Renny Harlin is older now. Wiser. He almost made an Alien movie, was thisclose to taking the reins of the James Bond franchise, caught the biggest comedian on the planet in the last ten minutes before his precipitous fall... Harlin was a minute ahead of his time and sometimes a minute behind, and today he has a new movie out, with three more finished and on the way. He thinks the best is ahead for him, and...I might agree. There is something unlovable about Harlin's films--an irascible, some would say vicious quality that has engendered affection for them despite their gore and what should be noted is an at-times-uncompromising meanness. He shoots action sequences with clarity and logic: bullet strikes feel heavy, car chases physical, his ubiquitous explosions so jarring I remember the cuffs of my pants fluttering when the passenger plane went down in Die Hard 2 on opening night. He is a maximalist who got his start in low-budget horror and graduated, for a brief time, to the blockiest of blockbusters. Then it all went sideways.