Live Free or Die Hard
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This is the 4th best Die Hard film, which may say something about how consistently good the action franchise has been, and made me wonder why it took 12 years to get this one. Unlike the first 3, this is less realistic. Ok, so the first 3 were kinda ridiculous, but this has some sequences that need a liberal amount of suspended disbelief. However, Bruce Willis, playing the cynical, tired, John McClane, as he did in all of the films thus far, adds a level of humanity through his humorous disbelief of his own situations, and how he can make us cringe with him as he takes a punch. Willis really is a great physical actor, and while the movie isn't as bloody as the others, he still adds a depth of brutality that grounds the film, and sets it apart in a summer filled with CG action. Similarly there are few CGI noticeable sequences. The film relies more on good old car wrecks, and explosions.
The plot makes the least sense of any of the Die Hard films, though the franchise basically, and sometimes with it's tongue in cheek, gives us the talkative, over the top, super villain.
Though the plot is plausible, and not crazy enough to be a distraction. Justin Long is good as his comic sidekick, another man in the wrong place at the wrong time, and Kevin Smith makes an appearance as what Kevin Smith would probably be like if he wasn't making movies.
The biggest flaw of the film is that it feels cut. The film was cut down to be a PG-13, and it is a little clinical at times with its violence, which feels out of place, but there seems to be scenes, if not sequences, especially in the last third of the film, which are missing. But then again, it's probably for the best, not all summer action films need to be 2 1/2 hrs long.
Live Free or Die Hard is as fun as the other films, and made me remember just how great John McClane is. You can have your Jack Bauer, or James Bond, or to a lesser extent Jack Ryan or Jason Bourne. But I'll take John McClane any day. The guy can take a punch (or a car, or a bullet) keep going, dispatch the villain with a crooked grin and a deliver a great one liner.