Live Free or Die Hard Reviews
Like the previous entry, this one is on a larger, more open scale, with McClane having to stop a high tech terrorist attack on the country's (mainly eastern seaboard) computer infrastructure using his old school analog ways. Joining him is a dweeby computer guy who makes for a pretty decent comic foil, though he has nothing on Samuel L. Jackson's Zeus from the previous film.
The film (at least the theatrical cut) suffers from being sanitized and given the PG-13 treatment, but if you're open minded, you can look past this aspect. McClane is also treated like a friggin superhero, basically surviving stuff that no normal man should. This last aspect seems to increase as this series goes on, and, yeah, it's a bit dumb, but if all you want is a cheesy over-the-top action spectacle, then you should be decently happy with this one.
This just about gets good marks still purely for the action, not so much violent but still impressive. Taking out a chopper with a car...quality, oh and Maggie Q is gorgeous.
Matt Farrell: Matt Farrell.
Lucy McClane: Lucy McClane.
Matt Farrell: I thought your name was Gennero. Lucy Gennero?
Lucy McClane: Not today.
Action-packed! When I heard that Die Hard 4.0 would be PG-13 I had my doubts, but was pleasantly surprised! A bit of a disappointment villain-wise, but a fun film nonetheless.
John McClane: Yippie ki yay mother f- [shoots himself in the shoulder].
John McClane (Bruce Willis) battles technology in the fourth addition in the Die Hard franchise. With the help of expert hacker Matthew Farrell (Justin Long), they plan to take down another expert hacker (Timothy Olyphant) before he takes the phrase "firesale" to a whole new level.
John McClane: I know I'm not as smart as you guys with all this computer shit. But, hey... I'm still alive, ain't I? I mean, you've *got* to be running out of bad guys by now, right? Huh? Gabriel? Honestly, you can tell me. I mean, how does that work? Got some kind of service or something? Some kind of 800 number? 1-800-HENCHMEN? Oh, you know what? I bet you're still on hold with, "Can I get another dead Asian hooker bitch over here right away?"
Olyphant isn't really believable as the villain, which is surprising considering his fantastic work in Justified and The Crazies. Kevin Smith as Warlock was a nice addition which injected more humor into the series (only in the film because they were working on Cop Out).
The action sequences are well-managed and excite the audiences. The helicopter-car sequence is probably the most memorable scene in the movie.
Probably the most believable of the series, but not the best.
John McClane: Hey, what's a fire sale?
Matt Farrell: It's a three-step... it's a three-step systematic attack on the entire national infrastructure. Okay, step one: take out all the transportation. Step two: the financial base and telecoms. Step three: You get rid of all the utilities. Gas, water, electric, nuclear. Pretty much anything that's run by computers which... which today is almost everything. So that's why they call it a fire sale, because everything must go.
Bruce Willis, Justin Long, and Kevin Smith were all brilliant here. Even that guy who played some generic military guy in the Transformers movie played the "tortured artist/slightly gay" bad guy very well in this film.
In the end it's an action packed extravaganza of fun. Fans of previous films won't be disappointed watching their favorite average joe "save the world" one (hopefully) last time.
A movie needs four things to really feel like a true Die Hard movie: Bruce Willis as John McClane, Michael Kamen's musical score, Jan DeBont's cinematography, and a memorable villain.
Live Free or Die Hard has only one of those four things.
...yet despite that fact, I was surprised to find that it is not only a good flick, but probably the best Die Hard movie since the first. Bruce is back in full force as McClane. Marco Beltrami did a phenomenal job of imitating Kamen's scores, even using some of the same themes and musical cues from previous films - This goes a long way toward creating the atmosphere of a Die Hard film. The cinematography seemed a little more modern and slick than previous installments, but they were very smart in avoiding a lot of the modern trends that would have really taken away from the film: Slo-mo is used very sparingly, and the more frenetic action scenes aren't all just quick-cut, shaky-cam, over-edited messes.
This leaves us with the villain situation. Timothy Olyphant is a good actor who can really steal a scene in the right role. But here he is only given a couple of really meaty moments to shine, and comparing him to classic villainous actors like Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons is just unfair. So while he does a fine job, his character is not particularly memorable. The rest of the villains are filled out with the usual generic henchman, with the exception of a kung-fu right-hand woman and an overly-acrobatic top thug straight out of a Bond film.
Justin Long has always been a fun, underrated actor in my opinion, but again I was worried he'd come across as a lame comic relief sidekick. Yes, he provides a lot of the laughs for the movie, but he is able to do it in a way that seems natural for his character, and it never seems forced.
I was extremely worried going into this film and had kept my expectations down accordingly. It's always nice to have high hopes for a film and have that film match your expectations, but to go in and be SO pleasantly surprised is a great feeling. I was grinning though half the movie just because I was so thrilled it was living up to the Die Hard name. The action is exciting and even if they went over-the-top in a couple sequences (the F-35 scene is quite far-fetched and feels like it belongs more in a True Lies movie), it never takes you out of the movie. It's just a great action flick and probably ranks second in the franchise only to the original in my opinion.
Director: Len Wiseman
Summary: John McClane (Bruce Willis) is back and badder than ever, and this time he's working for Homeland Security. He calls on the services of a young hacker (Justin Long) in his bid to stop a ring of Internet terrorists intent on taking control of America's computer infrastructure. Fear not, the information-age plot still boasts plenty of good old-fashioned gunfights, smash-ups and explosions.
My Thoughts: "Love a good action film, and this one definitely delivered. Love all the "Die Hard" films. Had some really good exploisions scenes. The story was interesting and kept you attention all the way through. I liked Justin Long in this. Thought he fit the role good. Kevin Smith was a nice surprise. All in all a great action film. If you like action packed films and shit that blows up, then this is your kind of film."