Review Date: June 28, 2007
Director: Len Wiseman
Writer: Mark Bomback
Producers: Michael Fottrell, John McTiernan, Arnold Rifkin, Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis as John
Justin Long as Thomas
Timothy Olyphant as Thomas
Kudos to director Len Wiseman for not overdoing it on the quick-editing and allowing us to see the action, for the most part. There were explosions, shit with guns, shit with cars, shit with helicopters and even a wicked cool fight vis-à-vis Maggie Q (who up until that point, was basically just rebooting her character from MI-3). There’s also a damn sweet highway attack featuring an F-35 jet and a big-rig truck that had me salivating in the “ball area”. Add that to a nice supporting turn from Justin Long, who I’ve adored since GALAXY QUEST, hotness via the aforementioned Asian hottie and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, a fun little cameo by the king of the fanboys, Kevin Smith, and you’ve got yourself a nice package that certainly did not seem to be affected by its PG-13 rating (the first 3 DIE HARD flicks were rated R). With all of the film’s pre-release negativity over its teen rating, it ultimately turned out to be a non-issue. Sure, the infamous “Yippee-ka-yay motherfucker” felt a little forced (and compromised), but again, McLane kept rockin’ hard and Bruce still looks like he can handle a couple of more of these, so props to the man with the Superman-like abilities. I think he does get the most hurt in this film though; to the point that you’re thinking that he’s Michael Myers or something…you ever gonna die, man?!? Oh, and as for Timothy Olyphant as the leader of the bad guys: meh. I actually really dig Olyphant, adored him in GO (if you haven’t seen that film, check it out like…today!), was scared by him in THE GIRL NEXT DOOR and love his character in “Deadwood”, but he just seemed miscast here. Too young.
I want the dude behind all of this major nastiness to be a Hans Gruber type…you know, old, pissed-at-the-world and German or some shit!! (hehehe) Olyphant’s baby-face just didn’t cut it for me completely, but having said that, the man did his best in the part and certainly didn’t stink or anything…I just think a more experienced character would have pulled me further into the plot. The rest of his goons were also pretty one-dimensional and too easy to kill (except for Q), but the film still moved at a clip, never bored me, offered an “interesting” enough story-line for me to follow, and again, slam-dunked about half a dozen fun action sequences around the great McLane, enough for me to be entertained for the entire run of the picture. Just like Bond tweaked its formula to “fit into” the new world of action cinema today (i.e. become more like BOURNE), the folks behind DIE HARD have done the same thing here, bringing their hero into the new age with more action, more technology and less fuck yous. I enjoyed it overall, but still kinda missed…you know, the ol’ style of action movies. Then again, maybe I’m turning into an old fart.