Anthony's Film Review
Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
The fourth Die Hard succeeds as an action blockbuster even in this changing world...
I will not make any comparisons of this fourth installment of the Die Hard series with its three predecessors. At the time, I hadn't seen any of those three. I am reviewing Live Free or Die Hard (a.k.a. Die Hard 4.0) from the general perspective of an action film lover. The first thing to know is that the movie does not disappoint. Everything you want in an action flick is there, from the explosions to the hero walking the flames for our amusement.
Bruce Willis is NYPD detective John McClane, and this time, he is up against a band of computer hackers manipulating the infrastructure of the United States. When these virtual terrorists strike FBI headquarters, a massive crackdown is initiated. McClane is asked to seek computer hacker Matt Farrell and take him down for questioning. And this is where the fun begins. It is only the second scene where Bruce Willis is on camera and there are already bullets, explosions, and hard punches occupying our eyes and ears. You can tell that a lot of money went into this one action scene. I can say that it sets the standard for the rest of the movie. In other words, this is only the beginning of something really cool.
At times, the plausibility of the action sequences should be in question but isn't. There are moments where defeating an adversary with the most careful aiming and timing is so unlikely in real life, but McClane can easily do it. McClane can also perform stunts and physical feats that even a veteran stuntperson would cringe at. Events like this could not occur by chance alone. It's as if there is a god controlling the action so that things happen in a certain precise way. That's not to say that McClane doesn't get hurt. To say that is an understatement. He is pushed to the limit and suffers more cuts and bruises than you can count. Maybe that's why I didn't question the plausibility of some of the action sequences. Everything else still looked too real.
The casting is excellent. Bruce Willis exemplifies the tough guy who just won't back down. Justin Long as the helpless hacker Matt Farrell, forced into the line of fire with McClane, is also great. Timothy Olyphant as the villainous hacker Thomas Gabriel delivers a performance to remember along with Maggie Q as a ruthless hacker with a deadly mastery of martial arts. Even Kevin Smith as a hacker nicknamed Warlock is interesting to see.
As long as we're on the topic of terrorism, it may be worthwhile to mention how great this movie is even in the post-9/11 world. Considering how the hackers in this movie have the power to control the most guarded government computer systems to wreak havoc and chaos, you would think that a movie like this could not have been released in the first few years since 9/11. The fact that this movie has this kind of plot shows that we are not living in fear. This is a post-9/11 action movie that is not unsettling and is still a lot of fun to watch. The title of the movie says it all. As McClane would say, Yippee Ki Yay.
For more information about Live Free or Die Hard, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my review of the following:
The Die Hard Films