Sep 3, 2007

Movie Review: Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Reported from IMDB user's comments

Bruce Willis reprises his 19-year-old role as super-cop John McClane in what is easily the best sequel this year. The film has been high on itself for staying away from CGI stunts in favor of old fashioned stunt men and women. Willis continues to prove that he is one of the biggest badasses in movie history by delivering another incredibly strong performance in Live Free or Die Hard, directed by Len Wiseman(director of the Underworld movies).

The series is now fully accessible to any audience with this modernizing chapter of the epic set of movies. The story takes place in modern time, where computers run everything, and the villain in this movie, Thomas Gabriel(Timothy Olyphant from HBO's Deadwood) is a computer guru hellbent on revenge against the government that shunned him. His main mission in the movie is to show how vulnerable the United States' security system is by systematically taking down major parts of the system. Enter John McClane, who is called in to do a "favor" by picking up a college student who happens to be a computer hacker. When the student, Matt Farrell(Justin Long, Accepted) becomes a target for the terrorist group under Gabriel, McClane is drawn into the same old same old once again. McClane and Farrell have to work together to stop Gabriel from basically "resetting" the entire country. Add in McClane's daughter being kidnapped by Gabriel to keep John in line, and the conflict gets much more personal.

The movie may come as a bit tamer with the PG-13 rating, but make no mistake-this is a Die Hard movie through and through, and in my opinion, it's the best one yet. The film is the most spread out of the series, taking place across the entire eastern coast, as opposed to a building(Die Hard), an airport(Die Harder), or a single city(Die Hard: With A Vengeance). The movie trades in the claustrophobic environment of the original to make the entire eastern coast John McClane's personal playground, and it does a great job at that. The movie has some of the greatest action scenes of any movie, the pot, while a bit complicated, is still easy to follow and comprehend, and the dialogue is excellent, giving McClane a deluge of one-liners in his back pocket, per usual. The cheesiness of the original movies has also been traded in for a more serious, straight-to-the-point action flick that is on par with any great ones that have been released as of late, and surpassing many of those.

Looking at the Die Hard checklist, this movie has all the essentials. John McClane beats up on supposedly superior-armed terrorists: check. Sidekick that adds comic relief and keeps the story going: check. Well-played "bad guy" that pushes McClane to his limits: check. John McClane soaked in blood by the end of the movie: check. Tons of explosions, deaths, and "yippie kay aye motherf***er": check, check and check.

If you're a fan of the Die Hard movies, this movie will blow you away. It is excellently done and easily the best action movie thus far this year. A great modern-day entry into the classic franchise.

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