When i think action i think guns, explosions, Manly men with women drooling over them, over the top bad guys and of course..Proper grammar?
I can’t say i ever vied for an English Teacher focused action film (or why anyone would for that matter) but that’s exactly what we get with Action film spoof, TO DIE IS HARD.
TO DIE IS HARD tells us the story of Joe Mcann, a tough talking martial arts studying middle aged English professor. While tutoring a student he overhears gunshots and goes to investigate discovering that terrorists have invaded his beloved workplace, taking a hostage. Now Joe is the only thing standing between the terrorists and the success of their dastardly plan. But can he stand against them..You bet your sweet ass he can. It’s time for these terrorists to get a lesson in English.
Rather then taking the over-the-top wacky slapstick route or poke fun at specific scenes from films, this parody instead simply focuses on the ludicrous elements of the action genre in general, playing them to the extreme. It’s hero says every line as if he’s issuing a death threat, Is adored by and sexual attracts every female (and some males) he meets despite being average looking and a complete asshole. The hero takes more lives then the terrorists do.
Dramatic music accompanies virtually every scene no matter how mundane, a 30 second phone call is enough for him to tell his wife (who spends her entire day with her daughter at home while they both wonder how he’s doing and argue over who he loves more) a half hour’s worth of intricate details about what’s going on. The cop involved in trying to get him and the hostages out spends his time dancing about, lying around eating cheetos and doing just about everything else other then any police work.
The film is chock full of ludicrous fight scenes where Joe showcases what is obviously not real martial arts.. This film literally covers all the bases of every action film cliche’ showing us just how ridiculous they are and it certainly shows that director Glen Berggoetz (yes the same Glen Bergooetz that brought us Midget Zombie takeover) has seen his fair share of action films and it pays off with this effective little spoof.
I must admit i had my doubts about this idea working as a feature length film because it seemed to be a one joke idea (and it is) but this one joke was played with enough and done so with enough expertise and fun that somehow it DID work and made for some legitimately funny stuff.
The only complaint i have is the English Professor angle wasn’t played on very much, Joe could have just as easily been a mathematician or a music teacher, and it’s too bad that more creative ways to utilize Joe’s occupation weren’t used in the film.
I give this film one middle finger a quarter of the way extended. It could have been better if Joe’s occupation was somehow utilized more but it’s still a pretty damn funny movie and surpasses Hollywood’s recent attempt at parody by a long shot.