A film review by Sean O’Connell – Copyright Â© 2007 filmcritic.com
He’s back. The fly in the ointment. The monkey in the wrench. The pain in theâ€¦ well, since Len Wiseman’s Live Free or Die Hard is the franchise’s first installment saddled with an audience-friendly PG-13 rating, we’ll have to dance around that last quote. But that’s about the only thing toned down as Bruce Willis resurrects his iconic blue-collar cop character John McClane for a timely, terrifying, and terrifically entertaining popcorn flick.
Chances are I enjoyed this new Die Hard, the fourth in the series, more than you will. Full disclosure time: The original Die Hard is my favorite film. Not my favorite Bruce Willis film. Not my favorite action film. My favorite film, period. And Willis’ invulnerable but impossibly human John McClane is, to me, the quintessential movie hero — a street-smart civil servant with a knack for disrupting the best-laid plans of vicious malcontents.
That being said, I loved this movie. It has problems, but they are forgivable. Live Free is a perfect Die Hard sequel. It captures the outmatched tone of the first two pictures, and reclaims McClane’s trademark sarcasm that was absent in the clumsy, sloppily plotted third film, Die Hard with a Vengeance. In no way does Live Free measure up to the original. It would be unfair to think that it ever could. But as a continuation of the saga, Live Free delivers.
At 52, Willis can’t ignore his age. The still-rugged actor’s current take on McClane, though, is exactly how I picture the character to be at this stage. He’s jaded, frustrated, unappreciated, and more than a little bored. When we first see him, he’s staking out his college-attending daughter, Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and shaking down potential boyfriends. We get the impression the beleaguered hero misses the action, and resents the complacency that comes with old(er) age.
Sean’s full review can be found HERE