IMDb: Live Free or Die Hard
Wikipedia: Live Free or Die Hard
Rating: PG -13
(intense sequences of violence and action, language, and a brief sexual situation)
Length: 130 minutes (2:10)
Director: Len Wiseman
Genre: Action / Adventure / Thriller
My Rating: 9 (of 10)
Family Friendly: Not for young children.
I’ve seen a ton of disparaging internet reviews about this movie, but most of them seem to be written by teenagers, people who never were fans of the Die Hard series.
So I went to see it anyway, pretty sure that these kids were wrong.
And they were. It was fantastic.
Bruce Willis is back as the brooding, do-it-all, whatever-it-takes Detective John McClane, still with the New York Police Department.
But now his daughter is all grown up and somewhat estranged. Now the world is a different place, and McClane’s fists and guns aren’t quite enough to solve the situation he’s gotten himself into.
So this movie brings in computer hacker Matt Farrell (Justin Long) to help him out.
As usual for the series, Die Hard 4 introduces a new set of criminal masterminds, this time played by younger, sexier actors than in the previous three installments: Timothy Olyphant is Thomas Gabriel, a former government employee who is a computer genius, and Maggie Q is Mai Lihn, his too-sexy, hard-hearted love interest.
Interestingly enough, it’s Mai Lihn who does the best job of kicking McClane’s butt in this movie, in a fight sequence that’s disturbingly violent, yet hilarious at the same time. Yep. John McClane gets beat up by a woman. But the way he finishes her off is maybe one of the best action sequences of the Die Hard franchise.
Kevin Smith is also in this movie, in a huge switch from his usual role as Silent Bob in the “Jay and Silent Bob” series. He’s not silent, but he’s even more overweight than usual as the “Warlock,” a computer hacker who gives McClane and Farrell some badly needed help.
As a long time fan of the Die Hard movies, I was impressed and thrilled, yet I always felt I was in familiar territory with the ever-dedicated John McClane.
This is a series where each movie seems a little better than the last. Die Hard 2 was more impressive in scope than the original, and the third movie (Die Hard: With a Vengeance) was a blast of excitement on an even larger scale.
Although much of the action in Live Free or Die Hard takes place inside computers, there are enough explosions, car chases, gun fights, and fisticuffs to please the most die-hard (pun intended) fan of these movies.
Note: There are a few inconsistencies in the movie, some of which I noticed in the theater, and others that seemed obvious after someone else pointed them out.
1) After McClane breaks out the driver’s side window of a car, the car’s window appears to be fine a few minutes later.
2) During a car chase sequence through a tunnel, bullet holes in the windshield seem to appear and then disappear.
3) In one fight sequence, Mai Lihn’s hair appears fixed and in a ponytail. After she walks away, her hair is completely mussed.
4) After the FAA “has grounded all flights,” a later scene shows planes at an airport moving on the ground and coming in for a landing.
5) After one fight sequence, McClane appears to have lost his gun (and shoulder holster), so he picks up a pipe wrench. A few minutes later, he miraculously has them back.
6) An “On-Star” type system in a car continues to miraculously function, although the nation’s communication systems have been disabled by the bad guys.
However, to me personally, none of these errors were enough to keep me from enjoying the film. If you look closely enough, every action movie has a list of mistakes like this. At least every one I’ve seen. Some have errors so glaring that I can’t enjoy the film. That was NOT the case in this one.
These mistakes are insignificant enough to be of no bother.
If you liked any of the other Die Hard films, you’ll love this one.