Monday, March 31, 2008

Movie Review: Live Free or Die Hard

Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant, Maggie Q, Cliff Curtis, Jonathan Sadowski, Kevin Smith

Len Wiseman (Underworld)

MPAA Rating:
PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, language and a brief sexual situation.

Release Date:
June 2007

The decidedly low-tech John McClane calls on the services of a young hacker in his bid to stop a shadowy group intent on taking control of America's computer infrastructure.

My Two Cents:
America is under attack, again! Duck and cover, run for the hills! No wait, who’s that in the distance? It’s John McClane (Bruce Willis). John fucking McClane! Yes, the same McClane who rid the Nakatomi Plaza of German terrorists, saved the Virginia Dulles International Airport and prevented New York from being blown out of the map.

This time McClane faces a pissed off computer genius named Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant) who threatens to start a “fire sale”, which means to cut the nation’s communications and gain control of it. To do this he needs the help of the country’s top hackers, who help out without knowing what their skills are being used for. One of these hackers is super nerd Mike Farrell (Justin Long). They’re all offered a great sum of money for their help, but then they start getting killed by the mysterious villain one by one. John McClane just happened to be around when it was Ferrell’s time to die, and is saved after an intense shootout. Lucky bastard.

The FBI goes into a panic when their computers are hacked, and as much as they hate it, they must rely on McClane to do the dirty work. No surprises here. Even worst than getting involved in this mess, at some point Gabriel kidnaps the only important person in McClane’s life, his daughter. Oh boy, now it got personal. Want to bet how this is going to end?

Bruce Willis’ life as an action star has basically come to an end, and the same goes for John McClane. He can still kick ass, and he sure as hell does in this fourth movie, but it’s clear he won’t be doing this for much longer. This is perhaps why it’s so cool to see Willis play McClane one more time. This is the best Die Hard since the first one back in 1988.

The action gets crazy early on, with insane stunts, car crashes, explosions and shootouts. Some people were bothered with some of the CG special effects being too over-the-top but I loved them. It’s a Die Hard movie, and crazy shit is going to happen.

I found it strange that the Blue-ray version I watched was rated PG-13 since all other previous movies were rated R. The action is there, as are the one-liners and jokes, but it just feels odd not hearing the “F” word every three minutes. This is John McClane we’re talking about. I guess Fox wanted to reach a broader audience, and it payed off because Live Free or Die Hard is the most successful movie in the series, earning over $380 million worldwide.


Digg this


ShirowWolf said...

Bruce Willis, and John McClane, do indeed still kick ass. I don't know if there will be any more movies or not; Hell, this movie took forever to make. It was 'in talks' or 'considered' for several years. There was reportedly one draft of the movie in which McClane was going to be stuck in a jungle, for some reason, and have no weapons, and have to fight some terrorists. It's my understanding though that that particular draft evolved essentially into Tears of the Sun, which...also starred Willis. Huh. I don't know if that story is true or not, but so I heard.

I loved this movie. It still has a lot of good old Die Hard essence in it. There's nothing that original about it, and the terrorists' activities were kind of silly. But well...I guess it's believable ENOUGH that you don't take it too hard. Or rather, it feels believable enough. Also, you really see why this series is called 'Die Hard'; it was great to see how the Hell McClane was going to get out of all the madness coming his way. It was kind of funny that McClane is bald now in this movie, but it fits for the movie.

'There is...another... John McClane...' The BR is only the PG-13 cut?? Yeesh...You should get the DVD, which you can get in an 'Unrated' cut (it's not 'Rated R', but it's the same thing, really. :P ). Actually, the edition I have has both the theatrical and the 'Unrated'. Yep. All the swear words are there. I think it was a 'limited release' though, so you unfortunately might not be able to find it anymore. Since this movie WAS clearly filmed with...all the swears in there, I don't know why they decided to take most of them out to make it PG-13, theatrically. To get more people to see it? Maybe. I..don't know. But McClane has never had a problem drawing crowds. I don't doubt it would still be a good movie without the swears; sure, it would (I haven't watched the PG-13 cut. :P ). But you're right; this is Die Hard. The lack of swearing would feel weird. But oh well.

So anyway, if you really...want some...swear words back in there, look for the 2-disc Unrated cut.

This movie was the most successful entry in the series?? Wow.

Yippy-Ki-Yay, mother fucker. :D

Shin Lord said...

Why would McClane be in the jungle? I'm glad that idea was scrapped. Although the first Die Hard is known in Spain as "La Jungla de Cristal" which means "The Crystal Jungle".

McClane does go through some tough shit in this movie, and the stunts are so over the top they're almost laughable, but it's cool if it's a Die Hard movie. That's Die Hard in a nutshell.

Although I won't be seeing this movie again for the swear words of the DVD version, I do wish I had seen that instead of the PG-13 Blu-ray. It wasn't that great on HD anyway, so I definitely missed out. I enjoyed it as it was, but now I feel cheated.