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Wick's Review

Created Jul 13, 2007 02:07AM PST • Edited Nov 04, 2014 06:51AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Very Good 3.5

    Finis. Boffo blow out to the Die Hard series. Willis – he of the movie star blockhead and sotto voce movie star voice – has perfected the art of downplaying his lines in contrast to the over-the-top outrageousness of the action going on around him. The result is one fun, fun, fun big screen entertainment.

  3. Good 3.0

    Bruce Willis proved himself more than a little funny when he burst on the scene 20 years ago in Moonlighting. It’s good to see his timing has – if anything – improved with age. The guy is a hoot.

  4. Male Stars Great 4.0

    Tim Olyphant – already one of the great screen sheriffs on Deadwood – proves he can cross the thin blue line to the dark side. His performances are mostly internal anyway, telegraphed via the arch of a finely sculpted facial bone, making him a believable super-evil-genius.

    Justin Long nails the Nerd King role that he long ago perfected in the Mac ads. He hits the essential note: making pseudo-techno jargon sound plausible, natural even.

  5. Female Stars Good 3.0

    The Ice Queen femme fatale was a bit too chilly for me.

  6. Female Costars Barely OK 2.0
  7. Male Costars Barely OK 2.0

    Kevin Smith was a disappointment. You see the guy come on screen and you start to giggle because he’s always been funny before. But he’s just a cipher of his usual persona here.

  8. Very Good 3.5

    Basically funny all the way through, especially Willis’ McClain lines. Kudos also to the story, which hit the requisite balance of a post-9/11 world under attack without dipping into anything too serious.

    Crazy great stunts: freshly conceived, slickly executed.

  9. Direction Good 3.0
  10. Play Great 4.0
  11. Music Good 3.0
  12. Visuals Really Great 4.5
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.2

    Lots of shooting and blowing up and people theoretically dying, without – you know – much of that awful blood and gore and real death to spoil the buzz.

  15. Sex Innocent 1.5
  16. Violence Brutal 3.1
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.0
  18. Supernatural 3.4

    Die Hard 2: Die Harder galvanized the need to define rFactors, so attenuated was that movie’s bond with reality. It was like the filmmakers said:

    What if we just say – to hell with it – let’s have live action characters act like Gumby with guns!

  19. Circumstantial Fantasy 4.2

    A word about the great Fire Sale plot: bunk! Let us count the ways.

    1. Destroy everything and nothing is worth owning. Best to just cause a scare, driving asset prices down, then buy things so when the scare passes you’re rich. RICH, I SAY!!!
    2. Data driven into a server isn’t money. Money is an artifice that only has value when people believe it has value. Bits by themselves? Worthless.
    3. Never has a basic Palm PDA performed so ably as a supercomputer as in LForDH.
  20. Biological Supernatural 3.2
  21. Physical Surreal 3.0

    As with Casino Royale, the actors purport to perform Olympic caliber gymnastic-like routines as they fight each other to the death, bouncing off walls like superballs, always landing on their feet. When done with good humor as here, it is a total hoot to watch.


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