Review of Live Free or Die Hard

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Bruce Willis returns as New York City police detective John McClane in this action crime thriller, the fourth film in the Die Hard series. This time around McClane must team up with a computer hacker (Justin Long) to battle a team of cyberterrorists led by Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant) and Mai Lihn (Maggie Q).
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Movie Review: "Live Free or Die Hard"

-- Rating: PG-13
Length: 128 minutes
Release date: June 27, 2007
Directed by: Len Wiseman
Genre: Action/Crime/Thriller

"Live Free and Die Hard" is the next installment of the "Die Hard" series. The story follows John McClane (Bruce Willis) as he works with the FBI to bring in a hacker named Farrell. The story continues with action sequences where McClane and Farrell are being pursued, followed by complete chaos in Washington.

This thriller, which incorporates action and crime, is rated PG-13 and has intense moments of violence and action. These, along with brief sexual situations and language, make it a movie suitable for viewers over the age of 13. The movie has a somber tone that is sure to incite an eerie feel, but the tone of the film does not hinder the excitement of the action and adventure sequences.

The plot, which focuses on cyber-terrorism, is something that could happen in the normal day-to-day activities of the world, so audience members will be able to relate to the film as it proceeds. The film has shorter moments of fighting and action than the previous "Die Hard" movies because it actually travels over a long distance, meeting with plots to overthrow the US infrastructure and cyber-terrorist attacks. Although the movie is somewhat plausible, it still has a few stereotypes that hinder its performance.

The hackers in the film are portrayed as the uber-hackers who live in dark rooms or basements away from the world, which simply isn't consistent with the amount of damage they invoke. If audience members can look past this fact, the hackers are otherwise what you would expect as far as being intelligent enough to uproot an entire government's structure.

In the past "Die Hard" movies, McClane (Bruce Willis) is a tough officer who isn't afraid of using violence to get his point across. Although this movie is later in the series and has less blood than some others, the character actually seems to be more brutal. The character seems more like one who has had to deal with this kind of situation multiple times before, making him cold and direct when dealing with enemies. There is not a moment of second thought or pausing to consider the outcome; McClane is there to take out his enemies and to get his mission accomplished.

Speaking of violence, the movie is rated for the violent situations that happen when McClane fights with a variety of antagonists. Although it is more common in the current age to use CGI (computer graphics) to make fight scenes seem more dramatic and larger than life, this movie actually uses real stuntmen and women. This gives the fighting sequences a real sense of urgency and excitement, especially because audience members cannot be distracted by a poorly rendered image. Better yet, Willis worked to do his own stunts in many scenes, so there isn't any point when the audience is faced with odd angles to obscure a stand-in's face from view. This really helps people get into the action of the movie instead of focusing on thoughts like, "Hey, is that a stunt double?" or "Wow, the graphics on this could have been done by an actor instead."

For those who love criminal plots, this movie is just fantastic. The plot of overthrowing a government infrastructure is not new, but with characters that are familiar and a location that all Americans are likely to recognize, the movie is able to provide an interesting take on the usually overdone idea.

The best part about this particular movie in the series is that its PG-13 rating is lower than the previously R-rated films. This allows a few more family moments for those with teens, and it gives people the chance to introduce the films to those who may have been too young to watch the previous installments.

On top of the action, the character McClane has a storyline of his past over the time lapse from the last film. It shows how he has become a bit estranged from his family, and it focuses on how he tries to stay close to his daughter. She also becomes part of the villain's plans, so this is another subplot that is fun to watch and sure to keep audiences captivated.

Rated four out of five stars, this fourth installment of the "Die Hard" franchise is sure to be one that audiences remember. The action, drama, and thrilling aspects are all still a large part of the series, keeping it fresh and exciting.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars