Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard
John McClane (Willis) takes on an Internet-based terrorist organization who is systematically shutting down the United States. - you can not be serious!
If they put together a bunch of lame ideas for a plot in a hat, and happend to pull out the lamest of those lame idea, that idea must still have been better than this one.
Firstly there’s the sheer impossibility of it. I know, I know, Die Hard and other action films are never big on that whole ‘reality’ thing, but this is so implausible as to render the film un-watchable by anyone who has even an inkling of how things actually work. Is it likely that key industrial, civilian or military entities are going to be connected to the net in such a way as to allow the possibility of hacking that would allow control? Hell no. Do you think that the ‘launch weapons’ button at the weapons silo is linked in any way to the internet? Do you think the switches at power stations are? How about ATMs? TV broadcast posts? Utter rubbish.
Secondly, how is the film going to work? Are we going to have a 60yr old John McClane typing code furiously on a Mac (because no doubt Apple will bagsie the advertising rights)? Is he going to be tracing IP packets across the world, then jumping on a plane? Or, will he be on holiday in Iraq and just get caught up in it (come on…what sort of terrorist are you expecting Hollywood to throw up? They’re not likely to use their imagination now are they).
Thirdly, why would terrorists systematically shut down the US? A terrorists objective is to cause terror. The tool commonly used for doing that is by killing a lot of people, usually at random. Indiscriminate killing causes terror. Fast actions with dire consequences, where you might be next causes terror. Terrorism is aimed at people, not organisations or governments. Losing your electricity supply, or ability to shop, or your TV reception, for a short time does not cause terror (even were it possible in this manner). If you managed to turn off every electrical system in a country, you still wouldn’t cause terror. Why not? Because it’s not terrifying - there’s no obvious, personal, immediate threat, just unusual and confusing circumstances.
Personally I’m done with the ‘terrorist’ pre-occupation the West is getting. Move along already. There is no more terrorism now than there was twenty years ago, it’s just fashionable to keep talking about it now. Which I find sickening and utterly counter-productive.
So yeah, the film looks as lame and non-sensical as the title sounds. Don’t even get me started on Rocky 6: Rocky Balboa…
- Sat, 26th Aug 2006 at 20:08 UTC
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It's pretty well known that any country can be severly threatened by terrorist action that doesn't involve killing. Just look at what the threat of terrorism leading to increased security did to British Airports stock values.
I'd be pretty terrified if a terrorist organisation managed to shut off the power. It would be romantic and peaceful at first but for even a short time the effects could be economically crippling.
I don't see what's so bad about the film concept really. I do think it would be silly to think a ICBM could be linked to the net (War Games) but I don't think the concept of terrorists taking out critical parts of the US is too far fetched.
Regardless does the term 'Internet Based' in that description refer more so to the method of cell operation, not terrorist action?
"Just look at what the threat of terrorism leading to increased security did to British Airports stock values." - That wasn't the threat of terrorism, that was the threat of killing. It's the 'killing' part that causes terror - whether it happens or is simply threatened, there needs to be the fear for life. No one fears terrorism - they fear the instruments of terrorism.
You're quite right, realising a terrorist network had shut off something large would be worrying - but it wouldn't be terrifying, and frankly, how would you know that it had happened? The terrorists would need to leave the media free to do it's work for them - which means leaving electricity stations and broadcast posts alone. After that, where can terrorists realistically hit based on a network, knowing that military targets are not possible?
Of course, you could well be right and I could be misunderstnading what they mean by 'internet-based'. Though if all they mean by that is that it's some terrorists who use the net to communicate, it's a pretty dire tag-line, no different that calling them 'mobile phone based' terrorists. But, one is understood by the masses, and one isn't so well understood. 'Internet' is a dirty word to some people, mainly because they have no clue about it.
I know what you mean about killing being the true threat. But my point is that the threat of killing can have long term knock on effects that can be an unseen threat.
Lets say for instance a terrorist plot is uncovered to poison the water supply in London during early August. The threat is so strong that the water authority has to shut down the supply for investigation. Now this investigation can't be done quickly and people are urged not to drink tap water.
First there would be panic buying of bottled water and supplies would dry out pretty quickly. The government would be forced into bringing water in and rationing it out. On top of that there would be a serious worry over the current water supply effecting people in other ways, is it safe to flush a toilet, what if fire systems come on and how do people safely wash dishes or take a shower. Then there would be concernes about the problem spreading in the water supplies of other areas or worse into the water table.
Many would upsticks and leave the area deeming it too risky and uncomfortable they wouldn't be able to do their jobs. Shops wouldn't sell products, businesses would opperate slowly or not at all, Tourism would come to a halt, the cost of the clean up would climb and climb and even within a short space of time the economy would take a downturn that could push inflation up further and interest rates soar. A recession starts in London which has a knock on effect throughout the country, business close, jobs are lost and a vicous circle starts.
Then after the investigation into the water supply is over they find no traces of poison, nobody got killed but economically the country has taken a hit it will be suffering from for years.
An extreme and melodramatic tale, indeed yes. But lets not forget that terrorism isn't about killing people, it's about power over the government and killing people used to be the way to do that, in the modern world terrorists might choose to attack our economy. Perhaps then Terrorism may not be the right word and EcoTerrorist is already taken.
You make a very good point, and your scenario would proberbly pan out along the lines you suggest. Again though, there has to be a case whereby people are fearing for their lives (as your scenario also states). The threat of poisoning the water supply alone isn't enough, it has to be turned into 'reality' for people to get terrified.
Take for example the recent 'airline liquid bomb' thing. I would go so far as to say there was never a danger to life. Numerous sources have popped up to criticise the supposed plan, and point out how extremely unlikely it would have been to succeed. Making liquid explosive in-flight would be a neccessity, and the chances are it would be impossible to do. But it was 'made real' by media hype. So in the end it did cause terror, and you turn out to be right - the threat is enough, so long as someone is around to make people believe in it.
The film still sounds lame though