Bang for your buck

Crimson Tide and Die Hard With a Vengeance provide summer's action fix

Which brings us to the most expendable character in Die Hard With a Vengeance--the one played by Bruce Willis. While I've often enjoyed Willis' character turns, he's got to be one of the most annoying, least intuitive action heroes ever to strut across a blast site. Willis appears to have perfected his tough-guy acting technique for With a Vengeance by wearing an athletic supporter a few sizes too small--he smirks, he grimaces, he squints, but never does he relay to us the gravity of the situations he must confront.

When all is said and done, Die Hard With a Vengeance--by offering nonstop cataclysm and a script that blatantly targets a junior high school mentality--may best the superior Crimson Tide in the summer box office race.

Crimson Tide. Hollywood Pictures. Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman, George Dzundza. Written by Robert Schiffer, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Towne. Directed by Tony Scott. Now showing.

Die Hard With a Vengeance. 20th Century Fox. Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Irons. Written by Jonathan Hensleigh. Directed by John McTiernan. Opens May 19.

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