Die Hard 4.0

Viewed – 17 July 2007  Cinema

The Die Hard movies were the best franchise around back in the late eighties / mid nineties.  Former TV star Bruce Willis was perfectly cast as wise cracking NYPD cop John McLane always in the wrong place at the wrong time, often surviving on luck and balls alone.  The two sequels proved just as entertaining, but once Die Hard With Avengeance was out…we all thought the franchise was all done but the counting of the money at the box office.

So twelve years later, Willis is older, not really doing action movies anymore (he seems to spend much of his time playing second fiddle to other stars in films like Lucky Number Slevin or Sin City).  So I was excited at the prospect of the still tough looking Willis back where he belongs…and rest assured, this delivers everything that the brilliant trailer hinted at.

As probably the unluckiest Cop in New York (or should that be luckiest?) Willis’ John Mclane is paired with a geeky (but likeable) computer nerd and thrown into a battle of wits with cyber-terrorists hell bent on causing chaos by taking over Washington D.C.’s computer networks (resulting in control of traffic lights, the city’s electricity, TV stations and even a Harrier Jump Jet in a stand out scene).  Head baddie Timothy Olyphant is sneery but surprisingly cool and does have some good lines, even if he can’t quite compare to the brilliance of Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber or the camp of Jerremy Irons in ‘Avengeance’.  Yet his plan is believable and different enough to make this Die Hard fit in with the franchise yet still seem fresh.  The computer hacking, although a fall back from eighties films like War Games, is very true to the digital age we live in, and is a breath of fresh air compared to the countless foreign terrorist plots we normally endure.  On a downside, some of the stunts and outrageous stuff Bruce Willis gets himself into, seems a little over the top and unnecessary, especially when he has nobody else to protect other than some kid he doesn’t know.  Yet if you switch off your brain, the action is tremendous and probably has some of the finest special effects of the summer so far – and Willis still looks the part throughout – not bad for a man in his fifities!

Verdict:  4 /5

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