With this movie review I‘d like to introduce a sub-section of a review section, which I‘ve gloriously dubbed (if only in my mind) „Love offspring of John McClane“, in other words, we‘re gonna deal with – you‘ve guessed it – Die Hard rip offs and clones. Not exactly a novelty, but fuck that, I am not alone liking Die Hard, am I? And if one checks sources for a minute, he/she can find literally a pile of movies trying hard to emulate the winning formula of famous Bruce Willis movie series.
I was very surprised how many movies in this sub-genre are there – some of them good, some of them watchable (once) and some really just trying to burn your eyes out. Well, let‘s see how many I can find!
Christmas Rush (a.k.a. Breakaway) is 2002 made-for-TV movie and while I am not really fan of this kind of movies, I just can‘t dismiss them as they can provide more entertainment than big production titles of Hollywood…well, sometimes.
With cast consisting of (among others) Dean Cain, Erika Eleniak and my favourite all-time-great B-actor of all times (ok, of modern times) and one of the hardest working guys in the industry, Eric Roberts, it‘s not hard to see why I wanted to see that movie. Die Hard ripoff with Eric? Bring it on anytime!
And ripoff it is! Christmas season? Check. Wife taken hostage (also with others)? Check. One cop against the gang of criminals doing heist? Check. What makes this film different is – and hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen – the Christian spirit of the movie. Really, down to the very end (and I won‘t spoil it, because it is one of these „I just can‘t believe what I‘ve just seen“ moments in movie history), the movie offers nice Christian and Christmas vibes and feels. Erika Eleniak offering a prayer to ask to save hostages? Priceless! And I am not meaning it in any mocking way, you just can‘t really see it in movies.
As for the movie itself, it‘s not that bad. Honestly, apart from downplaying some gunshot wounds and what should be one nasty grenade victim, the movie practically is what it‘s intended to be. Although bloody makeup of Bruce Willis was superior, no arguing.
Dean Cain is the main character, playing Lt. Cornelius Morgan, a honest cop in Chicago, suspended over a shootout with Asian criminals in Chinatown, who, after some arguing with his wife (played by Erika Eleniak) wants to make things right and go to the shopping mall to buy some roses an you know what. Unbeknownst to him, the mall is a target of Jimmy Scalzetti (Eric Roberts), who Morgan knows as a thief and they met at their kids‘ musical evening. Unlike other movies, here the motive of main culprit is actually a honorable one – Scalzetti needs money to pay for his son‘s leukemia treatment.
And as the chance has it. Cat (Erika Eleniak), Morgan‘s wife, works in the above mentioned mall ina jewelry store and is taken hostage among some other folks. Although how the hell they manage to stay in the mall after closing it, is quite beyond me, but you have to have hostages, end of. 🙂
A few dead robbers later and we‘re getting into one unbelievable scene. The exchange between Scalzetti (backed up by a black bomber guy with a machine gun, whose brother was previously killed by Morgan) and Morgan (having the box with the money). Now it might be a Christmas spirit, but why the hell they haven‘t shot them (meaning Cain and Eleniak) having them in plain sight and just get the hell out with money, I would never understand. Well, the beauty of script writing, isn‘t it?
And the final chase is in Go Karts. Now eat this, John McClane!
The cast of the movie has some powerful bios. Dean Cain, known in the mainstream for his Superman role in The New Adventures of Superman, and I don‘t remember him from Beverly Hills 90210, but he was there! Apart from many TV appearances, he‘s pretty solid in B-actioners and I am writing down titles to chase right now! So we‘re gonna meet him in some other reviews pretty soon!
Erika Eleniak, who could forget her from Baywatch or her topless jump from a giant cake in Under Siege? Btw, I found it funny in Baywatch she was Shauni McClain, what a coincidence! But she is also in a bunch of other TV series and movies, whose names say nothing to me, but I can‘t say she is not likeable. Put on a read swimming suit, babe…OK, OK…I let myself be carried away for a moment. 🙂
And I am not gonna list Eric Roberts‘ appearances on the screen. This guy is is either a robot or some undead, otherwise I don‘t know…does he sleep? Joking aside, he might not be the best actor, but his charisma (and there should be no doubt about that) makes any movies he‘s in much better than they really are. Except The Dead Want Women. Even Eric couldn‘t save that crap. But for me, his best role to date is the lawyer Patterson from Assault on Wall Street (2013) with Dominic Purcell as the main character (and Erin Karpluk, who I‘ve previously mentioned in a review of Wyvern, as his wife).
The rest of the actors, I have to say, I am not very familiar with. As an European (and Central European at that), the knowledge of mainly US networks TV series is very little in my neck of the woods, but I have to say, I am very glad some of them appeared in my favourite Supernatural TV series (and a few others, of course). And in time we will get back to them, you can be sure of that.
Summa summarum: It‘s not that bad. It‘s watchable. I doubt I will return to it any time soon (unlike an anual Christmas viewing of Die Hard), but if you want a nice, harmless fun movie night, you might actually enjoy it.