Sunday, July 15, 2007

Live free or die hard

We're gonna watch Live Free Or Die Hard with Bruce Willis in a local movie theater. Willis is a favorite actor of mine - not only because he is a right-wing anti-PC atheist who has reasonable opinions about environmentalism:

I loved the movie! "Die Hard 04" is arguably better than 01,02,03. People who enjoy socialist realism might have some problems with the content: Bruce Willis would have died roughly 83 times if his death rate were counted in a more realistic fashion. But this fact makes the movie fun.

Warning: the text below contains spoilers

A former employee of FBI who suffers from a kind of grumpiness decides that America is not even wrong. With a staff of fellow bastards, this admirer of Lenin eventually begins his attack on America on the Independence Day. We gradually learn that the attack focusing mainly on a collapse of all IT technologies has three stages, namely crippling of the security enforcement, financial markets, and finally the general infrastructure.

The very first step he must do is to assassinate roughly eight hackers who contributed some code to his evil software and who know too much. Most of them are dead at a certain moment except for the last one. Let me call him James Blunt because this name is easier to remember: I wonder why those writers and movie makers keep on inventing new names instead of reusing some real ones which would make the plot both more entertaining as well as easier to remember. ;-)

The only exception I know of is Michael Crichton who has used the full character of Mick Crowley, an obnoxious activist-journalist with a small penis, in his latest novel which was a great idea, I think. ;-)

James Blunt is just trying to kiss a young woman - let me call her Petra Němcová - at a campus of Rutgers University, my graduate alma mater, although they chose Camden instead of New Brunswick. She mentions that Blunt is not her boyfriend, in a typically female, ambiguous way. Bruce Willis kicks Blunt out of the car, suggesting that he also loves her and claiming that he is her father - which turns out to be the case later - and he goes home. As a detective for NYPD, he is assigned a task by the FBI - which is mostly clueless throughout the movie - to save the last hacker who happens to be no one else than James Blunt. He visits his apartment. The focus of the Willis-Blunt relationship is abruptly changing and the first shooting insanity is getting started.

After the explosion of the apartment, he drives James Blunt to D.C. However, Peter Woit is already in charge of the traffic lights in the capital. ;-) Because all of them show green color, a day of car accidents follows. Willis saves Blunt's life roughly eight times. During one of the incidents, he runs out of ammo so he must destroy a helicopter by throwing a car on it instead. Meanwhile, the FBI is evacuated because of a fake anthrax threat and all TV stations broadcast a fake collapse of the Capitol, your humble correspondent's favorite building in Washington: the power of the grumpy attacker culminates.

Blunt who understands Woit's mentality but who is not really evil starts to co-operate with Willis. He tells him that it is likely that Woit is going to attack the power grid, namely the hub responsible for the Eastern third of the U.S. They have to get a new car. After they crack into a car by activating its airbag, Blunt calls the airbag service, pretending that his dad is dying in his arms. Indeed, the service woman enables the car after a theater performance by Blunt in which he must recall "his" (the real owner's) name.

The power grid guess is correct. Woit's people are already there when Willis and Blunt arrive. An Asian American feminist collaborator of Woit turns out to be the most formidable foe of Willis because she is tough and she knows kung-fu. After long struggles, Willis manages to throw her into a deep hole and sends her an SUV as a bonus. Everyone is happy that this Bitch PhD is gone, except for Woit who learns about the news from Willis himself and starts to feel even more anxious. ;-)

The last major incident takes place in a huge server facility that backs up all important U.S. financial data. Woit - whose control over the facility is elevated by his insider knowledge - uses Němcová, Willis' daughter who was stuck in an elevator after a blackout, to blackmail the main hero. But we learn that she is pretty similar to her father, after all: for example, later she informs her dad about the number of bastards who are left (five) instead of overwhelming him with emotions and fear which is what her captor wanted. Woit kidnaps both Němcová and Blunt. Willis follows them in a stolen truck but Woit's control over the information channels such as satellites is so comprehensive that he can convince the U.S. military to send airplanes against the "truck preparing for a terrorist attack". That makes Willis' attempts to contact the FBI with the help of a fat hacker whom he met previously and who happens to use the same phone channel #666 as the truck did rather futile. Willis' truck pretty successfully fights against the aircraft, destroying a few bridges and superhighways along the way.

While the truck becomes unusable and the FBI is thus unable to follow Woit and his hostages, Willis gets to the right place in the server facility. After a difficult psychological and physical battle, the villains are eliminated, everyone is happy, the daughter is liberated, Blunt is upgraded from a coward to a man with a certain amount of experience, and both Blunt and Němcová indicate that they have special feelings for one another. Of course, the movie doesn't try to solve what would happen with these two people later. ;-)

All similarities of the characters described above with personalities in the real world may be purely coincidental but in some cases, they don't have to be. :-)

And that's the memo.

1 comment:

  1. I must disagree that the opening scene in the movie references Rutgers - Camden. It actually is Rutgers - New Brunswick (my Graduate degree granting university, also).

    I say this because after the boyfriend incident, Willis' character gets into his cruiser and receives a call from his boss. The boss has "LoJacked" him to RU and is sitting front of a computer screen with Piscataway prominently shown.

    The boss also tells Willis to go to Camden to pick up a computer hacker.....