Movie Review: Live Free or Die Hard – Starring Bruce Willis, Justin Long & Timothy Olyphant

Watch Live Free or Die Hard via Amazon Instant VideoMovie: Live Free or Die Hard (PG-13)
Released: June 27th, 2007
Watched: June 29th, 2007
Runtime: 2 hr. 10 min.
Ticket Price: $5.00 Early Matinee
Refreshments: Swedish Fish
Starring: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant & Kevin Smith
Director: Len Wiseman

Rating: Worth a Full Price Ticket –

Synopsis: John McClane must save the day once again, this time from an attack on the nations computer infrastructure. The terrorist plan seems to have taken into account every possible detail in the digital world to render the financial markets and everything else useless, except for our favorite hero.

Review: Live Free or Die Hard is the most fun I’ve had at a movie this summer. The other big sequels of the past few weeks left a bit to be desired. So, a fourth in the Die Hard movie franchise was sure to be looked upon with an uneasy eye. Although, lowered expectations, due to earlier summer disappointments, may have helped overall reaction to Live Free or Die Hard.

This is a straight up big budget action flick. Much of it harkens back to the previous Die Hard films, as well as movies like True Lies and even Bruce Willis’ 16 Blocks. Some sequences go a bit over the top, like the fighter and the 16-wheeler sequence, but it is a whole lot of fun to watch. If you have any fondness for the previous incarnations, you will definitely enjoy yourself watching this one.

Now divorced, John McClane is trying to maintain a relationship with his daughter, the strong willed Lucy, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Final Destination 3). She wants nothing to do with him. This sets up a similar ark, as in the first Die Hard when he his fighting with his estranged wife and then has to save her in the end.

There are many other scenes that bring back memories of previous Die Hard films, like McClane meeting another Agent Johnson of the FBI, muttering to himself about how this was supposed to be easy while climbing over wrecked cars, elevator shafts and others.

Justin Long (He’s the Mac in the Mac vs. PC ads) plays Matt Farrell. He is a computer geek extraordinaire. He thinks that he is just helping a big company test their security, but has helped develop some of the code for an attack on the digital infrastructure of the nation. Long makes a good sidekick to the hero, but in the end steps up a bit himself to help save the day.

Timothy Olyphant (Catch and Release, TV’s Deadwood) is the bad guy this time around. A former government employee that warned that something like this could happen if people didn’t listen to him. Having been ruined by those that wanted to shut him up, he is now bent on getting his revenge, but mostly, as in two of the previous three, the money. Olyphant is a good actor, but his character’s development was not quite as engaging as previous Die Hard baddies. But, in his defense, none have lived up to Hans Gruber, the original played by Alan Rickman.

Live Free or Die Hard takes place over much more area than the three previous, but each has widened it over the subsequent one. The first took place in a building, the second in and around an airport and the third in New York City. Now it spans from New Jersey to Washington D.C. to West Virginia to Baltimore, MD. But, there are still plenty of cramped spaces and fight scenes taking place inside apartments and elevator shafts.

Yippee-ki-yay movie lover, Live Free or Die Hard is worth a full price ticket and may have just kicked off the real summer movie season with a bang.

Have you seen Live Free or Die Hard? What did you think of it?

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Jason of New Movie Friday
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