Sunday, December 30, 2012

TV Deathmas: Breakaway

Everything that is old is new again...but also old.  Today's film is Breakaway, another film that I've been sitting on for months.  I discovered it while collecting films for Dean Cain Week, but avoided it for obvious reasons.  Now tis the season to rip it a new one.  The film's plot is essentially Die Hard.  Now I joked in my Teaser that Firetrap was also a Die Hard rip-off.  That's not entirely true, as its film that I would say is *inspired* by the 1988 classic.  It made Cain a robber and added the Disaster Film element in place of the Terrorist/Criminal element to a certain extent.  This one is freaking Die Hard!  Cain is a Cop and his wife is working on Christmas Eve in a building overrun by criminals trying to steal the safe.  What they changed is the location, setting it in a Mall.  Mind you, the film barely plays with this idea and you only ever see about a dozen people in it.  It does make some good use of the Stores as set-pieces though, I will say that.  This one also adds a schmaltzy element to the story, giving the villain a motivation for robbing the place.  His nice-guy-turned-bad routine wavers a bit though, as he threatens to kill many people to get the money.  Even with all of that said, this is probably the most competent film I've seen for this week's reviews though.  To see if this film is cheery or a Grinch, read on...
Cain is a Chicago Cop on a sting operation in, I guess, Chinatown.  As they watch an arms deal go down, things couldn't possibly go wrong.
 I'm just kidding- of course, they do!  A bunch of people get shot, including some well-to-do Restaurant Owner.  Oh and this car blows up without a trace of fire.
While our hero gets suspended (since the guy complained to the Mayor), the evil Eric Roberts and his gang go to rob a Mall on Christmas Eve.  Why?  Because his daughter needs an operation that costs $250,000!

Holy crap, you could buy a new daughter for that- and they'd throw in a free Toaster!
As movie convenience would have it, Cain's wife- Erika Eleniak...again- works at the Mall and he's in there too to apologize.  You see, they had a fight over money, since he's not working and her Baywatch money ran out years ago.
Cain proceeds to take out the henchman like in Die Hard, but they do find time to advertise a Jet Li movie though.  Good cross-promotion!
In a bit that bugs me, our hero has to battle two brothers that are explosives experts.  The elder one is killed by his own grenade after he gets shot by Cain.  The guy freaks out and says 'You killed him.', he didn't.  Not really.
In a twist that everyone saw coming, Cain's partner is working with the bad guys.  Meanwhile, I'm too distracted by that over-sized gun magazine and can't process anything.  Holy shit- how many bullets does that hold?!?
 The climax takes place in the sewers beneath the Mall in Chicago.  Not to be picky, but those should be WAY dirtier than that.

Roberts dies, but all turns out well in a Christmas sort of way, as Cain and Eleniak pay for the daughter's surgery.
 This is sweet and all, but you're talking about blood money.  This guy tried to kill you're just ignoring me now, aren't you?  Fine.  The End.
It's beginning to look a lot like Die Hard.  The film is not bad.  Let me just get that out of the way.  If you can get past the fact that it's a Made-for-TV rip-off of Die Hard with C-List Stars, you can enjoy it.  It's a lot to accept- I know.  I've had to accept much sillier and worse things than this, but other people may not be as generous.  The film doesn't hit a lot of unique notes, but it does hit them well.  It's not likely to become part of your Christmas tradition.  That said, there are a shit ton of WORSE Christmas films out there, whereas this one falls somewhere in the middle.  If nothing else, it has a mixed message for all of you out there who may not all celebrate the same holiday...
Up next, a film that I've been hanging onto for many, many months.  Will another

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