Live Free Or Die Hard (2007)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
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Overall Rating 70%
Overall Rating
Ranked #417
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Connections: Die Hard

When a criminal plot is in place to take down the entire computer and technological structure that supports the economy of the United States (and the world), it's up to a decidedly "old school" hero, police detective John McClane, to take down the conspiracy, aided by a young hacker. --IMDb
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Review by Ginose
Added: August 27, 2007
The “Die Hard” series: an action film trilogy that has stood the test of time (if you want to consider that the earliest isn’t even 20 years old yet, it may be a little hard to use the term “test of time”, but you get my meaning) and has yet to lose it’s magnificent glow as one of the most entertaining film series in the history of the art.

Now, with most action films, we’ve come to expect a few things of the “Die Hard” movies:
1.) Bruce Willis as bad-ass, everyman cop John McClane.
2.) A lot of fights and gunplay.
3.) Explosions.
4.) “Yippee-ki-yay…” …well… you know the line.
However, in the latest entry to this fantastic series, Fox managed to do two separate things that may very well change the face of this series forever… but, for the love of God, let’s hope they only mess this up once…

This movie begins with a very interesting opening sequence in which several rather nerdy looking computer-geeks are hacking a new type of security system as a test for some anonymous woman working for some anonymous company, allegedly trying to see how secure their network really is. This is all pretty much ordinary, except, not long after the test is completed, the nerds’ computers start to freeze up on them. Well, duh, they’re computers. Regardless, whenever said hackers try to break the frozen screen by pressing the delete key on their keyboards their computers explode, killing them instantly. Wow, awesome opener, huh? As it turns out, these people were actually a new form of internet terrorist (not ones who threaten to dirty-bomb football stadiums, we’re talking real ones) who were using the hackers to get them into several mainframes that give them control of basically every resource in the country! How? I’m not really sure… the movie explains it though. Anyhow now we enter John McClane (the aforementioned Bruce Willis), who seemingly did now get back together with Holly as the ending of the third movie implied, and is now hell-bent on keeping his daughter from dating, like all good fathers do. However, John is soon sent by his office to go and escort the one remaining hacker, Matthew Farrell (Justin Long), to the FBI headquarters. Of course, the ones who want Farrell dead (lead by Timothy Olyphant) are more than eager to make sure that their little loose-end is tied up nice and neatly and are willing to use everything our great nation has to offer to make sure that they don’t reach the FBI. Is John going to take this? What do you think…?

Now, as with all the movies in this series, Bruce Willis is dead-on in his role. There’s a reason he’s irreplaceable as McClane, and it’s not just because of his fan-base, he IS John McClane. He defined the character so indefinitely that he is practically impossible to replace. Giving us 4 performances in this role over the last 20 years, it seems pretty obvious that he hasn’t lost any of his acting prowesses. Though I will make one comment; I’m a very proud of Bruce for finally losing his hair all together. Really shows him to be the honest man I always knew he could be. Now, as for Justin Long, he’s certainly not a favorite of mine, he does dorky pretty well, but everything else he’s tried has been… well… weak as hell. Lucky for us he plays dorky here. Luckier still he has very little dialogue for an important character like his role in this movie implies. It was actually a breath of fresh air to see Kevin Smith making an appearance in this one, brief as it is. Ya know, he likes to sell himself short as an actor, but I liked him in “Catch and Release” and believe him to have skill far beyond his beaten and replayed Silent Bob position in his own films… ACT MORE SMITH!
Now, as far as the other players go, I wasn’t terribly impressed with anyone… I mean, the extent of wonderful screen work from them was probably Maggie Q’s body… really… I may sound like a pervert or an asshole, but that’s really all I was interested in. Every other performance seemed far more dragged out than it should have been… but, oh well.
Now we get to the action scenes:
Sure they’re all pretty unrealistic, but so what? Watching John McClane blowing up things left and right, shooting with inhuman accuracy and surviving falls that most people would have heart attacks even thinking about never, ever, EVER gets old.
Now, referring to the two things that Fox managed to mess up:
1.) Censorship. Cutting out John’s foul-mouthed disposition sort of took away some of the films charm, now, I understand wanting to appeal to a wider audience, but whoring out such an awesome series like this is a big no-no. This did, however, make all the profanity in the last three films seem almost inappropriate. Realistically though, if you went through half of the things that McClane goes through in these films, would you or would you not be swearing left and right? Think realistically people. More importantly, they broke a rule of “Die Hard” by removing John’s line. I mean, it was implied, but was silenced right before it was finished. What the hell? Now, on the realism note…
2.) The lack of realistic action. Sure it can be argued that none of the “Die Hard” films are actually “realistic”, but consider it, which is more believable: A police officer at peak physical shape swinging from a fire-hose into a solid glass window while a roof above him explodes, or an old detective throwing himself out of a car doing roughly 80 and managing to calculate an exact arch in which it will crash into a low flying helicopter? Yeah. Exactly.

Now, regardless of how much you love action films or whether or not you like the series at all, “Live Free or Die Hard” will have something for you. I mean, with the exception of the lack of profanity, it has everything an action move needs to make it awesome, including a completely awesome gunfight or two, a hot chick who can actually fight, an embarrassingly bad romantic sub-plot, and even Bruce Willis calling a bad guy a hamster.
This was truly one of the only good Hollywood movies of the summer, and I enjoyed it. Nowhere near as good as “Die Hard” and “Die Hard With a Vengeance” and not quite as good as “Die Hard 2”, but when the series is this damned awesome, who cares?

bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added August 27, 2007 at 9:43am
This was just not a "Die Hard" film like I remember them. Sure, it had its moments and it didn't short me on the entertainment, but it was not a "Die Hard" film. "Die Hard" films gave me villains like Alan Rickman and sidekicks like Samuel L. Jackson -- not Timothy Olyphant and Justin Long. And Kevin Smith popping up? Is that supposed to be 'cool' and 'hip' -- Kevin Smith has been on the B-list since "Dogma", so why does his popping up appeal to a younger crowd? I thought the plotline was tame for a "Die Hard" film, and I thought Bruce Willis changed John McClane too much from the earlier incarnations of the character. I didn't hate this film, but I was disappointed that it disappointed me. 5/10.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added November 15, 2007 at 8:00pm
I was totally not impressed by this one. Apparently the unrated release includes a lot more swearing, violence, and the infamous "Yipee-ki-yay motherfucker". Let's hope so, because the version I saw in the theatre was a goddamn joke. The whole "he's old, and doesn't get technology" angle can only be stretched so far before I can't stand it. And like Billy Ray said, what the fuck was the point of sticking Kevin Smith in it? 6/10
Chad #3: Chad - added November 22, 2007 at 5:50pm
I only saw the unrated version (and yes, it does have "the line" in it), but I enjoyed it. Not as good as the original trilogy, but still damned entertaining. 7/10.
Tristan #4: Tristan - added November 22, 2007 at 6:06pm
Was he as foul mouthed as the old John McClane? Because I think they said shit maybe twice in the theatrical release.
Chad #5: Chad - added November 22, 2007 at 7:10pm
I don't think it was quite as vulgar as the previous movies, but it was way more than just two "shits." I know he said fuck at least four or five times, not counting the line.
Edd #6: Edd - added March 31, 2008 at 9:55am
The unrated one is worth watching. Not by much though.
Lucid Dreams #7: Lucid Dreams - added May 30, 2010 at 10:30pm
Maybe Kevin Smith was in this because Justin Long had a short part in one of his movies. Either way I did enjoy this movie and I wanted to double dip it with Mary Elizabeth. 7/10
Crispy #8: Crispy - added July 16, 2010 at 1:30am
It's a great action movie, so I gave it 4/5. With that said, it's a really shitty Die Hard movie, and I don't think I'll ever be in the mood to watch this again. What killed it mostly for me was not so the watering down on McClane's vulgarity and asshole nature, but the "realism" that Chad rightfully raved about in his reviews for the first three.
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