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Live Free or Die Hard July 2, 2007

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.

Whether it stays to the true Die Hard formula or not is a question that I am not well-equipped to answer. I’ve enjoyed the previous movies when I was young, especially the first one but its been a long while and I don’t recollect them too well. Fans of the franchise don’t seem to like it when the action moves out of a confined space (it did work so well with the original Die Hard). Same formula or not, it is clear that Die Hard 4.0 is an entertaining action flick that moves at a searing pace and requires strict adherence to the suspension of disbelief theory.

John McClane (Bruce Willis) is old, divorced and estranged from his daughter (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). His new mission is to deliver a young hacker, Matthew Farell (Justin Long) to the FBI. The problem being that Matthew and some fellow hackers have unwittingly written some code that is helping terrorists to execute a fire sale, which is a fancy term from the film for a three part attack on the nation’s transportation, financial records and public utilities (all of which can be attacked using computers). All the other hackers have been killed by the terrorists and McClane faces the task of almost single-handedly saving Matthew, his daughter (who is kidnapped by the terrorists) and of course, the Nation.

It would be good to start off by saying that everything in the film is too easy, not to mention impossible. Whether it is McClane’s super heroic stunts or the way in which computer hackers seem to have access to almost everything and everyone, Mark Bomback creates one of the most implausible screenplays in recent times (inspired from an article by John Carlin in Wired magazine). However, once you are willing to look past logic and plausibility, you will find yourself being thoroughly entertained. Where this films succeeds is most definitely the pace. Director Len Wiseman (Underworld, Underworld: Evolution) makes sure that he hits you with thrill after thrill and twist after twist without giving much time for you to whine about the illogical script. If you thought that the trailer gave away a lot of the action, think again. Between all the crazy action, there is ample humor to keep you smiling. Wiseman also doesn’t care too much about character development and rightly so. Bruce Willis is his usual self in his signature role though you miss the expressions and angst of the original McClane. He is ably aided by Justin Long in a role that is sure to get him noticed. Among the rest of the cast, Maggie Q does a neat job as the female criminal who packs a punch while Mary Elizabeth Winstead also brings in a few laughs as the fiery daughter of McClane. Last but not least, everyone involved in conceiving and executing the stunts deserves special praise.

If you enjoy action flicks and can overlook the preposterous plot, you wouldn’t want to miss this.



1. Shujath - July 3, 2007

Until I read your post I was under the impression that the promos gave away all the action and it might not be as interesting as it looked (an unfortunate phenomenon I observed for a lot of action flicks in recent times)….Looking forward to watching this over the weekend

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