Pierce Brosnan is my favorite James Bond, but I think at times we forget just how much of an action career he had before the Bond franchise. Live Wire takes us back to those post Remington Steele and pre-Bond days, and even though it’s only 1992, it actually feels earlier, like somethings shot in the 80s.
We are introduced to Brown‘s then disarming a bomb in the car, and then getting a restraining order to keep him away from his life. That’s OK, he’ll soon have his hands full hiding terrorists. They haven’t been the same since thier daughter died, and the mother in law definitely doesn’t like him. Indeed, they keep inserting this subplot throughout the movie, to the point where it’s a little distracting. Of course it’s also a plot point considering that Ron Silver’s character, the senator in charge of the investigation, also had a bit of an affair with Brosnan’s wife. Terrorists assassinate a US senator and are creating a super villain super weapon that turns human beings into living bombs. I admit, I’m a little distracted by the fact that Ben cross is a villain – I’m so used to him as Barnabas Collins on the revival of dark shadows in the eerie way that they tend to light him only emphasizes the similarities.
Even with the sci-fi premise and explosions, what this really is, is a police procedural rather than a straight up action or espionage flick. It’s a good one though, Brosnen is playing his character a lot more crass then I’m used to… His typical charm is largely absent but for some jobs you need a crass detective instead of a charming secret agent! It’s up to Brosnan to unravel tangled web of bribery and poison and explosives culminating in a shoot out at the senators sprawling estate. The movie definitely gets definite extra points for all the MacGyvering we get to watch as Brosnan uses household items to slow down and fight back against the bad guys.
Ultimately, Live Wire is a competent and interesting enough thriller. There’s moments of Miami Vice in it, as well as moments of CSI. The familiar faces help but aren’t necessary… more of a bonus. I can think of worse ways to spend 86 minutes.