Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Live Free or Die Hard - A Movie Review
I saw Live Free or Die Hard over the weekend and thought I would share with you my opinions.

First off, you should know that I was predisposed to like this movie. I am a huge fan of Bruce Willis - always have been. But, I'm more inclined to like the Bruce Willis fractured hero characters than the other more bizarre work he's done. I like him in comedies, but I'm just not drawn to him in roles like The Sixth Sense.

You should also know that Die Hard is one of my all-time favorite movies. I like the clever comebacks and the hilarious oddities of that film because they strike a chord with me. For example, the fact that the limo driver is blissfully unaware of what's going on while he's chatting up the ladies on the phone seems true to life to me. In a lesser movie, this guy would be the drafted sidekick (coughSteven Segalcough). Another thing that I love about Die Hard is the fact that John McClane is without shoes for a while. Again, this is the sort of thing that happens to me. Or, when he's trying to save all of these people by alerting the police and he is unable to break the window. I can totally see that as being a real problem. And that is why I like this movie. Somewhere between the broken glass, bloody bare feet, the window, the Yippe-ki-yay and the Ho-Ho-Ho, movie magic happens.

Now, having said all of that, Live Free or Die Hard has quite a lot to live up to. While I was predisposed to like it (Because Bruce Willis is sexy), I wasn't predisposed to LOVE IT. Afterall, Die Hard 2 & 3 were just okay. But, I did in fact LOVE this movie.

It was smart. Again, John McClane is our tortured and fractured hero. His relationship with his daughter is very strained because get this - he's a protective father. Go figure! And, I appreciated the fact that McClane is not magically gifted with some knowledge of technology all of a sudden. He is every bit as ignorant of these things as we expect him to be. John McClane is a man of action, not necessarily a man of information. The information part comes from the asthmatic hacker geek who has become unwittingly involved in all of this. McClane saves his life a number of times and the kid is appropriately awed. He calls McClane a hero, but John quickly rebuts this accolade, saying he was only doing what had to be done. The hacker says what the audience/fan has always felt: that's what makes you The Guy.

The dialogue is great, with several quotable McClane-isms and the plot is adequate to keep the audience involved. (My husband fell asleep, but he does this with every movie).

Honestly, I only have one complaint with the whole film and that is that they knew the movie was going to be a hit, so they loaded up on extreme stunts and CGI effects that quite honestly are a bit over the top and which actually do a disservice to the film and the original.

As I said, I enjoy the things like the missing shoes and the window that wouldn't break. In this film, John McClane uses a car to take out a helicopter in what is surely the most unrealistic moment of the film. It is just over the top. We expect John McClane to bleed because he is like us, but giving him almost super powers is hard to swallow.

I know why they did it. I just wish they had kept it simple. But, I highly recommend it. I enjoyed every moment of it.
posted by Phoenix | 9:27 AM


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