Friday, November 23, 2007

Live Free or Die Hard: Grade C

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
Bruce Willis, Justin Long. Director Len Wiseman.

If you suffer from ADHD, you will love this kinetic, guns, chase, and explosions thriller. Bruce Willis, who must be 55 years old, looks remarkably good as the invulnerable John McLane, NYPD. He and prisoner-in-custody Long (the “Mac” side of the well-known Mac Vs. PC commercials), escape from, then ultimately find and destroy a group of cyber-terrorists who want to shut down the US information infrastructure just because they are bad, and oh yeah, he also needs to save his daughter who the baddies have kidnapped, as required by the formula.

Explosions are big and frequent, and the FX and music definitely exercised my surround sound 5.1. You wouldn’t think there could be any vehicular stunts that haven’t already been done, but there are a couple in this movie. One must suspend all belief in reality to enjoy action for the sake of action. Willis gives his trademark wisecracks, although they are less frequent and witty than in the past. There is no dramatic tension, no acting, not even a coherent story, only stunts and explosions. Sets tend to green or blue, not attractive. As a member of the “Die Hard” series, this film stands as a highly impressionistic encapsulation of the vehicular-action crime genre without crossing over to parody. For that it’s worth seeing.

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