Current Issue Details

Buy Current Issue

Columns > Evan Winiker

Published: 2007/06/30
by Evan Winiker

Live Free or Die Hard

Bruce Willis is back in theaters reprising his classic detective role in the latest Die Hard film. This time around John McClane (Bruce Willis) is fighting cyber terrorists who’ve hacked into Americas technological heart with a firesale virus. Known as a "firesale" because everything must go, the terrorists shutdown our communication and transportation systems, leaving the government inoperable and unable to fix the situation. With the help of cyber hacker Mathew Farrell (Justin Long) and his college bound daughter (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), McClane goes after the terrorists old school style.
I heard that this project was in the works almost two years ago, and I asked myself, "Why would they try to breathe life into this dead franchise?" Then again, upon further reflection (and a bit of research) I came to acknowledge that the previous three Die Hards combined at the box office for almost $900 million. But even though Bruce Willis is not the same ticket draw anymore (as seen with Perfect Stranger) and the old school action hero genre is long forgotten, replaced by super heroes and aliens, people still have an affinity for the Die Hard series.
I didn’t know why until I saw Live Free or Die Hard, a movie that I wanted to hate, but one that I really enjoyed. Bruce Willis shines (both his head and his personality) as the father/cop and Justin Long is superb as his nerdy sidekick. The rest of the cast doesn’t really do anything for the picture (especially Cliff Curtis whose New Zealand accent doesnt allow him to portray the head of the FBI as effectively as one might like). Still, the film moves well, which I attribute to Len Wiseman, who did a great job with the Underworld films, and chose the same editors for this one. In an age where CGI is used in almost every big action film (including this one), it’s refreshing to see some real life stunts, and this movie is filled with them. Whether it’s blowing up helicopters with cars (‘he was out of bullets’), or escaping falling cars in elevator shafts, there is no lack of gratuitous testosterone in this film. Matched up against Pirates or some of the other summer blockbusters, Die Hard not only stands up, it jumps down a flight of stairs, climbs through a window and then hang glides off the roof! Go check it out.

Show 0 Comments