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Friday, September 07, 2007

Guns, Bombs, Car Chases, and Pretty Girls Who Get Killed Off in the Sequel

The new Bruce Willis Diehard movie is called La Jungla 4.0 here in Spain, presumably because there in no way to translate something as stupid as Diehard, at least not four different times as this is the fourth in the series. I was able to download it. I’m a sucker for actions movies even though most insult my intelligence even though I manually lower it to watch these films. I also saw the most recent Bourne film and, like the character in the movie, I have lost my memory as to why I continue watching Bourne movies. What’s that saying about a fool does the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome?

The biggest problem that I have with action movies is that they make the bad guy out to be cartoonishly evil. I always thought that the principal in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off was a better bad guy than all of the villains in action movies. He was really mean, ditto with the coach/detention monitor guy in The Breakfast Club. The villains in action movies have a lot to learn from those two.

Bad actions movies all have the same plot which they seem to have lifted off an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon from The Simpsons. On paper they look something like this: run, run, run, fight, fight, fight. On film they are even more tedious than they are on paper. They are billed as containing nonstop action but I usually get so bored watching them that I feel like fainting. The mayhem and bloodshed are so indiscriminant that after the first scene you become immune to gun battles, explosions, and car chases. I have a theory that if the trailer for the film has more than two explosions then the actual movie will be a complete piece of shit. I didn’t see the trailer for either Diehard 4.0 or the new Bourne thing but I’m sure they had explosions totaling in double digits.

In fact, I’m not even sure whether or not these movies even bother with plots and stories as I can’t seem to remember them five minutes after the movie is over. They are usually about a good guy getting chased by really, really bad guys until the good guy almost gets killed but ends up gutting all the bad guys like so much fresh fish. Throw in a pithy line like “Hasta la vista, baby” (preferably in a Cro-Magnon accent) and call it a wrap.

It also seems necessary to forget all about the laws of physics when making a bad action movie, like the speed of explosions which are usually measured in thousands of feet per second yet movies insist on showing the hero dive away from an explosion to save himself. Movie makers must really think it looks cool to have the hero dive away from an explosion with a gas expansion rate of 26,000 per second because they show it all the time. Maybe we need to teach everyone in Iraq to dive out of the way when one of those massive car bombs goes off.

Instead of romance in the Diehard movie we had Bruce Willis bonding with his daughter. I can’t remember if there was any love interest in the new Bourne movie, perhaps Matt Damon had sex in the backseat during one of the chase scenes.

The worst thing about actions movies is that no matter how many chase scenes, or fights, or explosions, people need to talk once in a while. When they do talk they say ridiculous crap like, “We have a situation,” or some other corny jargon. Instead of using these stupid, boiler plate lines perhaps action movies should just do away with human speech and just stick with explosions.

My favorite dumb part of the new Bourne movie was the hired assassin that was called up to kill the hero. One time he was in London and the other was in New York. It wasn’t explained very well how they knew to have him in place in these two cities. I guess he is like the Dominos of hit men: You get your guy dead in 30 minutes or it’s free.

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