What Went Wrong With… John Moore?

Caricature of director John Moore with text "Max Pain" as parody of film title "Max Payne". By

Judging from Hollywood’s output these days, it’s pretty obvious that the business has overtaken the art. Studios don’t give two shits what they produce as long as it makes money – just look at the amount of throwaway crap that’s released each year. If any more proof was needed that Hollywood’s sole concern is for profit and not for artistry, John Moore would be it.

Moore is yet another twat from the advertising world who has wormed his hack way into the film industry. After making an inexplicably long, amateur-looking, corny mess of an ad for the now defunct Sega Dreamcast, some Hollywood dick gave him a movie to direct. According to the IMDb Bio on Moore “the ad was so bombastic… that Twentieth Century Fox ended up offering him the job on Behind Enemy Lines”.

It’s pretty strange that even the Studio admitted that Moore’s ad was “bombastic” (high-sounding but with little meaning; inflated) but they still handed him $40,000,000 to make a film. Maybe the Studio Exec was using the term “bombastic” from Shaggy’s Dictionary of Misnomers, or maybe this was an admission that Hollywood likes to hand over large sums of money to talentless arseholes. Either way, Behind Enemy Lines’ Action credentials were about as believable as Owen Wilson as an Action Star, and the overall film was as amateur-looking as the Sega advert Moore had made two years earlier. Regardless, the film went on to make a profit of more than double its original budget, so John Moore was given more garbage to direct.

Ignoring the disappointment and financial failure that was “Flight Of The Phoenix” (which lost around $11,000,000) Moore was given a second chance with the Omen remake, whose only prerequisite I assume was to complete in time for its clichéd 06/06/06 release date. Once June 6th had passed however, it was clear that Moore’s remake was nothing like the original. Richard Donner’s version had oodles of atmosphere and was beautifully framed, Moore’s version was devoid of scares and it lacked thrills. In fact, it was so drab and so lifeless, that it left you wondering why great actors like Pete Postlethwaite were in such a mockery. Alongside Postlethwaite, there was the juxtaposed casting of several Ph Neutral performers, I mean whoever thought David Thewlis was a suitable replacement for David Warner needed their eyes testing. And aside from this, John Moore’s frantic and shaky camera work and quick abrupt zooms added no sense of horror whatsoever – if anything it removed any tension or mood the film may have had. On top of this, there was the completely pointless “remake elements” which were left in place from the 1976 original. I mean, in 2006 when every Pap had already moved over to digital, the photographer character Keith Jennings was still processing black and white film at home and even more inexplicably his digital files on screen were black and white too. More baffling than this, was the fact that this shit-stained remake made almost $120,000,000 worldwide from its original $25,000,000 budget, so once again John Moore was allowed to destroy even more cans of film.

John Moore’s next shitfest was Max Payne, a cheap looking Video Game adaptation sporting the aesthetics of a made-for-TV-movie. With the bad actor Mark Wahlberg, the even badder actor Ludacris and the baddest actor Mila Kunis, the film was a meeting of pricks, dicks, and twats. Wahlberg in particular seemed to be proving that he cannot act when reacting to the death of his wife and child with a bemused expression. Meanwhile, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges was doing his best Hip-Hop Internal Affairs Agent, and Mila Kunis with her noughties Pornstar looks was busy giving a Porn-Valley-esque believability to the role of an assassin. Moore on the other hand, seemed busy jumping between styles by being a wannabe Robert Rodriguez and then suddenly a wannabe David Fincher but failing on both counts. The whole sorry affair made you wonder why Mr. Moore continues directing Action when he is so obviously bad at it – the scene with Mark Wahlberg shooting his gun whilst falling backward in slow motion had to be one of the worst action sequences ever to be filmed. In addition, the flashback toward the end with Beau Bridges’ reflection in the mirror of the baby mobile was one if the most embarrassing edits in cinematic history. Hollywood, ignoring all these shitty aspects (and since the film more than doubled its budget) handed over yet another script for him to ruin.

The script which Moore would eventually butcher was Die Hard 5 aka “A Good Day To Die Hard” (although thanks to Skip Woods the screenplay and plot was already a steaming pile of stench-ridden shite). The coming together of hack writer and hack director created the epitome of filmic excrement, and along with its cheap and tacky feel, it had to be Moore’s worst film by far. John Moore who by last year seemed pretty content in being Twentieth Century Fox’s bitch, has somehow become worse at directing the more films he’s made. His point and shoot, no skills “look” hit its pinnacle with A Good Day, and with the false set pieces and false-looking amateur actors, the whole thing looked more like The Days Of Our Lives rather than A Good Day To Die Hard.

With the casting of Amaury Nolasco (from Max Payne) as John’s NYPD colleague, it felt like the fifth outing of Die Hard was ignoring all the characters from the third film on purpose, and the peripheral actors playing Intelligence Workers at the CIA Headquarters looked like the worst kind of television soap actors. The walking penis Jai Courtney added to this distinctly D-List feel and oddities such as the opening scene in a shooting range with a photo of Obama on the wall (so you know it’s America) looked so unlike New York, that it was probably filmed in Hungary along with the faux-Moscow location in Budapest.

The Cold-War-Throwback setting itself felt unconnected to the original Trilogy, and with the now miserable Bruce Willis yelling “I’m on vacation” every five fucking minutes, it was surprisingly worse than Len Wiseman‘s fourth fuck-up of the franchise. I mean for Nakatomi’s sake, nobody gave a flying fuck about John McClaine’s god forsaken offspring, nobody wanted to see unbelievable action sequences, and why would you want to add The CIA and spies to a Die Hard movie? All in all Woods and Moore were straying so far from a Die Hard film, that it seemed they were trying to obliterate the entire franchise, but I digress.

John Moore, who ironically shares his name with a University, is so inept at making something intelligent or memorable that you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that he hadn’t graduated High School. According to his IMDb page, he “attended a technical college in Dublin where he studied filmmaking” – “studying” I assume means something completely different at this so-called “Technical College” since all of John Moore’s films show a complete lack of proficiency in film-making. Ignoring his lack of skills however, 20th Century Fox (who is now a full century behind the times) has allowed him to direct almost every sub-par script that they can muster. After all, he has made the Studio a profit almost every time.

It’s quite depressing that an art form such as film has been completely hi-jacked by businessmen, I mean surely a film can still be profitable if you let talented people work on them. Maybe work on a screenplay for a while and polish it, before letting this turd of a director get his hack hands on it. Or better still, don’t give this cunt any more movies to direct at all. If Hollywood wasn’t in such a rush for profit, we wouldn’t have so many crappy movies, let alone crappy John Moore movies. But with Moore’s last film making roughly three times its budget, I’m sure he’ll be fucking something up real soon…

Less Is Moore.

2 replies »

  1. This is the guy that made that shitty video game adaption? I did not know, but was not suprised since he is responsible for that piece of shit movie Die Hard 5. It amazes me that guys like John Moore, along with Zack Snyder and Len Wiseman, are getting work.

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