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Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
Reviewed on 2007 July 17
This is what the Alien Quadrilogy wishes it was: a set of four films where the third didn’t lack something and the fourth film could hold its own with the first three.
Live Free or Die Hard gets down to business before the opening credits, playing with the Fox logo and giving the audience a taste of the mayhem they’re going to enjoy for the next 130 minutes. We don’t get German terrorists with fancy weapons or SOF-reading militia nuts here. Here, the whole mess starts with a nerd. Matt Farrell (Justin Long) is a techie who sells code for direct deposits to his bank account. The poor guy has no idea that his gifts are going to be used for anything more nefarious than stomping someone in a VR game, and soon finds himself being targeted by both terrorists and the Department of Homeland Security. The latter group sends John McClane (Bruce Willis) to drag Matt in for questioning.
McClane no doubt thinks this will be cake after his previous adventures in West Coast offices and New York airports. He’s proven wrong immediately. Once again, we have people with no scruples threatening many innocent civilians for ludicrous amounts of cash, and John for the most part being an army of one and doing crazy stunts. What sets it apart is the scope of the damage done if the bad guys get away with it.
This was the only Die Hard to get a PG-13 rating instead of an R, but it’s still pretty intense. The least of McClane’s problems is Mai Lihn (Maggie Q), who plays a Kung Fu Barbie from Hell intent on killing him. I enjoyed the first three Die Hards and it’s nice to see this one keeping up with the herd. A warning to fellow women married to geeks: at Christmas, you may get your spouse asking for a rec room like the basement setup of the peripheral characters (you can’t miss it).
Three chocolate morsels and a cold beer.
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