Sunday, December 16, 2007

Die Hardest Rocks!

Live Free or Die Hard was among the slew of sequels out this past summer, and I admit I missed it in the theater even though I'd liked the previous Die Hard movies. However, I think this one is my new favorite. Bruce Willis has obviously been doing this a long time, and it shows in the laid-back style that has much less of the insanity and go-save-the-world attitude he had in the previous movies. And his curmudgeonly attitude towards the other lead, Justin Long (the Mac from the "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" commercials) is more fun than his previous cowboy act. He and Justin have to save the world (it wouldn't be Die Hard if the world or John McClane's family wasn't in danger) from the people who hacked into nearly all government. Timothy Olyphant (from Catch & Release) is the least convincing bad-guy from all the Die Hard movies, mostly because he doesn't have an accent, and doesn't seem personally interested in killing John McClane. However, the evil he does, shutting down all the banks, electricity, roads, etc. by hacking into the government controls does seem to cause bigger problems than other bad guys. The best part is when Willis and Long have to find a way to figure out who is behind the mess they visit "The Warlock", a genius computer hacker, played by Kevin Smith, sitting in his basement in a bathrobe surrounded by all sorts of computer and spy equipment. Smith helps them, but spends most of his time making fun of Willis' inability to comprehend computers. Perfect casting. Of course McClane saves the day, but not before racing a fighter jet with a semi. The stunts start off slightly believable - sending a car up a ramp to take out a helicopter, but when McClane jumps on top of the fighter jet as his semi goes off the road, you just remember it's a Die Hard film, and it's okay. I really liked the computer collapse storyline, and Justin Long is terrific as the younger side-kick to Willis' older luddite. And when Willis kills the bad guy by shooting himself in the shoulder (to get the guy standing behind him) I knew it was a classic. 4.5 stars out of 5. Go get it on DVD, best action film of the year.

1 comment:

Fletch said...

Couldn't disagree much more with you here - this smacked of "generic action movie #278" to me, and it just got really, really lame towards the end (climbing all around a jet? Leave that to True Lies, where it was bad enough then).

Sure, it had a few moments, but mostly it just annoyed me. The first and third Die Hards blow away the other two...