MOVIE REVIEW: Live Free Or Die Hard
Well, after 12 years John McClain is back in full force with Live Free or Die Hard, the fourth sequel in the series, and the sixth sequel to come out this summer. I have to say going into the flick I wasn’t expecting much, especially after seeing the trailer, which only made me believe Ric Meyer’s micro-review in saying that this isn’t a Die Hard sequel, it’s actually the unwritten sequel for Unbreakable. So between that and the fact that this is the first Die Hard film to receive a PG-13 Rating, I was less than excited for it.
Having that frame of mind, I think I was able to enjoy the film much more. I wasn’t looking for a direct comparison to the first three movies, I just wanted a good John McClain movie, and that’s what I got. The biggest issue with Bruce Willis’ character is that Willis himself has so drastically changed his acting style in the last 12 years, that it’s like asking Walt Disney’s head to unfreeze itself and start drawing exactly like he used to. Granted the fun loving, swearing Bruce Willis that we remember from the first flicks is long gone, and we’re left with the bald, grumpy old man Willis who looks like he has to force himself to smile, but we all just have to change with the times, and even McClain has to age.
Following the formula of With a Vengeance, our hero is accompanied by a would-be sidekick, who fights spends a good chunk of the movie deciding whether or not this is a battle worth fighting, and of course breaking out of his mold by the end of the movie to become someone super cop John McClain can respect. This time around, we get Mac Boy Justin Long as the cowardly super hacker Matt Fuller. Long played the role just as any sidekick should, by accentuating the heroism of…well, the hero.
Also along for the ride were Maggie Q and Tim Olyphant as the evil duo. Everywhere I go, guys are falling in love with Maggie Q, and until checking out this movie I didn’t know why. She manages to play the seductive-yet-deadly henchwoman very well. And as per usual, Olyphant oozes charisma as the bad guy in this picture. I’ve been following this guy since Gone in 60 Seconds, and I’ve had nothing but good things to say about each of his roles.
Skipping along to the effects of the movie, there was a huge leap that the audience had to make with suspended disbelief in this flick, seeing as how we have things like an SUV getting stuck in an elevator shaft, a car being launched into a helicopter, and a very Transformers-esque scene between an semi and a fighter jet. I can understand where people would become weary in thinking this was all a little too far-fetched, but if you look back at any of the other movies in the series, the same amount of disastrous situations take place, this film is just done on a much bigger scale.
My final comment on this film to those still reluctant to go see the movie is this: This is truly the quintessential Die Hard movie. With references to the previous flicks, the same John McClain, and even little things such as how each of the first three films takes place in one state, while this film takes place in nearly six, and how the first three films stayed within 24 hours of continuity, while here we go over three days. This is the ultimate chapter in the Die Hard saga, and any true fan out there should go catch the movie as soon as they can.
With that said, I give this picture a 7/10, only because a true Die Hard movie deserves an R rating, regardless of whether it gets released on a holiday or not.