Release Date: June 27th, 2007 by 20th Century Fox.
The Cast: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long, Maggie Q, Cliff Curtis, Jonathan Sadowski, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Andrew Friedman, Kevin Smith.
Directed by Len Wiseman.
BASIC PREMISE: NYPD Detective John McClane (Willis) uses the help of Matt (Long), a hacker, to stop Thomas (Olyphant) and his group of cyber-terrorists from attacking the entire US computer infrastructure.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: This fourth installment of the Die Hard series has plenty of action sequences, but mostly suffers from a weak, clichéd plot.. The FBI calls John McClane to action when they notice that somebody has been hacking their computer system. He escorts Matt, a computer hacker who has the ability to figure out the cyber-terrorists’ main intention, which is to shut down all the computer-based systems. Somehow, this would allow them to steal a lot of money because, after all, they’re greedy—not a particularly original or interesting motive. As the plot unfolds, though, it tends to feel implausible and somewhat silly, such as when John’s daughter, Lucy (Winstead) manages to single-handedly beat up one of the cyber-terrorists. At least Bruce Willis and Justin Long play off of each other quite nicely as John McClane and Matt. However, Timothy Olyphant fails to add any real menace as the leader of the cyber-terrorists—Jeremy Irons had much more charisma and gravitas as the villain in Die Hard with a Vengeance. The screenplay by Mark Bomback, who also wrote Godsend, awkwardly combines comedy and mindless action with not enough memorable one-liners and virtually no interesting plot twists. Director Len Wiseman does include some pulse-pounding action sequences and moves the pace along at an appropriately fast speed, but, unfortunately, it’s evident that the movie’s rating went from an R to a PG-13 because of the poor dubbing and bloodless violence. Ultimately, Live Free or Die Hard never actually sizzles enough to please the true Die Hard fans out there.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you check your brain at the door.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 4
IN A NUTSHELL: Mindless, exciting action sequences, but with a clichéd, unsurprising plot and weak dialogue that never truly sizzles.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: DVD
The "L" Menu