Monday, July 09, 2007

Die Hard 4.0, no patch required

I'll admit I was a little apprehensive about seeing this "diluted" Die Hard sequel. There had been many reports in the web that Fox had insisted that Live Free Or Die Hard (or Die Hard 4.0 in the real-world) to make it more audience friendly and that that audience should include thise who were not yet of age to appreciate the artistic beauty of the original antics of John McClane. In other words this sequel would would be geared for a 12PG rating and so could not have the amount of blood or even McClane's catchphrase: "Yippie-Ki-Yay-Mother-Fucker". I was devestated and even threatened not to attend it in the cinema. However once it was released and people started raving about it I said "What the hell" and went anyway.

Boy was I glad I did. It was awesome. Far better than I could have ever predicted and easily one of the best movies of the year. I asked myself how I could have been thinking about not seeing this in the cinema.

Now, the whole plot was ridiculous but that's more than acceptable for an action-movie especially a Die Hard but no one can deny that director Len Wiseman led Bruce and ourselves on a roller coaster ride that not for one second did the action and suspense let up. While Bruce is 52 and counting now he was still able to "do the shit" as well as stars several years younger and I daresay if they don't let the franchise wallow like they did after Die Hard With A Vengeance then he probably has enough for another one.

It wasn't too long ago that I saw an "older" Bruce Willis escort the comedy relief 16 Blocks for the duration of that movie but it was a thriller and a damn good one but this is an action movie. So while the same concept is used it must be executed completely differently. Justin Mac-Guy Long is the escorted here and plays the part of nerdy cybergeek very well. Is a bit more than the normal "Tough-Guy and Brain-Box" formula and adds to the enjoyment of the movie.

Timothy Deadwood Olyphant, while not as colourful as previous Die Hard villains, plays his part adequately as the mastermind behind the cyber-terrorism and I look forward to seeing him as 47 in the Hitman movie later. Maggie Q and even Kevin Smith have memorable supporting roles as well. One notable henchman is District B-13's Cyril Raffaelli who dazzles us with more Parkour- one of the very few useful things to come out of France.

Len Wiseman has returned this movie to the roots of action movie making and opted for a very low use of CGI in favour of traditional shots involving real vehicles, stunts and situations. He has improved on his success with the Underworld movies and I look forward to his next presentation.

Marco Beltrami did a superb job of taking the reigns of the musical score from the late Michael Kamen who scored the previous 3 Die Hards. He adopted some of Kamen's style motifs as he was obviously inspired by them but it's most certainly a Beltrami score and enhances the movie's pace and enjoyment exponentially.

A few imperfections have prevented this from getting my coveted 5-Star+ rating. Obviously the lack of blood and profanity but there were a few nitpicks that I wasn't pleased with, first and foremost there was the depiction of the U.S. Marine F-35b Lightening II aircraft (which is real but won't be in the field until 2012) and it's pilot who was depicted as a bit of a moron- but I'll let you judge for yourself.
Also, for some reason McClane is constantly being referred to as "Detective" when he's in fact a "Lieutenant". If he had been busted down below Sergeant why whould he have "Lieutenant" clearly visable in his ID. Nevertheless after this movie he'd better be called Captain in Die Hard 5.
While the technology in the movie wasn't as nonsensical as other Hollywood technology in other movies I could mention, I still didn't like the way Justin Long (good guy) was using a Mac (I didn't see a Mac but he had an Apple Cinema display running Linux) and the bad-guy hacker-henchman was on a PC (Saucer Silver Alienware laptop). Did anyone else think the Palm Pilots were a bit old for this high-tech movie?

Final verdict: Fantastic action, liberal use of automacic weaponary, cool stunts, fantastic explosions and Brue Willis' banter. Just want I wanted.

Colonel Creedon Rating: *****


Peter Bae said...

Hey, great review. I've also written a review at

Please let me know if you agree with me.

Emanuel Campos said...

Pretty good review and I sign down each word. When 007 Royales Cassino have a good and reliable technology, also sponsered by Sony-Ericsson, but this is intented to be an action movie, not realistic movie, isn't it? Regards from Brazil!