"The best of the best is back and better than ever" (WNYW-TV) in the latest installment of the pulse-pounding, thrill-a-minute Die Hard action films. New York City detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) delivers old-school ... more »justice to a new breed of terrorists when a massive computer attack on the U.S. infrastructure threatens to shut down the entire country over Independence Day weekend.« less
"Like many other people nervously anticipating Len Wiseman's debut as DH4 director, I could only hope that he could live up to, at the least, Die Hard 2. But he has done a fantastic job with McClane, that lives up to the previous trilogy. In fact, I'd rank LFoDH just behind the first Die Hard movie. No one can top Alan Rickman! The small touches, e.g. Gennero/McClane, Agent Johnson, helicopter flying, are subtle, but add greatly to the movie.
There were a few things missing from the theatrical release, of course. Most noticeably, the lack of swearing, McClane's trademark yippee-kai-yay being truncated. The violence was all there, but it just wasn't intense enough. Fear not fans! The unrated version fixes all of that! It's fantastic, McClane is back in all of his mf-in' glory!
**Spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk.** -------------------------------------------- I was hoping for some more dialogue from Timothy Olyphant in the unrated version, but unfortunately, he is still a bit one-dimensional. Run-times of the unrated vs. the theatrical are about the same, surprising considering that the unrated does add extra scenes.
What the unrated version includes:
Many more f-words and MF-ers. - Extra dialogue between McClane and his captain, Clevino. - Longer opening intro scene to Matt Long typing to the warlock, listening to rock music. - Extra banter when McClane and Matt first meet. - More intro shots at the FBI command center. - Shot of the National Transportation Center losing control of their traffic grid. - More shots of false anthrax alarm evacuation. - Thomas Gabriel's hodgepodge of video of Nixon/Bush/Clinton speaking is longer. - Blood spurts!!! More gore, though not significantly more. - More McClane-isms. When John is driving the police car in the tunnel towards the helicopter, Rand shoots the engine, which lights on fire. McClane quips, "Well the car's on fire, that can't be good." - When Matt runs to his side after McClane destroys the helicopter, McClane adds, "100,000 people are killed every year by cars. What's another 4?" - Quick shot of dead guards in power plant. - When Mai dies in the elevator explosion, McClane screams a profanity laced tirade at her. - McClane flying (and landing!) helicopter scene much longer. - The guy getting crushed in the giant blades scene doesn't have much more blood. - Yippee-kay-yay mf-er is said in full!
Det. John McClane is back doing what he does best
A. Sandoc | San Pablo, California United States | 07/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 1988 a little movie came out which would change the course of how movies were made. Actually, it wasn't any kind of movie, but action movies to be exact. It also introduced a new character to the movie landscape. The character was NYPD detective John McClane and the movie he was part of was Die Hard. This movie redefined the action movie and the action movie hero for a whole generation of film fans with it's tense and nonstop action in conjunction with an everyman hero-type who wasn't indestructible and who showed every cut, gash, bruise and damage he went through to try and save the day. The movie became a sensation and launched the career of one Mr. Bruce Willis. It was followed up by two more sequels (one great and the other one not-so great) over the years with the last one coming out in 1995. It is now 2007 and a dozen years has passed. 20th Century Fox has gone back to the well and came out with a third sequel titled Live Free or Die Hard (to be called Die Hard 4.0 overseas). This third sequel has a new director in Len Wiseman (of Underworld and Underworld: Evolution fame) with Bruce Willis reprising his role as the wisecracking NYPD detective John McClane. This third sequel has turned out better than I expected and I can honestly say it's way better than Die Hard with a Vengeance and on equal footing with the first two in the series.
The movie begins with the premise of cyber-terrorists with the help of a group of unsuspecting hackers beginning the early stages of an attack on the U.S. National infrastructure. Using a script based on the Wired magazine article, A Farewell to Arms, Len Wiseman and crew do a great job of quickly establishing the main danger that's to face John McClane and the young hacker Matthew Farrell (played by Justin Long in the comedic sidekick role) throughout the length of the movie. The bad guys this time around revolve around one Thomas Gabriel (played by Deadwood's Timothy Olyphant) and his gang of hired mercenaries and cyber-terrorists. He plans to shutdown the entire United States through its infracstructure, financial centers, utilities and pretty much everything that's tied into the millions upon millions of computer systems which now run the entirety of the nation. Gabriel's motives looks to be one born out of revenge and the need to show that he was right, but this being a Die Hard movie there's always a hidden agenda that would be brought to light to signal the final reel of the film. Accompanying Gabriel is one Mai Lihn (played by the very sexy Maggie Q) who ends up giving John McClane more than he can handle in one of the many action sequences throughout the movie.
The way Gabriel and his men attacks the national computer systems running everything in the United States looked very convincing. Whether it was gaining access and disrupting the traffic controls for both roads and airspace to systematically amping up the level of attacks both real and fake was enough to convince this viewer that this so-called virtual "firesale" on a nation's computer infrastructure is definitely plausible. And throughout all the many catastrophes caused by Gabriel and his men John McClane with hacker Farrell in tow must navigate through not just the hired mercenaries hired to be the muscle of the operation, but through the chaos created by Gabriel's cyber-attacks.
John McClane has aged quite a bit since we last saw him trying to stop another group of "terrorists" from blowing up half of New York a little over a dozen years past. He has more than a little bit less hair and looks quite worn out and old. But for some reason he's once again in the wrong place at the wrong time and with no one else there to help him stop what's going on other than a geeky and unathletic hacker at his side, McClane really had to raise the heroism to levels not really seen in the previous three installments in the franchise. He gets more than his fair share of being shot at, blown up and beat to an inch of his life by acrobatic French assassins and martial-arts expert femme fatales. McClane gets bounced around and it shows, but he's like the Energizer Bunny who keeps on ticking no matter whats thrown at him. This time around what he's lost through the march of time and the creeping of old age he has gained through hard-fought knowledge. He's been around this block more than a few times and he seems to have learned enough to keep him and his charge alive.
The work by Len Wiseman really shows that he knows how to shoot action scenes. He's no John McTiernan, but Wiseman seem to have seen enough of the movies in the franchise to know that Michael Bay-style direction is not what needed, but a throwback to how action movies were made using real stuntmen and vehicles was what would make this movie fun and exciting. For successfully pulling this project off I will admit that Wiseman may have been the best choice to make this movie. There wasn't much complexity in the script for Wiseman to work with but he got enough out of it to fill up two full hours of movie running time without boring the audience. That's quite an accomplishment compared to some of the more bloated films this summer, though quite enjoyable and fun on their own right, were still quite too long.
In the end, Live Free or Die Hard is a step back in time to the golden age of action movies where what we saw on the screen was nonstop action done in pre-CGI ways with real non-CGI people. Bruce Willis brings back his John McClane and he comes back with a vengeance to wreak havoc once more on the bad guys attempts to get rich. For a summer blockbuster season of 2007 which has seen one blockbuster fail audience expectations in one way or another, Live Free or Die Hard lives up to all its expectations and actually turned out to be one of the movies of this summer. All it took was for an old action hero to make a comeback."
M. Rausseo | Planet Earth | 09/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's been twelve years since Bruce Willis yelled "yippeee-ki-yay" before dispatching the villain on turn in Die Hard With a Vengeance. After bringing his most famous character back to life, I'm happy to say that he's made a good decision and long time fans won't be disappointed with the new film: Live Free or Die Hard.
The movie is a runaway success: the notable lack of CGI and very high stunt factor give the film a satisfying old-fashioned feel. There's also a lot of fun to be had in Die Hard 4.0 and that fun starts with Bruce Willis himself. His McClane is still pounding the streets but his hair has all gone. The script makes plenty of fun at McClane advancing years.
The plot, of course, is overblown and predictable and I won't even dwell in an explanation that will leave us with more questions than answers. In short: A new villain is threatening to shut down America's power supplies. Only one man can stop him (we know who), and McClane is helped by a young computer hacker (Justin Long) to stop the potential armaggedon.
What follows is one fantastically realized chase sequence or fight sequence or both after another, as McClane battles the baddies and gets progressively more torn up with each passing minute. But this is John McClane, so we know he ain't dying anytime soon.
Each stunt outdoes the next, and the filmmakers don't waste a lot of time on little things like dialogue. Any talking is short and sweetened with one-liners. Director Len Wiseman keeps the action and humour coming thick and fast, but this is Bruce's show - and he doesn't disappoint."
McClane's Back! Making The World Unsafe For Terrorists!
Mel Odom | Moore, OK USA | 07/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The DIE HARD franchise isn't a thinking man's dream. It belongs to the wannabe action hero inside every red-blooded American male. And to the women who love them. Any misapprehension that these films are going to take themselves realistically or seriously should be checked at the door.
LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD opened Wednesday of this week just in time for the Fourth of July celebration, and to take advantage of the extra-long weekend at the box office. It's the fourth film in the franchise about New York Police Department Detective John McClane, absolutely the toughest cop Hollywood has ever created. In my opinion. Nobody bleeds like McClane bleeds. Or limps. Or talks to himself, delivering a humorous, self-deprecating monologue on how he got into the whole mess he is in.
There was some hesitation about whether or not Bruce Willis could pull off the franchise character again. There was no hesitation about the fact that if Bruce Willis could not play McClane, no one else could. Willis the actor and McClane the character are too tightly-knit to allow to anyone else to intrude into the franchise. Maybe other actors can play James Bond and win over a whole new audience, but I can't see that happening with this one. Not as long as Bruce Willis can still walk and talk.
After seeing the movie, there's no doubt that Willis - and McClane -are back in a big way. For a while, Willis swore he'd never play the character again. He wanted more serious roles and a chance to stretch as an actor. He's made some good films, and some not so good films, since DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE with Samuel L. Jackson. And while the McClane role is somewhat limiting Willis pulls it off with zest. Maybe he was born to do other things as well, but he was definitely born to be John McClane.
Now all the fans are going to be waiting for the next Die Hard movie, although there hasn't been any talk of such. We can only hope.
The movie starts out with a bang, the way these things always do. A group of cyber-criminals utilize code and algorithms written by blackboard computer hackers to get into key Federal government installations, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They're operating under a man named Thomas Gabriel, who has used enough players in his operation that none of the computer hackers know who they are working for or what they are truly doing.
As soon as Gabriel is certain that he's into the computer networks he wants to be into, he gives orders to start the elimination process of all the computer hackers involved. The action turns violent and bloody. Matt Farrell (played brilliantly by Justin Long) is the only one who escapes his fate, and that's only through the direct intervention of McClane.
It's been twelve years since the last DIE HARD movie. Those twelve years are reflected in the latest release. McClane has gotten older and his life has moved on. His wife finally left him for good and he's estranged from his son and daughter. He's introduced breaking up his daughter's latest date in a fairly humorous scene.
One of the things that was awkwardly handled in the movie was Lucy's - McClane's daughter -sudden change in feelings about her father. Viewers knew it was coming, but it came without true motivation from within. That part felt particularly scripted.
When McClane gets the call to go pick up a known computer hacker, the tension immediately ratchets up. In a move that was also very scripted, McClane arrives at Matt's house just in time to keep him from being blown to smithereens. (And you have to wonder why the bad guys simply didn't walk into each of the hackers' houses/apartments and simply shoot them when they were done with them. The explosions were just to give the special effects crew a warm-up for the action that was coming.)
The cat and mouse game begins, with McClane alternately fighting to stay alive and chasing the bad guys. The action sequences are pure dynamite, fueled by adrenaline and testosterone - on part of the characters and the audience. Viewers that are totally into the McClane experience are hard pressed not to hoot and holler in support of their hero's actions and one-liners.
Those fans understand that there are glaring plot holes and things that make no sense and in the real world things wouldn't function the way they do in the movie. For instance, the cell phone systems would go down almost immediately as emergency services took them over to use for their own operations. McClane uses a cell phone a lot in the beginning of the movie, as do the terrorists. Those would be the first things shut down. Security on major important network sites, like the eastern seaboard utility control area, would be immediately entrenched in military personnel if the United States government believed it was under attack.
But that's beside the point. This film is about action, not about reality. Reality would be much slower paced.
As always, McClane ends up being the guy involved in the investigation who gets all the key pieces as to what's really going on. It wouldn't be a DIE HARD movie if he didn't.
The concept of the "fire sale" in the realms of cyber-terrorism is a real thing. There are a lot of checks and balances to keep it at bay, but it is one of the things the United States government constantly guards against. The movie sells the idea very well.
Also, though the franchise isn't known for being cutting-edge or high-tech, there's a lot of the emerging computer technology and integrated systems that are nationwide and international in the film. Justin Long's character introduces all that technology and the concepts behind it in bite-sized chunks that the audience can keep track of in the midst of car chases, gunfights, and serious explosions.
I found myself as enthralled by the computer attacks as I was by McClane's usual physical action and banter. There was something so inherently cool about watching the terror-geeks and Matt Ferrell at work on computer systems even though much of it was fake. The idea that it was all possible and would be done in such a way was amazing.
But the action - that's the key to every Die Hard film. There's plenty of it in this movie. Is it over the top? No doubt about it! No one - but no one - could walk away from all the damage that McClane takes while doggedly pursuing the bad guys. I lost count of the number of bodies left behind, the number of vehicles that were destroyed in wrecks and explosions, the number of buildings that were leveled, and would have to guess that the number of bullets fired must be in the millions.
The most over-the-top sequence in the film is the scene where McClane is driving an eighteen-wheeler through a system of elevated highways while being pursued and fired upon by a military attack jet with hover capability. There is simply no way this could ever happen, or that a truck could suffer that much damage and still keep going. Much less without the driver getting killed.
If they do a video game on this movie as they have some of the movies in the past, you can see this sequence being part of the game. It's ludicrous. It's impossible. And yet, it's so McClane. And that's what puts the butts in the seats, folks.
Maggie Q plays possibly the most lethal lady McClane has ever had the misfortune of crossing paths with. She absolutely tears him apart for a while. And that leads to possibly the second-most over-the-top sequence in the film when the action spreads the elevator shaft. Still, if anybody was gonna do it like this, it has to be rogue cop John McClane.
Make no mistake. This film isn't for posterity. This film isn't even close to Academy Award material - except maybe for special effects.
What this film is, and where it succeeds so admirably, is an action film starring one of the best action heroes ever invented or portrayed, and played once more by the only actor that could do that character justice. This is superhero action without the cape and the mutant abilities. And this is a hero who's fallible yet impossible to beat.
Treat yourself to a summer delight over the holidays. Buy a ticket. Invest heavily in a willing suspension of disbelief at the door. Find a good seat. And prepare to cheer on John McClane one more time as he goes up against impossible - and, admittedly, wildly improbable - odds."
McClane returns once again to show us how action is done-Yip
Cody Patton | Albuquerque, NM USA | 06/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a huge Die Hard fan as are most warm-blooded males, and my biggest fear was that this would just be another modern actioner with John McClane in it, but not a DH movie per-se. Well, thankfully, those fears couldn't have been more unfounded. This is definitely a DH movie, and what's more is it's the best action movie I've seen in a long time (which any DH movie worth making should be). Bruce Willis is truly the greatest action hero pretty much ever, and he reminded me of that constantly during this film. Now, some of the action is silly to say the least (the F-25 jet versus truck scene instantly comes to mind), but the movie never takes itself too seriously, and everything is well staged and executed. The PG-13 rating makes little difference, and I honestly can't believe they got away with it cuz this is one hard-hitting action thriller. Trust me, nice and violent even by DH standards. Also,I honestly wouldn't have minded a little more of McClane's signature overuse of the F-bomb, but there are some great lines and it's not exactly profanity-lite. Either way, this is a true summer movie and a true Die Hard movie! So if you like both of those things and aren't looking for depth and realism, but just a damn good time at the movies, then this is your ticket. Of all of the sequels and blockbusters this summer worth mentioning or seeing (or lack thereof), I can honestly say that Yippee-Ki-Yay is the way!"