcasm, carnage, destruction, mayhem - you want it, it's there. Scenes that in other films would be filler, connecting points to keep the plot going, get pumped up and rendered exhilarating.

The people in this movie are so incredibly hardcore. Some might complain that the necessary suspension of disbelief weakens the film - they are morons. I'm watching a goddamn action movie. If a dude falls out of a helicopter from 100 feet up, bounces off the concrete, and gets back up, I am appreciative and impressed, not nitpicky.

I will grant you that at times the dialogue could be a little bit stronger. Fair enough. There's some discussion of what it means to be a hero that is a little cloying, especially on the second viewing. But I think that if this movie had been any better, my mind would actually have melted, so it's probably a good thing that it had those slight flaws. Otherwise the viewer would ascend directly to heaven upon entering the theatre. It'd be like The Rapture had hit.

I think I might go see it again tommorrow.

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