Quick Verdict – Go extreme or Die Hard
Die Hard with a Vengeance came out in 1995. Who would have guessed that we’d have to wait 12 years for the next instalment? There had been rumours for years. Die Hard in the Jungle, Die Hard in Russia were all booted around, and then we came to Live Free or Die Hard. This later turned into Die Hard 4.0 in the UK. (A rubbish title)
So now John McClane is bald. It’s set 12 years later, he’s divorced from Holly, his children hate him, but he’s not an alcoholic this time. The drug dealer from Go and the hitman from Hitman, Timothy Olyphant, is the bad guy, and he’s blowing up some computer nerds who’ve helped him do some computing stuff. Justin Long is saved just in time however by John McClane. They then buddy up to kick ass and compute ass respectively. Timothy Olyphant is some kind of cyber-terrorist, with a goal to start a ‘fire sale’.
Watching this film you may find it hard to really care about what’s happening. The plot is weak and certainly doesn’t compete with previous outings. As good as Timothy is, he really doesn’t show that much menace or threat to John McClane. The closest he comes is by wiping his money out electronically. You’ve been burned McClane. Even when he kidnaps John’s daughter you still don’t feel that there’s any suspense.
The film does make up for the weak plot with some great action. I missed this at the cinema, so the first time I watched it was the extreme dvd cut, with all the swearing and blood left in. So when people get shot we see blood and we get the full immortal line at the end. The car chase that culminates in the tunnel is by far the highlight for me. I mean he blows up a helicopter with a car. ‘I was out of bullets.’
With that action piece being so early on, the director naturally made any action scene after that more extreme. We have cars being driven through buildings and into elevator shafts, the scene in the data facility is quite good, then we have the climactic piece involving a truck, a highway and a jet. Oh yes, the jet. On repeat viewings, it isn’t as bad as you remember, but is still wasn’t the best decision they made.
On the whole, it isn’t a bad movie. It has some great action scenes, Justin Long is okay, Cliff Curtis is really good as the FBI officer, but we could do without the constant reminders that John McClane hasn’t evolved with technology. Yeah we get it, you’re old.
As one of my friends pointed out. If you watched a Die Hard movie and it culminated in the car chase scene that ends in the tunnel. Having John McClane drive the car into the helicopter to kill the main bad guy would be a great pay off. Unfortunately they go a bit too far.
If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. Yippee-ki-yay (bang). You can’t say motherfucker in a PG13.
Watch this if you like –
- Die Hard 1, 2 & 3 (not 5)