Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Live Free or Die Hard Review

Just as Die Hard With a Vengeance is an example of current technology not hindering the aging of a film, Live Free or Die Hard is the exact opposite.  This one really is handcuffed by the technology used throughout.  The problem stems from the fact that the entire story is based on technology.  While it was all very thrilling when it was released in the theatre, watch the movie six years later and everything is very out of date.  This would be OK if the technology used was more of an accessory for the characters.  But, it is so pervasive that the viewer spends a lot of time noticing its obsolescence.  I can see it going the same route as Sneakers in this sense.

It isn't just that though.  The writing is a bit lackluster.  The one-liners that Die Hard is famous for are not as strong as in the previous installments.  Bruce Willis will always be a great John "Everyman" McClane.  But Justin Long is no Samuel L Jackson when it comes to pushing McClane's buttons while they try to save the world.  Instead of anticipating the next great exchange, I found myself just wanting to remove Long from the equation.

But, all in all, this is an action movie and, as an action movie, it delivers the adrenaline.  All of the action sequences are well shot and edited.  They often feel real even though they are very over the top and unrealistic.  The SUV in the elevator and the fight with the F-35 border on laughable.  But they're still tense and fun to watch.  Willis' reaction after the fighter plane crash is priceless.

The cheesy factor is higher than Vengeance.  The story is weak.  But the action is strong.  Overall, this one's really a wash but does barely pass.  See it.  But you may not want to see it again if you already have.

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