Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Die Hard 4.0 (Live Free or Die Hard)

Die Hard is a classic, it re-defined the action genre at the time, it also redefined the action hero with Bruce Willis' John McClane bucking the trend of the invincible muscle men and introducing a certain humanity and fallibility to the action hero. (I hope fallibility is right)

Now a few sequels and many years down the line we have Die Hard 4.0 (which I think is the better of the two titles), more terrorism and more 'wrong place wrong time' (reasonably well referenced) and a new sidekick in the shape of Justin Long.

This time Timothy Olyphant is bringing America to it's knees by hacking all the major computer systems and getting rid of any loose ends along the way... this is where Bruce and Justin come in.

To try and keep the "Everyman" aspect the makers bring in McClane's daughter Lucy (the apparently hot new young thing Mary Elizabeth Winstead), which is actually quite a nice touch, but I think they go overboard with the exposition about "John the reluctant hero", which crops up in most of the Bruce-Justin scenes.

The film's a tad too long, Len Wiseman's directing (and subsequent editing) is at times erratic and unsure (how many angles to we need for one conversation???), but the action and stunts in this are blistering! Causing both myself and my girlfriend to exclaim when various henchmen get suitably and painfully wasted, and certain sequences left me dumbfounded from a technical POV...

...such as the ones with one particular henchman, the token free-runner.

After The Matrix, it was all about Bullet Time, now after District 13 and Casino Royale it's all about Parkour (Free-Running), and DH4.0 has some of the best I've seen, showcasing it with some of the best camera choreography I've seen as well. Watch it if just for these pieces!

So! Overall, bloody entertaining, not quite on the same level as the first (or 3rd) but not bad at all. Things may be starting to look up for Len?? (*may*)

Die Hard 4.0 - 7/10

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