I am not sure what people thought of John McClane (Bruce Willis) returning for another Die Hard after the lukewarm success of Die Hard with a Vengeance 10 years prior.
For me, this is the second-best Die Hard movie behind the second one. Justin Long was a great choice to play the tech-savvy nerd who ends up as McClane’s sidekick. The old man, paired with a young kid, doesn’t always work in movies, but it is comedy gold here.
After going solo in the first two movies, McClaine teams up with another star to give us another epic day-saving performance.
Timothy Olyphant is a great villain here. He is the straw that stirs McClane’s drink, and this one doesn’t come with little umbrellas either.
These two wage an epic war on the eastern seaboard, destroying cities, powerplants, and highways to eliminate the other. Of course, none of these antics are successful, which means we get to see some crazy stunts for entertainment purposes.
The legend of McClane only grows in the fourth installment thanks to the introduction of his daughter, Lucy, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. She comes and goes through the story at the beginning, but is a major chess piece to her dad saving the day or the bad guys winning.
When you look back at the first three movies, you’ll get a sense that the stories were set in a specific period. Live Free or Die Hard goes for a more current theme, focusing on the use of technology as a weapon. Although this movie is 19 years after the first one, you can see that McClane hasn’t really focused on getting current with the times, but his old school tactics still work.
Some of the best parts of this 2:08 movie are McClane’s inability to fully comprehend modern-day society. That’s why having Long along for the ride makes for one of the best entertainment value entries into the series. 8/10