November 12, 2007

Live Free or Die Hard - $4

The fourth installment of the Die Hard series is far less engaging than it's predecessors. I can't claim I wasn't entertained but I was certainly not impressed.

The previous Die Hards, especially the original, brought the audience character driven stories and raw action done nearly to perfection. Live Free or Die Hard relies heavily on big special effects and stunts and doesn't give the viewer nearly enough story. The villain was never convincing to me, nor were his motives clear and as much as it's always far fetched that our main character John McClane lives through the many near death experiences each movie has brought his way, it went from far fetched to ridiculous in this one. At one point McClane jumps from an air force fighter jet and slides down a broken concrete overpass with the jet exploding overhead. I can shut off my expectations of reality for an action movie but he walked away a little too quickly from that one.

Overall Live Free or Die Hard is not awful. There are entertaining moments and when the action is bound by the laws of physics it is quite entertaining. Bruce Willis is great as always playing John McClane, and his co-star Justin Long is quite good as well as the funny bumbling sidekick.

For me this movie just didn't work though. The tame villain combined with the impossible to believe action sequences left me unable to forgive the thin and undeveloped storyline.

This is a movie worth seeing if you're a Die Hard fan but I have to put it on my 'Don't Watch It' list and give it a value of $4.


Sheamus the... said...

yeah... i agree with this review. 4 bucks.

jon or angie said...

wow, i'm really surprised i liked a brainless action movie more than you. I loved die hard 4 because i came in expecting over the top and that is what i got. i usually don't go for that but the legacy of die hard earned it the right to push the boundaries of plausability and for once i actually enjoyed the ride. it did what action movies do, and because it is die hard it still can lay claim to some originality in doing it.

i enjoyed it thoroughly, although alot of that might have to do with the fact that die hard was a part of my childhood (i.e adolescence). maybe that explains why i like this and you like transformers.

Jeff Coutts said...

Dave, I'm with you on this one. I did not like this movie. I went into with my brain shut off, ready to enjoy myself. But my brain kept turning back on and telling me to get out of there. The action scenes were so ridiculous, that I stopped caring. I enjoyed moments, but on the whole, not a great movie.

Have you scene Die Hard 2 recently? It's just as bad.

Tony Tanti said...

Jon, you may be right about why you liked this and I liked Transformers though you're still the only guy under 35 I've talked to that didn't like Transformers. And I resent your implication that I always love brainless action. See my Don't Watch It list to be proven wrong there.

I also agree that Die Hard earns the right to be implausible, kind of like Bond movies, but this one went too far, the bad guys that just wouldn't die and that jet scene. Come on, he's on a fighter jet and he jumps off, not a single moment in Transformers was less believable than that.

Jeff, you may be right about Die Hard 2, I might have given 2 and 3 too much credit but the first one was great.

Shea, as always thanks for the comment. You're doing great things over at unheralded. Everyone should check it out. (see the link on my site)

Anonymous said...

I'm with Tanti...just like back in '89

jon or angie said...

didn't mean to imply you were brainless or that you liked brainless action movies. all i meant was that you tend to be more forgiving of the whole action genre than i. most of it is implausible and takes a degree of buy in to be enjoyed. i usually have very little interest in buying in, except in rare cases of a good bond film or maybe a die hard once in awhile. you tend to buy in more often than i, don't you? anyway, that's all i meant. mind you, i'm going on life history there, not necessarily your official reviews.

i find it hard to believe that everyone under 35 loved transformers. i fear for the future of humanity if that is true!

Tony Tanti said...

Transformers was good. The future of humanity is fine.

Jon, I guess as a general statement you probably like less action movies than me but I find that for me they're either hit or miss and very few are inbetween. I've disliked plenty of of action movies.

I didn't assume you meant I was brainless though.