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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.82%
Worth A Look47.32%
Average: 14.29%
Pretty Bad: 16.96%
Total Crap: 11.61%

9 reviews, 58 user ratings

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Live Free or Die Hard
[] Buy posters from this movie
by David Hollands

"McClane is back, and more anachronistic than ever!"
4 stars

REPRINTED FROM MONDOMAGAZINE.NET: Some time ago, I read a phrase that would haunt me for months. It went something like this: “Live Free or Die Hard, rated PG-13.” After three entries in a franchise that guaranteed deliciously brutal violence, would a watered down Die Hard still be worthy of the title? Absolutely. This film rocks. It is paced, written, directed, and acted almost perfectly.

John McClane is called on to arrest a computer hacker named Matt Farrell, suspected of infiltrating the Pentagon’s system. Soon after McClane arrives at his door, armed assassins make an attempt on Matt’s life. Mr. Farrell was unknowingly a cog in a machine designed to cripple the United States in cyberspace. Terrorists now hold the country hostage, and it’s up to John McClane and Matt to save the day.

The spectacle begins five minutes in, and every ten minutes there’s a new set piece. Surprisingly, this avoids tedium since the moments in between offer the audience a breather. Also, the filmmakers are able to create sympathy for the protagonists. Matt, for example, could have easily dissolved into a wisecracking annoyance, but actor Justin Long prevents that. Matt has a good heart and a flaw to overcome: his cowardice. How he accomplishes that is one of the halcyon surprises in the film.

McClane’s daughter is hardly the terrified female victim one finds in action flicks. If there’s ever fear in her eyes, it’s for her father’s safety, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s performance helps this greatly. McClane now goes about his action-packed business with extreme weariness. The world has passed him, though his character still plows on even after experiencing so much crap. For him, it’s for the good of the citizens of his country. Frankly, that brings a tear to my eye.

The action sequences are edited into oblivion, though coherence is never sacrificed. Each cut, each shot, and each camera movement deliver a maximum visceral impact. While most of the set pieces are hardly realistic, the filmmakers still achieve a realistic feel; the impossible is made plausible because there is always consequence in this world. Anyone would be killed if put through what McClane has to endure; the fact that pain is present keeps the spectator involved. Plus, the set pieces themselves are jaw dropping. Every one of them, achieved through a combination of practical stunt work and seamless CGI, makes up any action fan’s wet dream.

There is a weakness though: head antagonist Gabriel, played by Deadwood’s Timothy Olyphant, never reaches the standards set by Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber. Gabriel is more of a wimp than any of the antagonists in the franchise. He’s like an emo kid with a mean streak, i.e. hardly menacing. His inevitable end is unsatisfying as well, especially after so many showstoppers.

But don’t let that detract you. This is easily the most fun you’ll have at the movies all summer. Do yourself a favour and make sure this franchise gets the love it deserves. Yippee Ka Yay.

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originally posted: 08/30/09 21:48:52
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User Comments

9/22/17 morris campbell good action sequel alot better than die hard 2 4 stars
3/17/16 Charles Tatum 'Salright 4 stars
7/08/12 BongThom Perfect review. 1 stars
2/03/11 Richard79 Almost unidentifiable as a Die Hard. Just another superhero movie for teenagers. 1 stars
12/17/10 fartvenugen preposterous and completely lame. 1 stars
10/27/10 Stirling Review by brianorndorf is spot on 1 stars
10/17/10 Stirling Spot on review. Disgraceful sequel. Die Hard 5? No Thanks! 1 stars
10/11/10 Eduardo It features the most stupid plot ever. Even an action movie has to have a plot, this doesnt 1 stars
12/24/09 brian i hope they make another one so everyone will be yelling "please die already!" 2 stars
12/03/09 R.W. Welch Too over-the-top to really get into, but lively enough. C+ 3 stars
10/01/09 Zefram Way better than expected. 4 stars
8/20/09 Jeff Wilder Gets the job done. Better than the second. But not as good as the original or third. 3 stars
10/09/08 jojo22 i loved it!! go BRUCE! 4 stars
9/27/08 Ian Can you explain why Asian hooker jokes are funny and not racist? 2 stars
7/25/08 Adam Too much of a mockery and an insult to the Die Hard series. 2 stars
7/22/08 the dork knight I am a staunch defender of Die hard 3. But not this one 2 stars
3/31/08 Monday Morning I don't want to spoil it for anyone but Bruce Willis and The Mac Guy save America. YAY!!!! 3 stars
3/15/08 Lucifugerofocale Brilliant took an out of date franchise and revamped for the modern audience 5 stars
3/03/08 ladavies If you like non stop action you will love this 4 stars
2/08/08 Anthony Feor Bruce Willis obviously knows how to keep tradition alive 4 stars
1/25/08 Tim A compleIe sellout and ludicrous in the extreme. Sinks a series that started off great. 1 stars
1/18/08 X Wang Decent action movie - obiviously not as great as the previous ones 4 stars
12/30/07 Austin Wertman loved it 5 stars
12/21/07 MP Bartley Decent enough, but too tame to really thrill. Smith's cameo is horrendous. 3 stars
12/13/07 ES Sadly the best part of this film was that it could be turned off. Die Hard has finally die 2 stars
12/05/07 dude loved it 5 stars
11/25/07 Servo Worst of the Die Hard flicks ... means it's still well worth watching 3 stars
11/20/07 Matt Plain impossible, plain daft-but who cares? Great fun, welcome back Bruce! 4 stars
11/17/07 mr.mike Willis and the movie are great.The ending borrows from "License To Kill" 4 stars
11/05/07 mb Love Bruce Willis. Awsome action movie from begining to end. 5 stars
10/06/07 Descent Passable but lacking in genuine tension and drive 3 stars
9/20/07 Johnnyfaye Okay plane and simple, if you didn't like this movie than you're not a die hard fan. 3 stars
9/06/07 Charles R.L.Power Clichéd and implausible, but carries the viewer along anyway 3 stars
9/03/07 Drooch Shallow, noisy cream-puff for teens. Total sellout. Where's the real McLane? 1 stars
8/31/07 Alex Hosking Nonestop computer enhanced action from beginning to end. A total waste of time. 1 stars
8/27/07 Private Obtuse and absurd but still manages to be moderately entertaining genre film. 3 stars
8/14/07 jimmy This movie was just a tv movie of the week with a 100 million budget and Bruce Willis in it 1 stars
8/07/07 David Graham Best of the sequels, an action flick to die hard 4. 5 stars
7/30/07 matt the swearing and smoking has to return in 5..sort it out fox 4 stars
7/28/07 Jiz Delivers the goods, Justin Long is a terrible actor though. 4 stars
7/28/07 Harry An insult to the series...shame 1 stars
7/22/07 jdm I loved it, non-stop action start to finish, best of the summer so far 5 stars
7/21/07 ben dover mclane is the man fantastic 5 stars
7/20/07 Brian Mckay The Techbabble is almost as retarded as on "24", but I don't watch porno for the plot, dig? 4 stars
7/17/07 Alexander Not a classic, but so wasn't the third one. Oldschoold action-movie with not too much CGI. 4 stars
7/05/07 Quigley Just go see it for the car crashes, stunts, explosions, and...of course...John McClane. 4 stars
7/05/07 damalc just more of the same for John McClane 2 stars
7/04/07 zaw Action Packed as I expected!!!! 5 stars
7/02/07 ahnold It was ok. Formulaic plot lines hurt movie (e.g.daughter=hostage);as did impossible escapes 3 stars
7/01/07 CrazyJayy Never thought twice about the PG13 or 12 years ago...this was fun--point blank!!!!!!! 5 stars
6/30/07 Blizz A total disgrace to the series, no matter what anyone else says...don't listen! 1 stars
6/29/07 KingNeutron Unabashed 5 *'s, hopefully the DVD will give us the Director's cut. 5 stars
6/29/07 Ole Man Bourbon It's what it should be, good action, good performances by Willis and Long. 4 stars
6/29/07 Mick A bunch of flag waving crap that is so 80's. 1 stars
6/29/07 Matt I thought this was a good movie true to the franchise. PG-13 may have cripled it somewhat. 4 stars
6/28/07 Steve Big fan of the series and disagree with the reviewer. I thought it was great! 5 stars
6/28/07 Paul Might not be "artistic" but it was a lot of fun to watch from beginning to end. 4 stars
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  27-Jun-2007 (PG-13)
  DVD: 20-Nov-2007

  04-Jul-2007 (15)

  09-Aug-2007 (M)

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