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Vulcan Stev famliy movie review: Live Free or Die Hard

Bruce Willis …  John McClane
Timothy Olyphant …  Thomas Gabriel
Justin Long …  Matthew ‘Matt’ Farrell
Maggie Q …  Mai Linh
Cliff Curtis …  FBI Deputy Director Miguel Bowman
Jonathan Sadowski …  Trey
Andrew Friedman …  Casper 
Kevin Smith …  Frederick ‘Warlock’ Kaludis
Yorgo Constantine …  Russo
Cyril Raffaelli …  Rand
Chris Palermo …  Del
Mary Elizabeth Winstead …  Lucy Gennero McClane
Sung Kang …  Raj 
Zeljko Ivanek …  Agent Molina
Christina Chang …  Taylor

20th Century Fox * 2007 * 128 mins * PG-13

Synopsis from IMDb: When someone hacks into the computers at the FBI’s Cyber Crime Division; the Director decides to round up all the hackers who could have done this. When he’s told that because it’s the 4th of July most of their agents are not around so they might have trouble getting people to get the hackers. So he instructs them to get local PD’S to take care of it. And one of the cops they ask is John McClane who is tasked with bringing a hacker named Farrell to the FBI. But as soon as he gets there someone starts shooting at them. McClane manages to get them out but they’re still being pursued. And it’s just when McClane arrives in Washington that the whole system breaks down and chaos ensues.

VS: 1.7 pointed ears
I’m not going to harp on the dysfunctional McClane/Genero family.  John and Holly are divorced and his kids don’t listen to him.  One again McClane is in the wrong place at the wrong time, however this time he’s on the job before things start to unravel.  This film proves that an action flick doesn’t need to have the F*bomb dropped in every scene.  The scenario is plausible, but I doubt it’s likely.  My only quibbles with this film were the indiscriminate destruction of the highway to go after the “terrorist” and the lack of ability by the pilot to take out the target.  The whole jet scene is enough in some folk’s opinions as to sink the whole movie.  I won’t say the scene was that bad, but it did manage to take me out of the movie.

PIT #2: 1.9 pointed ears
I like the Independence Day takeover of America.  It was a unique twist to not have a Die Hard movie take place at Christmas.  Again the language (ed note we watched the Director’s Cut) was a problem.  The cyber-terroism and the concept of a fire sale was right for the time.  I thought it was cool that the computer hacker was played by Justin Long as he is more famous for playing “Mac” in the “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” ad campaign.

PIT #3: 1.75 pointed ears
This is definitely a Die Hard movie.  I like the notion that John McClane acknowledges that being a hero is nothing more than being “That” guy when everything hits the fan.  The downside is that most of the “terror” is simulated (ed. note: spoken like someone who constantly eats the food in the fridge and then wonders why the fridge is empty).  The other thing is that Bruce Willis is getting kind of old.  How much longer can he keep doing these movies?

5.35 pointed ears out of 6
I don’t necessarily see this franchise as having “jumped the shark”.  Some of the action sequences seemed forced as the producers tried to give us “more”.  Maybe it’s just the V.S. family, but we all acknowledged that this film left the “realism” of the previous three.  The theatrical release of this film was more friendly to families than the director’s cut on DVD.


March 18, 2010 - Posted by | Movie Reviews, Movies | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I only grokked the jet scene the second time through. You have to put yourself into the mind set of a jet pilot stationed at Andrews. You are generally called on to escort lost planes out of the restricted space over DC. Now, suddenly, you have been deployed to deal with an actual threat on American soil. Maybe you joined up all gung-ho after 9/11. Maybe you have been routinely passed over for a combat tour for whatever reason (possibly, hmm, a lack of judgment).

    You are in bleeding-edge equipment with a hair trigger. In that truck is the “Bad Guy(TM).” There are no civilians to risk hurting. Oh, yeah, it’s on like Donkey Kong!!

    Sure, he would have gotten thoroughly reamed out after the mission. But, I bet he never would have had to buy a drink in a bar for the rest of his life!

    I actually found the scene at the power station far less believable. Especially the “all the natural gas in the country is coming this way right now” part. Very silly.

    Oh, and killing the helicopter with the car. That was a bit OTT. But, hey, they called that one out on screen.

    All in all, I did really like this movie. While the plot is awkward and requires Suspenders of Disbelief +4, they did at least make the effort to cover the big plot holes simply by having the bad guy have a LOT of inside knowledge. The dialog was good. The chemistry between Willis and Long was good. Lucy was obviously her mother’s daughter, living out her mother’s issues but with daddy’s attitude, which sort of worked.

    This movie is one of the rare action movies that actually makes more sense the more you think about it. You have to fill in a lot of the plot holes yourself, but the material is there to work with.

    Comment by Lugh | March 18, 2010

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