03 July 2007

Live Free or Die Hard

Keep on Dying Hard

This past weekend, I was able to talk The Wife into watching Live Free or Die Hard. It was a similar circumstance as Rocky Balboa. She is a huge Bruce Willis fan, but she has never seen any of the Die Hard movies. This was mind blowing to me. How can you be a fan and not see the movie that made him a star?!?! Anyway, we watched the first and then went for the fourth. Of course, I have seen all three at least 5 times each.

I had to be as skeptical as the next guy going to see this movie. I had “higher” hopes for this film. I wanted to see this movie in the worst way. I have not seen a really good action movie in a long time. Needless to say, I was not let down.

We get our first glimpse of our “hero” stalking his daughter’s dorm where her boyfriend is. This creates a great controversy for McClane, since his daughter, series newcomer Mary Elizabeth Winstead, uses Genero as her last name. After this conflict, McClane gets a call to go pick up computer hacker Matthew Farrell, played by Justin Long. Matt survives an attack on his life, which other hackers do not after helping a mysterious lady break into the government agency websites.

When McClane gets Matt to his destination, the Capitol is under attack, but not with explosions and guns, but through their computer systems. Matt recognizes the attacks as a “Fire Sale” in which the power, water, and other major utilities are shut down, putting the nation in panic.

After some deduction and help, they identify the mastermind as Thomas Gabriel. Timothy Olyphant joins an elite group of actors as Die Hard villains. He portrays an evil like no other. He is a techno-evil.

The rest of the movie follows John McClane and Matthew as they track down and try to put a stop to Gabriel’s plan. This involves many explosions and action sequences that are both mind-blowing and mind-numbing. They only one I could not make myself stomach involved a Harrier-type jet and the interstate. Look for Kevin Smith to make a hilarious appearance as “Warlock,” and Cyril Raphealli as a henchman from hell. He is a little known actor from Kiss of the Dragon and District B-13.

In the end, I did not feel the PG-13 rating until McClane utters his “Yipp-Ki-Yi-Ya” line without the final syllables. However, during this line of dialog, Det. McClane redefines the meaning of the word “badass.” Verdict: Worth the money all the way. If they can maintain this caliber of action and story, I would not mind seeing another one.

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