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fire on people is funny

Would you like to see a cross between Die Hard and a Jackie Chan movie, starring Jet Li? Of course you would. So would I.

Well, that movie is called Meltdown (also High Risk), and it puts a few interesting twists on its otherwise-basic Die-Hard-meets-City-Hunter formula.

One of the major characters is named Frankie Lone. Frankie is the source of a lot of the Jackie Chan feel to this movie. Frankie is a well-known martial arts movie star, and makes a big deal to the press about doing all of his own stunts. But we see that when Frankie is too hung over to safely do a stunt, he uses a stunt double -- our main character, Kit Li (Jet Li). Sound like a snarky version of a certain action film star? Does it give you a hint if I tell you the actor who plays Frankie Lone is named Jackie Cheung? He looks at least as much like Jackie Chan as Bruce Le looks like Bruce Lee.

The plot is derivative of Die Hard in the sense that f'(x) = (f(x+h) - f(x)) / h. A group of terrorists attack a high-rise building, keeping hostage a group of people in order to steal something valuable. One of the people that wasn't in the initial hostage group (Kit) is a highly-trained ex-policeman, and he causes trouble for the terrorists, as do some of the guests (such as Frankie).

Really, it's not worth wasting time on the plot of this movie. Like a good Hong Kong action movie, the fun is in the fight sequences. There's one with a small car, one with track lighting, one with a grand piano....

And that's the problem with this movie, from a Smithee perspective -- it is highly entertaining with a lot of great action sequences. An Inane Dialogue here, sure, a bit of Overkill there, yes, but I don't know that this movie is bad enough to tread upon classic Smithee Awards turf (probably to the disagreement of sgtrocknroll, who recommended it), except....

The Whoops!es. There is precedent for using an otherwise-good movie when we are short on Whoops! And I counted four Whoops!es in this film, three of which are probably solid enough to make the show individually.

So ... a difficult call. A fun movie in my left hand. Four potential Whoops!es in my right. I don't have to make this decision for several months, but ... WHAT would YOU do?