Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Thriller


Live Free or Die Hard (2007) Poster

John McClane and a young hacker join forces to take down master cyber-terrorist Thomas Gabriel in Washington D.C.

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7.1/10
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  • Justin Long and Maggie Q in Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
  • Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
  • Timothy Olyphant and Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
  • Bruce Willis and Justin Long in Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
  • Bruce Willis at an event for Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
  • Jonathan Sadowski at an event for Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

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6 July 2007 | WriterDave
7
| Good Old-Fashioned Shattered Glass Action Flick
"Live Free or Die Hard" is quite a refreshing piece of entertainment this summer in the wake of so many effects-driven computer simulated action/fantasy films. With its silly title, smart-alleck lead character (Bruce Willis as Bruce Willis doing John McClane), and loads of old fashioned stunts involving cars, SUV's, elevator shafts, big rigs, helicopters, fighter jets, and collapsing highway bridges, this flick is a great piece of shattered-glass entertainment--a throwback to the late 1980's and early 1990's when movies like the original "Die Hard" changed the face of movie action.

There is some frustration to be had when you start to realize how much they toned down to achieve the friendly PG-13 rating. There's far less profanity flying, and while the body count is astronomically high (the collateral damage in this film in terms of human life and damaged property is tres magnifique), there's little blood and guts to be found. Still, die hard "Die Hard" action fans should rest assured knowing there will be plenty of funny one-liners, hot chicks (a wonderful Maggie Q as the bad-ass female villain and the scorchingly feisty and cute Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lucy McClane), super smart bad guys (a very good Timothy Olyphant), and jaw-dropping death-defying stunts.

Director Len Wiseman orchestrates the complicated stunts very well like a masterful puppeteer, which is a shock considering how god-awful his "Underworld" films were. The hand-to-hand human match-ups still bear some of his annoying hallmarks, but he's learned how to blow things up really well and has learned a thing or two about scope and editing in big action set-pieces. The excellent pacing and preposterousness of the stunts (especially the climax involving the fighter jet and the big rig) certainly put a smile on my face.

There's a whole lot of computer hacking related mumbo-jumbo involved in the story, and there's a lot of downtime for male bonding and "explanation" of the finer plot points that slows the film down some but is actually nice to see in a world now ruled by Michael Bay-style non-stop action. Plenty dumb, plenty thrilling, and plenty of fun, "Live Free or Die Hard" is a pleasant surprise considering how unnecessary this sequel seemed from conception.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The car that is stolen in the film by McClane and Farrell is a 2006 E60 BMW 5 series, which was chosen due to a poll that found that people wanted films that had more BMWs in it. The main reason given was that the alternatives (Audis and Mercedes-Benzes) were too common and not bold and imposing enough to go with the characters in the film. The particular BMW model (5 series) was chosen because the director, Len Wiseman, found "the 3 series too common, the 7 series too uptight and every other car either too feminine or compensating for a midlife crisis... Everything McClane isn't, yet".


Quotes

Mai Lihn: Well?
Clay: I'm sending you the code.
Mai Lihn: Yes, I see that. Thank you.


Goofs

When McClane gets into the 18 wheeler after throwing the driver out, a freeway sign can be seen out the front window marked 118 West. This freeway is in California, not Maryland.


Crazy Credits

After the 20th Century Fox opening logo has been on for a while, it suddenly "short circuits", causing flickering as the the searchlights fade, climaxing in a total power outage.


Alternate Versions

The unrated DVD (also known as the Ultimate Action Edition in some territories) contains frequent use of strong profanity and stronger violence (bullet hits are more graphically seen with blood spraying out). Also, McClane's signature line is now heard in full, as the gunshot does not obscure the latter part of it.


Soundtracks

I'm So Sick
Written by
Lacey Sturm, James Culpepper, Kirkpatrick Seals, Jared Hartmann and Sameer Bhattacharya
Performed by Flyleaf
Courtesy of OctJay LLC
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Thriller

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