Wednesday, July 04, 2007

DIE HARD 4.0 aka LIVE FREE OR DIE HARDER aka The Best Summer Blockbuster of 07!

YES YES YES!!! Finally, a summer blockbuster that does what it says on the tin, and then some. Action movie, buddy movie, witty one-liners and Bruce Willis as NYPD cop John McClane blowing shit up. This movie is a noble addition to the DIE HARD franchise. It doesn't feel tired or re-hashed. It never slides into pastiche or post-modern winking at the audience. It just does what it always did but bigger and better.

In this installment, John McClane (Willis) is sent to pick up a computer hacker called Matt (the amiable and comically gifted Justin Long) and deliver him to the Feds in Washington, headed up by the always brilliant Cliff Curtis. Matt, along with a bunch of other low-level nerds, have unwittingly helped a mean terrorist bring down all the computer networks in the US, causing mayhem. The terrorists want to kill the hacker, which results in some cool one-liners and some wicked stunts - the dogs bollocks of which is an awesome truck-blowing-helicopter-up scene in a tunnel.

Of course, the DIE HARD flicks have always outdone themselves with the baddies too, and in this installment we get Timothy Olyphant in an arguably career-making role as genius hacker Thomas Gabriel. He manages real menace as well as some cutting sarcasm. He has a Kung Fu side-kick played by Maggie Q and she inadvertantly provides Bruce Willis with some of his best comedy riffs. Lest you think McClane's treatment of the Kung Fu chick verges on the misogynistic, we have him rescuing his daughter Lucy, who has inherited her father's balls of steel. So the chicks are represented, so to say.

Is this movie absolutely 100% perfect? If I were being picky I'd say that Len Wiseman is not my idea of a good director of action scenes. And the Kevin Smith cameo is weak - or is it just my disappointment to see him selling out like this? And, while I am willing to suspend my disbelief so far, the whole jet fighter scene is plain ridiculous.

But this is all marginal quibbling around the central fact that DIE HARD 4.0 is THE summer blockbuster of 2007. Have no fear my friends, the PG-13 certified movie does not let us down. So head to your local multiplex in all confidence. This flick is Yippee-Kay-Yay-Tastic.

DIE HARD 4.0 aka LIVE FREE OR DIE HARDER is on release in Japan, the UK, the US, Finland, Kuwait, Bulgaria, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Greece, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Cyprus, India, Japan, Lithuania, Turkey, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Taiwan. It opens in Israel, Singapore, Thailand, Mexico and Poland this weekend and in South Korea on July 19th. It opens in Slovenia, Brazil, Australia, Bolivia, New Zealand and Argentina in August and in Spain in September and in Italy in October.

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