16 October 2001 | bob the moo
Die Hard for beginners
When I started watching this, I basically just had the TV on and I didn't know what it was about. After about 20 minutes you realise what it is - it's Die Hard in a School for teenagers! Kartheiser plays Bruce Willis' character with Patrick Stewart doing Alan Rickman duties. The film even has elements of the Die Hard movies - comic interplay over the radio, twisty escape plans, running down corridors and through ventilation shafts etc.
The only problem is that this is a kids movie - it's too basic for adults with too little tension or drama and it may even be a bit scary for young children. Which only leaves teenagers as it's audience. It's a shame, because this is not as bad as it sounds - it's reasonable undemanding fun. True, the action is not exactly what we've come to expect from an action movie - but for a kids version of Die Hard it's not bad!
Patrick Stewart is good as the bad guy and plays the whole thing with his tongue in his cheek - at one point in the film making his getaway wearing a Manchester United strip! The rest of the adult cast is ok (including well known faces such as Brenda Flicker and Whitford), but the weak link is unfortunately Kartheiser who, for most of the film plays it like a really annoying version of Malculy Culkin! It's unfortunate because it's hard to care about him when he's being a snotty arrogant teenager.
This won't satisfy many adults and will be too scary for kids (all the plot twists will be lost on them as well). But as a Die Hard for 12-15 year olds then this will satisfy most boys going through puberty.