By Great White Snark | November 27, 2007
Back in July, I suggested that Live Free or Die Hard goes too far over the top. And, boy, was I clever about it.
To enjoy Live Free or Die Hard, you need to take your disbelief out back to the tool shed, put clownish, over-sized, rose-colored glasses on its face, and then punch it repeatedly in the nose until its vision is irreparably blurred.
In honor of the release of Live Free or Die Hard on DVD this week, I’m going to heap more well-deserved insult upon this movie’s injury. Here goes:
Sure, Die Hard 4 is laughably outlandish. (Oh, how I laughed. And laughed.) But its problems don’t stop there. This movie shows a lack of imagination not seen since Saw V was announced. For almost every key action scene, producers of Live Free or Die Hard directly ripped off sequences or devices from other (more original) films.
I’ll let the evidence speak for itself in each of four different action sequences from Live Free or Die Hard. In each of the following videos, I present the ripped-off material from the source film, and then the offending scene from LFoDH.
Spoiler Alert: This post and the included videos contain spoilers for Live Free or Die Hard. No one’s going to judge you if you still have plans to see it, even after my lambasting. In fact, I don’t blame you. It’s an entertaining flick, even more so thanks to its ridiculousness. Have at it. You have my blessing.
(If you’re viewing this entry in a RSS reader, you might have to visit www.greatwhitesnark.com to see the embedded videos.)
In the trailers for LFoDH, the folks marketing the film kept on pimping a particular scene in which John McClane jumps a speeding car into a bad guy’s helicopter, thereby blowing it out of the sky.
Pretty cool… until you consider the ‘jumping a vehicle into the bad guy’s helicopter’ stunt has been done before. In a low-budget 2005 Thai film called The Protector, starring Tony Jaa of Ong Bak fame.
Ah yes, here we have our hero struggling to get out of a truck that’s precariously dangling, nose down, above a long, deadly drop. The poor, put-upon sidekick throws the hero a rope, and–after requisite struggling–our hero grabs the rope just in time to have the truck fall away from him to a fiery explosion below.
I enjoyed this suspenseful scene the first time. When I saw it in 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
Ok… I’ll throw LFoDH a bone: It’s not the only film that’s ripped off the wild acrobatics of 2004’s French martial arts film District B13. Casino Royale and the pilot episode of TV’s Chuck also helped themselves. At least LFoDH went the extra step to employ a French stuntman.
Is there a geek alive who watched John McClane jump onto the back of a hovering Harrier jet and didn’t exclaim, “H-e-e-e-e-y! That’s straight out of True Lies!” Didn’t think so.
But then everyone was distracted by McClane’s safely landing on terra firma, dusting himself off, and spotting the escaping Bad Guy’s van (which had at least a good five minute start on him) conveniently driving across a street only a few blocks away. Greetings, contrivance! Guffaw.
Get the unrated version of Live Free or Die Hard on DVD from Amazon, if you must.