Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
Underwhelming at best
I'm at a loss to understand why some people are rating this so highly. I'm a fan of all the previous Die Hard films, I can even enjoy the third one for all its flaws but for me, 4.0 just didn't work.
Certainly some of the action was spectacular, the car/helicopter chase/battle was a tremendous set-piece but it was the only noteworthy highlight of an otherwise average movie. If you're looking for another positive, the addition of the Lucy McClane character initially seems to smack of just giving John someone to rescue (groans all round). But by the end, Lucy is the one interesting character, showing how her dad's tough and resourceful streak has rubbed off on her.
One of the key problems for me was that the goal of the villain was never particularly convincing. He was after money inevitably but as it was cybermoney, it isn't as tangible as millions of dollars in negotiable bearer bonds or gold bullion.
Also lacking was a sense of real threat, real danger to life and limb. We are told how shutting down various systems will cause national panic but the result seems to be nothing more than some fender-benders, some minor protesting outside the police station and a blackout. In all previous films, peoples lives were at risk but here only the bad guys were at risk.
Related to this is the idea that John McClane is now basically indestructible and just keeps coming back a la the Terminator. Gone is the vulnerability of the first film (the classic bathroom/glass in the foot scene) or even the considered reluctance of the third film (not jumping off a bridge onto a crane because "the cables will cut you in half").
The sidekick idea was never going to as effective as the Willis/Jackson chemistry and Long does what he can with a typical hacker role. Olyphant is sufficiently threatening as the main villain without being particularly memorable (more like Die Hard 2's bland villains than the more distinctive characters from 1 and 3).
As for the rating controversy, this did seem like the TV version at times with clumsily cut violence and obvious swear-word removal but an R rating would not have solved the basic story/structure issues. Disappointing.