‘Die Hard 4.0’ A.K.A ‘Live Free, Die Hard’ – Len Wiseman (2007)
John McClane is back, middle-aged, unloved and surpisingly divorced.
But things get a whole lot worse for Mr McClane. Cyber terrorist Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant) is making America pay for its sins by shutting down everything with a microchip. Armed with only a pistol and a nerdy hacker (Justin Long) for company, McClane must stop Gabriel before he sends the world’s most powerful company into the dark ages.
The first Die Hard movie started trends that would run through literally hundreds of movies, especially in the 90’s. Movies such as Speed, Under Siege, The Rock, Air Force One and 24 took some inspiration from the ‘wrong place wrong time’ formula. Still, a ten-year absence was halted thanks in part to nostalgia for all things 80’s, and a longing for the return of an all-out action movie emerged.
Thankfully, McClane’s fourth instalment is every bit as thrilling as its predecessors. Perhaps not as clever as Die Hard with a Vengeance, Die Hard 4.0 is in every respect a big dumb action movie, and that’s why it gets five-stars. No preaching, no political undercurrents, no religion-based complicated plot. Just some nut wreaking havoc, and a pumped up bald headed guy out to stop him. It’s a great action film, and that’s all you could want from a Die Hard movie.
The biggest surprise, however, is a return to the Bruce Willis of old. Cocky, with more one-liners than Bob Hope, and suitably muscled up for the role, the only absence is the famous vest (he opts for a white shirt this time). Olyphant is perhaps the only weak link in the film, suitably shouty and psychotic (“GET ME MCLANE!!!”) but next to Alan Rickman he’s a mere rookie.
What makes this film great is that it delivers. If you’re after some mindless but brilliantly executed action, join the queue and shout “yippe kay ay motherf***er!”, because this is the action movie perfected.