Sunday, August 19, 2007

REVIEW: Die Hard 4.0 (aka Live Free or Die Hard)



It's been said that even straight men find John McClane attractive. I don't doubt it.

The above picture shows just how a man can change over time and be no less appealing.

So can be said about the Die Hard films.

Die Hard 4.0, Live Free or Die Hard as it's known in the U.S.A, stars Bruce Willis as John McClane, the reluctant hero that captured our hearts nearly 20 years ago at Nakatomi Towers where he kicked some Alan Rickman bootay. In this installment, the terrorists are techno-genius' with a vendetta. New school bad guys vs. Old school cop.

The film is directed by Len Wiseman, who is best known for his work on Underworld and Underworld 2. Don't write him off just for that, he didn't wreck my favourite action franchise. Believe it or not, he made another Die Hard that can comfortably sit with the others while reminiscing about injuries and one hell of a failed marriage. If John McTiernan (director of Die Hard and Die Hard with A Vengeance) had a protoge it could have been Len Wiseman, though Wiseman defnitely added a polished flair that suits the modern technology addicted America while retaining the gritty 1988 feel of the original film.

When I was watching Die Hard 4.0, I realised that Wiseman had to be a fan of the other movies. I envisioned him on the first day of filming, giddy as a school boy about to meet his childhood hero. Wiseman was 15 years old when Die Hard went to cinemas, so what kind of impact does one of the greatest action films have on a would-be-director growing up? I guess it made him want to direct action movies!

The latest Die Hard is an old hero in a new era. Kind of lost, and definitely out of place, McClane is just as exciting and clever as his younger self. I loved the over the top action, especially the 18 wheeler v. helicopter scene, and the creepy 'nothing to lose' bad guys (played by Timothy Olyphant and Maggie Q). Throw in a little family issue (well it is Die Hard) and an adorable geeked up side kick (Justin Long) and there you have it. While the script was chunky, the movie didn't end up clunky.

Ahhh McClane, you've done it again!

4/5 Action Packed, cut, bruised and bloodied stars!

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