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...but literally a quadruple serving of awesome "Die Hard" action.
My girlfriend and I saw "Live Free Or Die Hard" at a premiere screening last night at Radio City Music Hall. The place holds about 5,000 seats and it was packed.
With an 8:30 start, we got to our seats by 7:30. The movie didn't begin until 9:30!!! Guess who was late?
Julie and I are not particularly big 'Die Hard' fans. And having to catch a train home from Grand Central station at a certain time, we both agreed that if the movie was sub-par, we would split early to get home earlier.
So finally the lights go down around 9:20 and out comes Bruce Willis. He respectfully apologized and then started jazzing up the audience for the film. The excitement was palpable as the crowded theater whooped it up with Bruce shouting "Are you ready!!!"
Well, Julie and I were, as we got swept up in the excitement and cheered aloud as if we were at the ball game. Even the couple next to us, I'd say they were about in their late sixties, dressed very 'proper', were just as energized.
The movie starts and a mere few minutes in, the action explodes. By twenty minutes into the film, Julie and I were sold. Who cares what time we're gonna get home!?
I have not had this much fun at the movies since I can't remember when. I have always loved summer movies, but only the ones that deliver the goods. The action sequences are top shelf, 21st century movie making brilliance. These explosive scenes are a seamless composite of fantastic, real world stunt work, and exceptional CGI. Hands down, they make the film. And for an action movie with 'die hard' in the title, I'd say that was the point.
It was awesome watching this film with so many people because it was like riding a gigantic roller coaster, with everybody having a shared, hair raising experience. People were cheering like when Luke blew up the Death Star. The humor throughout was just right. By the end of the film, our senses were stunned as we dizzily made our way out of the theater, thoroughly entertained.
Excellent summer movie! Well done Bruno and crew!
Just went to the world premiere of Die Hard 4.0, and I was positively surprised. It delivers action in abundance, and the movie has a great visceral feel to it thanks to great stunt work, and the fact that Willis really steps up in the fight scenes. The movie keeps up its pace throughout, and the script works quite well, though the tech-talk gets a little heavy at times. I was particularly worried about Wiseman directing, since both underworld movies were a complete mess in my opinion, but he really keeps it tight and disciplined this time around. Is Die Hard 4.0 the second or third best of the series? I don't know, but it is certainly a worthy successor, and all the other blockbusters should look this way to see how its done efficiently, crisp and above all entertaining.
When a criminal plot is in place to take down the entire computer and
technological structure that supports the economy of the United States
(and the world), it's up to a decidedly "old school" hero, police
detective John McClane, to take down the conspiracy, aided by a young
Well, I can't believe I'm saying this but the newest edition to the Die Hard series may rank with the first. It's superb direction, fantastic acting, groundbreaking special effects and clever quirps will leave you with (almost) nothing to complain about. Die Hard may very well be the best action flick of 2007. It can be beat, but I doubt by a sequel.
I am proud to say that Bruce Willis still has some John McClane left in him. Bruce gets to say one of most famous lines in action film history, "Yippy Ki-ya Motha ******!", without cuts, he even gets to talk to himself, a scene that is almost identical to the scene in the air vent of the first film. (C'mon, it'll be fun, come out to the coast, have a few laughs.)
About all the controversy for the MPAA rating...it was all useless. Die Hard acts just like a rated R film, just because it says PG-13 doesn't mean its not as violent as the others. No, he doesn't say the F word, but it's not as bad as you think. It's more of a character to character type of thing then anything else. John McClane learns to bond with a young hacker. (Justin Long) It's more...I don't know..."cute" then the other movies, it doesn't need the F word.
I don't think there is much else to say. Die Hard is one of my best movie experiences to date. The crowd laughed and screamed and then cheered at the end. The only slightest problem I had with this film was the fact that the realism was quite low. Then again, as I have said before, if everything were realistic we wouldn't have action movies.
Live Free or Die Hard is a must-see IN THE THEATRE.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The first Die Hard was probably the best modern action film ever made.
The second Die Hard works because the movie has a major sense of humor
about how ridiculous it is to put John McClane through such a similar
situation again; it practically makes fun of itself for a lot of the
movie. The third one works because you have a bad guy that is out for
revenge against John McClane. The fourth one though, it just felt like
McClane's character was dropped in as an after thought. I don't think
you can just drop John McClane into any story and call it Die Hard and
this movie felt more like a Tom Clancy political thriller than a Die
While watching this I at least thought I would let it pass as a generic action movie, because I was having fun. However, then I started thinking about it and I'm sorry I need even my action movies to at least make a little bit of sense. There was just too much stuff in this one that didn't work for me. The first problem I had was that the bad guys created a giant traffic jam in DC causing congestion everywhere except of course for the streets they need for the major car chase scene. Also during the part of that car chase that took place in the tunnel, how come when the bad guy started turning the lights off in the tunnel not a single person though to turn their head lights on? However the biggest action scene that bugged me was the scene where John McClane is driving the big rig truck and being chased by the fighter plane. This scene was so laughably over the top that it had no place in a Die Hard movie. I know Die Hard movies are known for their over the top action at some points but I just could not stop laughing at how completely ridiculous this scene was. Oh and seriously, since when does the 695 beltway around Baltimore have palm trees? OK, that is a bit too nitpicky, but it was kind of funny.
The film seemed to me to also be extremely inconsistent about whether or not cell phones were working. The cell phones weren't working, so he reprogrammed the phone to use the old "satcomm" satellites instead. Then that stopped working and then a little bit later that is working again. Also I'm still amazed at how Kevin Smith's character is still able to hack into so much stuff even after all the power on the entire eastern seaboard has been shut off. I mean seriously there are a lot of servers out there that have battery backups and stuff, but a lot of the servers he would need to go through to have a good enough connection to do any of the hacking he was doing would have been shut down after the power outage. OK, maybe I am picking at too much of the film, but all this bugged me while watching the film and I wasn't able to just sit back and get sucked in like I would in any other Die Hard film.
The acting in the film for the most part was pretty good, except of course for the main bad guy. He had one facial expression for the entire movie and the tone of his voice never changed. His only way of showing anger was to throw something off his desk. His performance was so wooden; it just paled in comparison to Alan Rickman, William Sadler and Jeremy Irons, who all three just played wonderful bad guys.
The look and feel of the movie didn't feel at all like a Die Hard movie to me either. Sure, John McClane takes a good beating like he does in all the films but all the action seemed to crisp and clean. It didn't feel nearly as gritty as the previous Die Hard films. Also one of the things I noticed was the film seemed to have this predominantly blue color scheme going on. It just felt like there was this blue hue through out the film, where in the previous Die Hard films the predominant colors are very earthy and red. I don't know if anyone else even knows what I am talking about, but that is just something that I noticed that took away from the gritty Die Hard feeling.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I went to see this movie with very high hopes. I loved the first three
in the series - they are among my favorite action movies of all time.
When I first heard they were making a fourth Die Hard movie I thought -
Awesome, what a great way to introduce Die Hard to a whole new
generation of fans.
What I saw was a laughable mockery of a Die Hard movie. Let me start by saying the first problem was the rating. Turning a series of R rated gory action flicks into A PG-13 imitation does not work. It was as if Fox was trying to pass it off as some type of family friendly movie. This resulted in the film being minimal in bloody action violence, minimal in language use, and the use of McClane's staple line - "Yippee Ki Yay Mo ******" was made to be slightly distorted so the last word (all Die Hard fans know what it is) was more implied than spoken. The rating also had another effect. Since the aspects listed above were downplayed so much, the movie's style didn't come anywhere close to matching the style of the first three. It didn't Feel like Die Hard.
(This is off topic, but it reminds me of another time the same company took two GREAT! R rated series - Alien - and Predator - and combined them to make the PG-13 mockery we now know as AVP)
I didn't like the villain. The whole movie it didn't seem like he himself really did anything. He didn't really torture or shoot or even severely harm McClane's daughter. He was never really a threat. It was always a henchmen up until the end of the movie. (Unless you count the Tunnel-Helicopter sequence) Which bugs me, where did all the henchmen come from? In the first and third movies they were German militants, and the second movie they were military extremists supportive of General Esperanza. It this movie - they were just kind of there. I mean, Gabriel was suppose to be a DoD government employee - and he just pulled a crap load of henchmen out of no where. Were they terrorists? Wow, nice background check on a government employee with links to terrorist organizations if they were.
The use of technology was just awful. Specifically what you saw on the computer screens was unrealistic and felt like some sort of hi tech fairy tale to me (being a networking professional). I mean, I had no idea hacking was so graphical and straightforward.
To close - if the characters weren't making some cheesy quip or not dying after smashing through multiple plains of glass and being hit with SUV at one point - they most defiantly were contributing to what should go down in history as a sorry day indeed for the Die Hard series.
My advice - pull a matrix and pretend the sequel doesn't exist.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
8.1? Most of the time I easily accept that many people love movies that
I myself totally hate and vice versa. its OK, opinions just vary. But
in this case I simply don't get it. How can somebody who is a fan of
the first Die Hard possibly give this one such a high rating??- given
that not all voters are confused misguided 15 year old who might have
dubious judging criteria at times...
A few reasons for being so utterly disappointed
1. Okay, this is just me: I would have liked to see a little more of Mclane's contemporary everyday life ( AA meeting perhaps...) just to get to see the character and how he's changed a while longer before the action kicks in (kind of like in the original)- maybe I'm living in the wrong decade with such wishes...
2. Again I understand if some disagree: The Idea of Willis picking up a kid to take him somewhere and ending up protecting him from killers was already used, and done well, in "16 Blocks" and Shouldn't have been used again...
3. The CGI. Most people laud this film, including Willis, for being so real- real images, real stunts (yes, my compliments on the stunt work that WAS real)... however i actually gave up counting the effect shots after a while- no matter how well they're done one can simply tell the difference between real movie and computer game scene. And I'm so sick of watching artificial computer action especially in movies where it is so damn unnecessary.
4. The action. Somewhere along the line in the tunnel this movie stopped being a Die Hard Movie and became a cross between The Matrix, The Transporter 2 and M:Impossible: Mclane and the kid ducking from a falling car that bounces off just inches from their heads. Mclane jumping out of a speeding car- since he's so optimistic about the vehicle taking off and crashing into a helicopter, MClane in a fistfight in a car dangling in an elevator shaft,Mclane taking down a Jet etc... thanks a lot John Hunt!
5. Stupid patriotism "It's not a system it's a country!"... Uh huh...
You know I could go on and on but I think the biggest problem of this movie is that the creators have simply ignored who John Mclane was in the original: A grumpy Anti-hero who gets into dangerous situations (yes Len Wiseman got that right) but who gets himself out of them in a way that is human and doable- HE WAS NEVER A SUPERHERO.
I don't know what most of you see in this that you find so outstanding, I really just think of it as another pebble added to this landslide of senseless sequels that overshadow this summer.
12 years on; McClane is bald, estranged from his family and feels
increasingly like an anachronism. There is a strong 'post-9/11' vibe, a
muted color scheme and a strangely sombre tone that permeates
proceedings. The film covers more terrain (literally) than it's
predecessors and the action is slightly episodic as a result of
shoehorning a series of mini-showdowns into a plot about
cyber-terrorists and an attempt to shut down the US infrastructure.
It's handled more deftly and inventively than you might expect, but
it's not an obvious marriage.
The authenticity of the 'hacking' that takes place is also suspect (webcam becomes spy-cam in the basement of a security obsessed computer nerd?) and there is a horribly misjudged piece of casting in Kevin Smith as a stereotypical basement-dwelling, uber-hacker.(he simply doesn't have the acting chops) Having said all of that, the action sequences are top-notch; brutal and old-school. (with a couple of nods to the 'new', in the form of the stoic but sizzling Maqqie Q and 'le parkour' madman Cyril Rafaelli, whose incredible dexterity is captured to dazzling effect by Wiseman and crew) The performances are mainly strong, especially Bruce who immediately reminds you that you're watching McClane despite the (slightly) sanitized language and vanishing hair. Justin Long is surprisingly engaging as McClane's assignment/sidekick in a role which could so easily have been irritating, and Olyphant, as the main bad guy, gives an intense and charismatic performance full of understated humor and implied menace. He makes for an interesting antagonist, reminiscent of Rickman's 'Hans Gruber' in the original; a little less verbose, but a similarly charming sociopath with a formidable, sub-zero stare. Even the inclusion of Mary Elizabeth Winstead as McClane's daughter, (another move which, on paper, seemed destined to annoy) works well. She has inherited some of her fathers personality traits to frequently amusing effect, but the film-makers (wisely) avoid the temptation to give her any 'Lara Croft' type abilities in order to appease a wider demographic, a move that would have potentially alienated the core audience - even more than the furore over the PG-13 rating.
Speaking of the rating, while the film is light on blood and one particular swear-word, the violence hasn't been toned down at all. If anything, McClane is actually more hardened and brutal than before. Enemies are often dispatched with an efficiency and a ruthlessness commensurate with a man who's done this before. There is also a calm resignation in Willis' body language at times. McClane is a man who has found no solace in being a hero; post-divorce and struggling to maintain a relationship with his daughter, (His son is barely mentioned) he feels he has lost the things that matter most to him. This is the single most notable change in the film. Gone is the wild-eyed, heavy-breathing, frantically pacing McClane of the original Die Hard; The man rapping on the windows, desperately trying to signal the fire brigade. Willis communicates this malaise subtly and effectively, prompting the Justin Long character to ask at one point; 'Why are you so calm? Have you done that kinda stuff before?' The direction is astonishingly controlled and confident from the man that bought the world 'Underworld' (He may be one to watch after all.) and, for my money, offers the best spectacle of any film this summer.
There is a weight and an impact to the stunts and the fight scenes that comes from using actual stunt-work; so often eschewed these days in favor of scenes built entirely on disk.
As mentioned, the tone is slightly subdued for a summer actioner (despite a good number of amusing lines and a healthy amount of self-awareness) which differentiates it from the others in the series. There is a world-weariness amongst the chaos. A meditation on being 'that guy' is one of the more inspired exchanges, and the greatest insight into McClane's journey through the missing years. As a result, the audience is not left to enjoy the sense of good triumphing over evil at the end without at least a little remorse about the meaning of it all (It reminded me of one of the great strengths of '24' in that regard.). As the credits roll, all may not be right with the world as would be more typical of the genre, but there are other, more personal triumphs to savor. This gives the film a little more depth than the previous sequels, though it takes some of the edge off the 'octane buzz' that the film injects you with.
Nevertheless, this remains significantly the best blockbuster of the Summer Season. It is the first to truly deliver on all it promised (and probably surpasses realistic expectations) It would require a second viewing to determine where it might rank in the series, but it is more than worthy of the name and Die Hard remains, for my money, the undisputed champ amongst action franchises. I humbly request one more installment in which Bruce et al pour heart and soul into creating a worthy send-off and then suggest that Bruce let's McClane retire undefeated. He'll have earned it.
Just saw it at the press screening here in Finland. It works and
delivers. Thanks to Bruce, who is pretty charismatic and special
thanks, surprise, to Justin Long who proves to be very sympathetic
young actor. And of course, Timothy Olyphants black steering eyes are
still full of rage and anger, as they was in Deadwood.
Action is fast and violent and whats most important, almost entirely hand made. Good old stunt work and explosions, thank God. The movie is called here (in Europe) Die Hard 4.0 but you guys in America will see it Live Free or Die Hard. Its not the best of the Die Hard series (it goes like first, 3rd, 2nd and this) but it is a real thing. Worth for your money, absolutely.
"Live Free or Die Hard" is quite a refreshing piece of entertainment
this summer in the wake of so many effects-driven computer simulated
action/fantasy films. With its silly title, smart-alleck lead character
(Bruce Willis as Bruce Willis doing John McClane), and loads of old
fashioned stunts involving cars, SUV's, elevator shafts, big rigs,
helicopters, fighter jets, and collapsing highway bridges, this flick
is a great piece of shattered-glass entertainment--a throwback to the
late 1980's and early 1990's when movies like the original "Die Hard"
changed the face of movie action.
There is some frustration to be had when you start to realize how much they toned down to achieve the friendly PG-13 rating. There's far less profanity flying, and while the body count is astronomically high (the collateral damage in this film in terms of human life and damaged property is tres magnifique), there's little blood and guts to be found. Still, die hard "Die Hard" action fans should rest assured knowing there will be plenty of funny one-liners, hot chicks (a wonderful Maggie Q as the bad-ass female villain and the scorchingly feisty and cute Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lucy McClane), super smart bad guys (a very good Timothy Olyphant), and jaw-dropping death-defying stunts.
Director Len Wiseman orchestrates the complicated stunts very well like a masterful puppeteer, which is a shock considering how god-awful his "Underworld" films were. The hand-to-hand human match-ups still bear some of his annoying hallmarks, but he's learned how to blow things up really well and has learned a thing or two about scope and editing in big action set-pieces. The excellent pacing and preposterousness of the stunts (especially the climax involving the fighter jet and the big rig) certainly put a smile on my face.
There's a whole lot of computer hacking related mumbo-jumbo involved in the story, and there's a lot of downtime for male bonding and "explanation" of the finer plot points that slows the film down some but is actually nice to see in a world now ruled by Michael Bay-style non-stop action. Plenty dumb, plenty thrilling, and plenty of fun, "Live Free or Die Hard" is a pleasant surprise considering how unnecessary this sequel seemed from conception.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Independence Day Reloaded
A bit of my background. I am regular reader at IMDb for perhaps 5 years, but this was the first movie that forced me to get registered and write a review of it.
*** Warning. Text below may contain spoilers *** Well, not really, there is absolutely no suspense in this movie and it is entirely predictable right from the beginning.
The movie consists of series of chases and shootouts that are not particularly well choreographed. Plot is virtually nonexistent (in other words there are more of the holes that of the plot itself).
Willis with his sidekick are dragged from location to location without any explanation how and why they got there. The scale of McLane's actions increased with each instalment (first saving the staff of a skyscraper, then airport, then a city and this time the whole country), unfortunately there are 2 issues now. First the whole premise hacking and controlling so many different computer systems is ridiculous, second the threat of terrorists does work at all. They are simply not menacing enough.
They are led by "guy who shut down NORAD just with his laptop", but when they shut down traffic in a big city, all they create is few car accidents (of the kind that can only happen when people are driving with their minds shut down). Other than police department being swamped by citizens (what the hell are they doing there?), not much happens. Cellphones work, it is possible to move around in a car, no real panic visible, no police presence on streets. Especially response to events from both citizens and government is not depicted at all. I would like to know where the hell was the mighty US Army for entire duration of the movie (apparently still tied down killing civilians in Iraq).
There are all sorts of clichés you can imagine: * Computer genius, who is at the same time exceedingly naive at the same time, a bit paranoid, uttering nonsense all the time and absolutely useless (except he miraculously saves the world in the end). * Another overweight computer genius, who is a bit paranoid, uttering nonsense all the time and absolutely useless. * Supermodel/kung-fu bitch crossover female terrorist * Girly main terrorist, who fails to be intimidating at all, he seems he can start crying any minute (I really miss calibre of Grubers or Colonel Stuart). * Terrorist masterminds who personally involve themselves dirty jobs, instead of employing their minions. * Generic industrial locations, which seem completely out of place. * 1960s sci-fi meets Matrix style computer rooms (I recommend sets designer to visit real server room next time, reality may look more menacing than this uneducated fantasy). * Cop chief who always seem to be genuinely busy, but he really does nothing in the movie. * Terrorists have resources to hack stock exchanges, traffic systems and utilities all over U.S. But still, the only thing they can afford to stop a poor cop is a chopper and few not particularly well trained guys with assault rifles.
Cast There are really only two characters in the movie, all other people appearing in the movie are just faceless bystanders (including main foes) and their performance is not any better than of any random bystander watching making of a movie.
Willis' performance is pretty generic, he tries to utter the same kind of one liners as in previous instalments, sadly most of the time they are out of place, badly timed or complete non sense. As the scale has been upgraded so is the McClane's self confidence who became true superhero with some supernatural abilities. Expect projecting speeding cars into helicopters, walking on a wing of a jet etc. This is in contrast with previous instalments where McClane had been smart guy, but still realistic police officer who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Long is genuinely B movie actor. His performance is at best bearable. He might be OK, mindless script does not give much space for his character.
Bottom line: No doubt it is the worst of all 4 Die Hards. I compared it to Independence Day it resembles a bit, but in many aspects ID is much better working. If you like mindless movies filled with explosions, but can do without any coolness factor, then you can try this, everyone else avoid it!
disaster (0 out of 5)
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