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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.82%
Worth A Look47.32%
Just Average: 14.29%
Pretty Crappy: 16.96%
Sucks: 11.61%

9 reviews, 58 user ratings

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Live Free or Die Hard
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Hudson Hawk, come back; all is forgiven."
2 stars

The original 'Die Hard' was a beautiful machine of mayhem, full of colorful characters and great, funny dialogue that had little to do with the action (“Hello, this is Agent Johnson...No, the other one”). Since it made big money, it has spawned several unmemorable sequels, including the new one, 'Live Free or Die Hard.'

The first film had crazy action sequences and a winning hero in blue-collar NYC cop John McClane (Bruce Willis), but it also let itself breathe and flesh out all the other pieces on the board — it probably has the best overall supporting cast of any action flick in the last twenty years, starting with the incomparable Alan Rickman, whose Hans Gruber has spoiled us for all other movie masterminds in or out of the Die Hard franchise.

The new film brings back McClane and the insane action, but is as clueless about the original’s appeal — what makes it compulsively rewatchable — as the previous two follow-ups. It turns McClane into a wisecracking action figure, running here and there with computer whiz Justin Long to protect him from nefarious hacker Timothy Olyphant. It throws in some comic relief — recruiting Willis’ fellow Jersey native Kevin Smith as a cellar-dwelling hacker who calls himself The Warlock — but by and large it lacks personality.

For starters, Timothy Olyphant just isn’t a terribly compelling villain, or a particularly threatening one. Sure, his posse of minions manage to blow stuff up and perforate every standing piece of architecture with gunfire. And sure, he manages to kidnap McClane’s estranged, college-age daughter (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). But there’s no menace to any of it, because if Olyphant’s hacker can do pretty much anything with computers, McClane can do pretty much anything with brute force. It’s nice of 20th-Century Fox to give us a Batman vs. Joker movie a year early, but it’s still not a Die Hard movie.

Director Len Wiseman (fifteen when the first Die Hard came out) foregoes the Hot Topic style of his previous Underworld series and delivers a fast-paced romp. The proceedings are brutal, though not bloody enough to get an R rating; there’s been much grousing on the Internet about Fox forcing a PG-13 on this installment, whereas the others were allowed all the gore — not to mention all the F-bombs — they needed. Truthfully, it doesn’t make all that much difference, since this wouldn’t feel like a John McClane adventure even with the splatter and the hero’s signature line, “Yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker.” Willis rocks a chrome dome here, ostensibly because McClane is older and balder now — a fine time to capitulate to realism in a movie that sees McClane outracing a disintegrating overpass in a truck — and he retains McClane’s puckish habit of taunting his foes with reminders of how he killed their buddies. Willis is lighter of spirit here than he has been in a while, but the appeal of his character — the working-class guy who outwits evil geniuses with a little bit of Jersey street smarts — gets nuked here because most of his triumphs are based on dumb luck (killing a helicopter with a car) or flatly superhuman feats of agility.

Which, to be fair, seem to be shared by the villains. Maggie Q (who has yet to be used well in a Hollywood film) appears as one of Olyphant’s thugs, and she mops the floor with Willis, who then drives a car into her at full speed, plowing her through several walls. Despite this, she’s unharmed enough to continue beating the snot out of Willis moments later when the car is dangling in an elevator shaft. A lot of people keep wanting a sequel to Willis’ 1991 goof Hudson Hawk, but Live Free or Die Hard comes close to being Hudson Hawk 2 without the singing and the hipster indolence.

John McClane has been hauled out of mothballs to show all the young pups how action movies are done, a good idea in theory but not, apparently, in execution.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15580&reviewer=416
originally posted: 07/01/07 14:10:25
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User Comments

9/21/17 morris campbell good action sequel alot better than die hard 2 4 stars
3/17/16 Charles Tatum 'Salright 4 stars
7/07/12 BongThom Perfect review. 1 stars
2/02/11 Richard79 Almost unidentifiable as a Die Hard. Just another superhero movie for teenagers. 1 stars
12/16/10 fartvenugen preposterous and completely lame. 1 stars
10/26/10 Stirling Review by brianorndorf is spot on 1 stars
10/16/10 Stirling Spot on review. Disgraceful sequel. Die Hard 5? No Thanks! 1 stars
10/10/10 Eduardo It features the most stupid plot ever. Even an action movie has to have a plot, this doesnt 1 stars
12/23/09 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
9/30/09 Zefram Way better than expected. 4 stars
8/19/09 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
9/26/08 Ian Can you explain why Asian hooker jokes are funny and not racist? 2 stars
7/24/08 Adam Too much of a mockery and an insult to the Die Hard series. 2 stars
7/21/08 the dork knight I am a staunch defender of Die hard 3. But not this one 2 stars
3/30/08 Monday Morning I don't want to spoil it for anyone but Bruce Willis and The Mac Guy save America. YAY!!!! 3 stars
3/14/08 Lucifugerofocale Brilliant took an out of date franchise and revamped for the modern audience 5 stars
3/02/08 ladavies If you like non stop action you will love this 4 stars
2/07/08 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
1/17/08 X Wang Decent action movie - obiviously not as great as the previous ones 4 stars
12/29/07 Austin Wertman loved it 5 stars
12/20/07 MP Bartley Decent enough, but too tame to really thrill. Smith's cameo is horrendous. 3 stars
12/12/07 ES Sadly the best part of this film was that it could be turned off. Die Hard has finally die 2 stars
12/04/07 dude loved it 5 stars
11/25/07 Servo Worst of the Die Hard flicks ... means it's still well worth watching 3 stars
11/19/07 Matt Plain impossible, plain daft-but who cares? Great fun, welcome back Bruce! 4 stars
11/16/07 mr.mike Willis and the movie are great.The ending borrows from "License To Kill" 4 stars
11/04/07 mb Love Bruce Willis. Awsome action movie from begining to end. 5 stars
10/05/07 Descent Passable but lacking in genuine tension and drive 3 stars
9/19/07 Johnnyfaye Okay plane and simple, if you didn't like this movie than you're not a die hard fan. 3 stars
9/05/07 Charles R.L.Power Clichéd and implausible, but carries the viewer along anyway 3 stars
9/02/07 Drooch Shallow, noisy cream-puff for teens. Total sellout. Where's the real McLane? 1 stars
8/30/07 Alex Hosking Nonestop computer enhanced action from beginning to end. A total waste of time. 1 stars
8/26/07 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
8/06/07 David Graham Best of the sequels, an action flick to die hard 4. 5 stars
7/29/07 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
7/21/07 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
7/19/07 Brian Mckay The Techbabble is almost as retarded as on "24", but I don't watch porno for the plot, dig? 4 stars
7/16/07 Alexander Not a classic, but so wasn't the third one. Oldschoold action-movie with not too much CGI. 4 stars
7/04/07 Quigley Just go see it for the car crashes, stunts, explosions, and...of course...John McClane. 4 stars
7/04/07 damalc just more of the same for John McClane 2 stars
7/04/07 zaw Action Packed as I expected!!!! 5 stars
7/01/07 ahnold It was ok. Formulaic plot lines hurt movie (e.g.daughter=hostage);as did impossible escapes 3 stars
6/30/07 CrazyJayy Never thought twice about the PG13 or 12 years ago...this was fun--point blank!!!!!!! 5 stars
6/29/07 Blizz A total disgrace to the series, no matter what anyone else says...don't listen! 1 stars
6/28/07 KingNeutron Unabashed 5 *'s, hopefully the DVD will give us the Director's cut. 5 stars
6/28/07 Ole Man Bourbon It's what it should be, good action, good performances by Willis and Long. 4 stars
6/28/07 Mick A bunch of flag waving crap that is so 80's. 1 stars
6/28/07 Matt I thought this was a good movie true to the franchise. PG-13 may have cripled it somewhat. 4 stars
6/27/07 Steve Big fan of the series and disagree with the reviewer. I thought it was great! 5 stars
6/27/07 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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