Everyone's a critic: 'Live Free or Die Hard'

Friday, July 13, 2007

Three stars (out of four)

When I was told I would be reviewing this movie, my first impression was "another Die Hard? I haven't even seen the second and third of this series."

However, this movie was actually good. John McClane, of course, is back and tougher than ever. This time he is trying to protect a computer hacker who unintentionally got involved with some hackers who are trying to shut down the U.S. computer systems. The storyline is great; it is a very believable, almost realistic concept.

Although I cannot say much more without giving away the plot, I will say that it is amazing the effect that electronics and computers have on our society. The special effects are awesome; I was amazed at the realistic automobile crashes and the demolition going on (always true to a "Die Hard" movie).

Overall, this was a good movie, and because I reviewed it without consideration of the three before it, I give it three stars out of four.

-- Angie Flieg


Two stars (out of four)

John McClane was back in "Live Free or Die Hard", but as a shadow of his former self. He was a very sanitized, tired and boring version of the character we once knew and loved.

The latest -- and hopefully final installment of the "Die Hard" saga was by far the worst. This movie is a typical big-budget, all-brawn-and-no-brains, Hollywood action movie. The plot was weak and the villain far from menacing -- his grandiose plan of ultimately ruling the world by systematically dismantling the United States government made for a messy and ridiculous main conflict.

The subplot of McClane trying to reconcile with his daughter was straight out of a Lifetime movie and defiled the credibility of his character. And when did John McClane quit smoking?! Not that I am advocating for the tobacco industry here, but why wasn't there at least a mention made of him quitting?

Smoking was such an integral part of his character; its absence deserved a mention. It would've been a nice advertisement against smoking, if nothing else. All in all, I was disappointed by this film. Besides a few cool action sequences, "Live Free or Die Hard" was pretty much a letdown.

-- Kendra Eads


Four stars

"Live Free Die Hard" definitely lives up to the reputation of the "Die Hard" series -- suspenseful thriller with an intricate mix of action and comedy.

John McClane, played by Bruce Willis, is the perfect mix of father, mentor and superhero that his fans expect from his movies. Always taking the extra hit, bullet, fall and even taking out a helicopter with a car, in order to keep everyone sitting on the edge of their seats.

This is a total 'what if?' movie. Could terrorists take control of our country using our own computer systems? Do we have enough security in place or are all our eggs in one basket? Is the fate of our country in the hands of computer hackers, who help the government set up algorithms, designed to protect our most precious information? Do we have superheroes who will be "that man" just because?

What if?

-- Barb Gleason

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