Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Double Bill Mini Musings: Hard Partridge...

A Good Day To Die Hard:
What's it about?
Fifth film in the Bruce Willis action franchise. John Sr goes to Russia to help out John Jr, who is actually an undercover CIA operative seeking to bring down a terrorist organisation threatening to unleash nuclear war.
Who would I recognise in it?
Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
Great/Good/Alright/Shite?
Oh dear ... half the time Willis looks bored starring in this surprisingly brief Die Hard outing, which is hardly surprising seeing as John Sr appears to be playing second-fiddle in his own movie. The father/son plot is rough and shoe-horned into action sequences at inappropriate moments, the action is big and dumb and accomplished - but goes waaaaay beyond the 'average guy in an extraordinary situation' vibe of the original. Falls from great distances and leaps through glass windows are dime-a-dozen events, but the worst offender is the climax - going from Moscow to Chernobyl (even though they technically visit Pripyat), which is a big old distance by car (and in an entirely different country), in a couple of hours, and then not requiring any radioactive protection (despite most of the bad guys being fully geared-up).

Director John Moore (of the abysmal Max Payne movie) tries to sling as many explosions, trashed cars, and slow motion at the screen as possible to cover up all the narrative nonsense that fails to grasp your intrigue, but you can't do a damn thing to distract from the logic leaps in this dim-witted load of old noise. Some moments are good fun (such as a rush hour chase through Moscow, and a safe house attack), but when your franchise star doesn't seem to give a stuff (not to mention the screenwriters), why on earth should we? Sometimes shite, and only alright at best.

Click "READ MORE" below for a siege in Norfolk...

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa:
What's it about?
The North Norfolk Digital radio host gets caught up in a hostage situation when one of his fellow radio DJs is sacked during a company takeover.
Who would I recognise in it?
Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney, Tim Key, Sean Pertwee, Darren Boyd, Felicity Montagu, Simon Greenall.
Great/Good/Alright/Shite?
It was never going to be as good as the original TV series, and while it gets off to a slightly wobbly start, once the film finds its rhythm it becomes a rarity - a successful TV-to-Film translation of a beloved British show. Some supporting characters are given little to do (Sean Pertwee's armed police specialist, for instance), but ultimately this is a film that's all about the titular radio host who suffers from verbal diarrhoea and delusions of grandeur. There are some laugh-out moments of typically Partridge proportions to go along with the more subtle character-based chuckles and wordplay, and at a lean 90 minutes the film is never in danger of snoozing off. It's not Prime Partridge, but it's close enough. Good.

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