Saturday, 26 September 2020
Live Free Or Die Hard
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Monday, 09 July 2007 00:00
It’s been almost twenty years since he first exploded onto the big screen and let me just say Bruce Willis still kicks ass. Yes, he may be older, and balder, but the man still knows how to pack a punch - and a movie theatre. With both commercial and critical success tucked firmly under his belt, the fifty-two year old actor has decided to dive once again into the role that made him one of the biggest names in Hollywood. This time the infamous John McLane has to Live Free or Die Hard.
McLane has his work cut out for him, in this fourth installment of the series, as he tries to stop some cyber-terrorists from causing utter chaos in the good old US of A. This time the baddy, played with superior snobbiness by Timothy Olyphant, launches a virtual attack to bring down the system piece by piece. Everything from traffic lights to televisions falls under terrorist control.
When he’s sent to retreive a young computer hacker for questioning McLane isn’t surprised to get more than he bargained for. I get the feeling that this guy wards off terrorists every time he goes to the supermarket. Anyhow, the cocky young hacker named Matt (Justin Long) is next in a string of hacker hits and McLane has to get him safely to police headquarters. Trouble is police headquarters, not to mention the whole city, has gone haywire as the terrorists have begun taking over.
There isn’t a whole lot of plot but it’s enough to keep the film moving in between show stopping action sequences. Blackout conditions in a tunnel put a nice twist on your typical car chase scene. Not to mention the fact that the car in question is being chased by a helicopter! The dialogue is witty throughout with a lot of quotable lines. I really like Justin Long, who is recognizable to most as the laid back “Mac” from the Apple computer commercials. He plays Matt with just the right amount of disbelief at what is going on around him. Matt: “You just killed a helicopter with a car!” McLane: “I ran out of bullets.”
Essentially this is a buddy movie, and Willis and Long have enough contrast to  play well off each other. But Willis still steals the show, maybe even more so given the age factor. To see him amble his way, limping, through the streets makes the character seem more human and vulnerable despite the beating he takes. We know McLane will come out ok, but seeing him actually get hurt ads excitement to the predictable Hollywood action.
I’ve never even seen the other Die Hard flicks so I can’t compare it to them. But I found myself enjoying the ride of a fun action movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I give Live Free or Die Hard 7 out of 10 stars.