John McClane is the greatest action hero. He is the everyman, the best person to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has taken on terrorists in buildings, an airport, around a city, through the internet and recently in Moscow via Chernobyl. There is nothing he can’t do… in fact he is so adept that he could make any action movie, even the best there is, better with his presence.
These films are not bad. These films don’t necessarily need John McClane but they would definitely be improved if he was the hero and it was another chapter in the life of the world’s unluckiest New York Cop.
Speed (and Speed 2: Cruise Control)
The Premise: John McClane is contacted by a deranged bomb maker who feels the city owes him something. He decides to plant a bomb on a bus, which will blow up if it goes below 50mph. Luckily for the passengers, John McClane gets himself on that bus.
Unlucky for John McClane, his wife Holly is also on the bus and due to an error with a deranged gunman, now has to drive it!
Also: Speed 2, same premise just on a boat!
The Premise: John McClane is undercover, helping transport a criminal to a maximum security prison. While on the plane, evil villain Syrus the Virus (played brilliantly by John Malkovich) orchestrates a coup to take over the plane. Now McClane is the only guy in the position to stop the criminals and save the day (or just the plane).
Under Siege 2
The Premise: John McClane is travelling with his daughter on an express train from New York to “wherever.” Predictably, John McClane must then defend that train from terrorists who want to use it as a command centre and start a nuclear war. (I have changed so little of the original story it is worrying).
The Premise: John McClane forms part of a team of cops staging a raid on a building of a known Yakuza terrorist. The raid goes wrong and McClane finds himself trapped in a building full of martial art experts and bizarre characters. Improvising his way through with a range of weaponry, McClane slowly makes his way to the top of the building (wait, this sounds familiar?!)
The Premise: John McClane is demoted to the river patrol. Terrorists take over the river. He stops them. (Come on, it’s got to be better than the original!)
Overall, I defy anyone to find me an action movie that wouldn’t be made better by the greatest hero of them all. Next week, Romantic Comedies (You only think I’m kidding!)