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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Live Free or Die Hard Review

I haven't done a movie review in about forever, but I finally got around to watching Live Free or Die Hard starring Bruce Willis this weekend. It's only been sitting on my entertainment center since March, so I guess it was time.

Since this movie is more than a year old, I'll probably give spoilers, so if you haven't seen it yet and don't want to know anything about it, stop here.

John McClane, our hero, is sent to pick up a computer hacker suspect by his boss at the request of the federal government. Other hackers who'd been hired to do some work have been blown up and that's the fate they have in store for Matt Farrell as well, but McClane shows up to bring him in before he can set off the bomb. When the thugs see that the bomb hasn't gone off, they go up to finish Matt off with guns, but McClane fights them off and gets the hacker safely out of there and down to Washington D.C.

As they're driving through DC, all the traffic lights are changed to green (the hackers have taken over the system) and are causing massive traffic pile ups. When they reach FBI headquarters, Matt realizes a "Fire Sale" is taking place only to be told by the agent in charge that it's only a myth. A Fire Sale is when all the computer systems in the country are taken out one at a time because "Everything Must Go."

Since the country is in chaos, it's up to McClane and Matt the hacker to save the world from a cyber terrorist and his gang of henchmen. Of course, McClane's daughter is kidnapped and used as leverage, only fueling McClane to greater heights to get the bad guys.

I loved the first Die Hard a lot, but didn't care for two and never watched three. I wasn't sure what to expect from four, but the suspense kicked in right from minute one and didn't let up until it's conclusion. After more than two hours, I was wrung out! It was a hugely entertaining way, though, to spend a couple of hours and I'm glad I didn't return it without watching it.

There were more than a few moments where I stopped and thought, yeah, right, but it didn't detract from the movie for me because I took it for what it was--an over the top action flick. There were a couple of times, however, when I wondered if Bruce Willis was the Terminator because nothing could stop John McClane, not jumping out of speeding cars or trucks, he was able to stand on the spoiler on the tail of a fighter jet and leap down without killing himself, and a couple of times he fell a heck of a long way, but he just kept right on coming.

I also had a huge kick from the fact that the actor who played the hacker is also the same actor who plays Mac in the Mac vs. PC commercials on television. I looked it up to be sure. The actor's name is Justin Long and I loved the irony of it.

The humor of the first movie wasn't here although there were a few good lines and I didn't really think the emotion between the characters was there either (for example, McClane and his daughter). I also pretty much pegged what the daughter's role was going to be as soon as she showed up. Yep, I thought, she's going to get grabbed by the bad guys. And sure enough, she did. She was a chip off the old block, though, and some of the best lines are hers.

Overall, if you like lots of action and suspense and can overlook the fact that nothing can stop McClane despite what common sense would say, I can recommend this film.

My rating: 4.5 stars