Live Free or Die Hard

Live Free or Die Hard poster

The summer action hit, Live Free or Die Hard, the fourth in the Die Hard series, is non-stop action, and delivers exactly what you’d expect a cookie cutter action film to have. Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) returns as possibly the unluckiest detective in the world as he once again becomes involved in a larger than life battle with a criminal mastermind. This time McClane is up against computer hacker Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant), who is bent on destroying America by hacking the nation’s infrastructures.

Like Die Hard with a Vengeance, McClane has an unwitting and sometime unwilling sidekick. Justine Long, of Apple computer ads fame,…

[Farrell] Hello I’m a Mac
[McClane] And I’m an action hero.
[Farrell] I’m into having fun, hacking computers and being a wise-mouth.
[McClane] I’m always in the wrong place at the wrong time, and always end up killing lots of people. I’m also a wise-mouth.

…plays computer hacker Matt Farrell, who is picked up by McClane for being unknowingly involved in Gabriel’s plan.

This film, like almost every movie made about computer hacking, is filled with stereotypical nerds and geeks who can hack any piece of electronics in order to get it to do whatever they want, using any piece of electronics they can get their hands on. And, if they happen to have a hacker’s day kit, they’re unstoppable.

Besides the low accuracy regarding technology, everything in the film, except extras, seems to be bullet proof (walls, cars, La-Z-Boy recliners, refrigerators, McClane, tables, and computers to name a few). Add in that McClane survives being shot, hit by a car, multiple car wrecks, and dropped off an airplane, and you have one fairly unbelievable summer action film.

Being completely unbelievable is, however, the films greatest asset, and the film makers build on this asset by not, not even once, taking themselves seriously; and that is what made this such a fun film. Overall, I’d give this film 3.5 out of 5. The acting quality is fairly low, but not below what is to be expected from the genre, the character development is nil, the dialog is old and tired, and the plot is decidedly predictable. Nothing about this film punched through the action film envelope. The film stayed where it was comfortable and succeeded in being conventional.

If you enjoyed the other Die Hard films you’ll certainly enjoy this one. Whether you see it in the theaters, or wait to rent it, is between you and your wallet.