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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Bruce Willis
Justin Long
Maggie Q
Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
Directors
Len Wiseman.
Screenwriters
Mark Bomback.
Running Time
129 minutes

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Die Hard 4.0
Bruce Willis returns in the fourth outing as John McClane.


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Plot
Terrorists initiate a plot to bring down the U.S. in a cyber attack, taking out transportation, telecommunications, financial and power networks with systematic hacking. Luckily, New York cop John McClane (Willis) wanders into their orbit, an analogue hero for a digital dilemma.


Review
Die Hard 4.0
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It’s reassuring to see that The Bruce is still fighting fit when civilisation as we know it is under threat. Eighteen years after Die Hard set a new benchmark for action movies, twelve years since Die Hard: With A Vengeance and a long spell since Willis had any super-sized hit, this undertaking smacked of desperation. But those approaching Die Hard 4.0 with low expectations are in for a surprise, because it’s not the franchise embarrassment that we feared.
 
Die Hard contemporised the Western for the skyscraper, and 4.0 honours that trusty formula while taking a fresh line of attack. The appealing essence is still Willis’ resilient, wisecracking, extraordinarily tough ‘ordinary guy’. If his pecs aren’t as showily on display nowadays, his relish for a cat-and-mouse engagement is undiminished. Again he faces a well-groomed, highly intelligent criminal mastermind, and there are other necessaries of the franchise, from the catchphrase to the elevator shaft of death.
 
The story, though, was inspired by a 1997 article in Wired, “A Farewell To Arms”, by John Carlin, former Washington correspondent for The Independent. Carlin described a genuine U.S. Department of Defence war game called The Day After, in which the alphabet people (CIA, FBI, NSA et al) explore hypothetical scenarios for the inevitable digital war. A script by David Marconi (Enemy of the State), buried after 9-11, was resurrected and re-written for McClane to cowboy up once more.
 
Nefarious computer geeks and free-running French assassins led by mystery man Gabriel (Olyphant) and his lieutenant/squeeze Mai (Maggie Q) have been assembling insidious bits of code and logarithms from unwitting lone hackers, who are then disposed of in a swift, simultaneous operation. This doesn’t go entirely unnoticed by floundering federal types, anxious to question a hacker of interest who is accidentally not dead yet. Since McClane is in the neighbourhood, spying on his estranged college student daughter, he is asked to pick up the kid. This smartaleck (Long) grasps the benefits of being in custody when killers arrive (that’s one apartment that’s going to need some serious re-decorating), sending the duo on the run together so that the muscle has a computer-literate sidekick to do techno exposition and cue McClane’s manly quips. (“You killed a helicopter with a car!”; “I was out of bullets.”)
 
Wiseman delivers fantastic stunts and vehicular mayhem, like McClane driving an SUV down that elevator shaft or doggedly wheeling a big rig under missile attack. Coo-uhl. Needless to say McClane, however bashed up and bloodied, remains as unflappably indestructible as the Roadrunner (although we should spare a thought for Willis’s stunt double, Larry Rippenkroeger, seriously injured taking a fall).
 
The result of Wiseman’s efforts twins ludicrously stupendous popcorn movie action with a smartly chilling concept, anticipating the kind of devastation that can be wrought by Virtual Terrorism, the panic that must ensue when traffic signals and trains go wrong, broadcast media and phones are hijacked, bank accounts evaporate and the lights go out. It could have worked fine as a straight-faced, dark thriller. It’s just more stupidly entertaining when it’s played preposterously fun, with the Die Hard patented brand of flippant humour. One inspired in-joke has filmmaker Kevin Smith as the ultimate comic book guy über-hacker called The Wizard, who calls his mother’s basement his ‘control centre’. Smith, twice the size we remember, is so that guy who spends his life on-line.
 
Best of all, Willis makes his younger heirs presumptive in the action stakes look like pantywaists. When it comes to John McClane versus a fighter jet, we all know who to bet on.


Verdict
Yippee-ki-yay! Willis still has the goods. Credit to Wiseman, who keeps the thrills coming, and pass the popcorn.


Reviewed by Angie Errigo


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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Die Hard 4.0
Empire Star Rating

Die Hard 4.0 Review

Die Hard 4.0 is an efficient, action-packed summer popcorn flick with thrilling stunts and a commanding performance by Bruce Willis. Fans of the previous Die Hard films will definetly not be disappointed. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 23:44, 17 January 2012 | Report This Post


McClane Security Co.

The scale of Die Hard movies has now reached OTT. Time to scale it back. John McClane is a fully formed character at this point. He has alcohol and marital difficulties compounded by baddies who want to kill him. Time to capitalize. Am I the only one who wants to see John McClane as a broken down ex-cop working as a low rent security guard or private dick? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bnicholson50 at 20:47, 29 September 2010 | Report This Post


ho-hum

Not that bad but not that good either, I had the feeling the whole way through that I was watching a film with a plot straight out of the 90's, complete with lame 'hacker' sub-plot, and thanks to the Empire review I see that's exactly what it is. As a stand-alone film it might've scraped a 3, but considering where this series started off it's a 2 at most, I doubt I'd bother watching it again. I miss Hans Gruber. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Spacegoat at 17:15, 27 August 2010 | Report This Post


Underrated.

Yes, you could say that 4.0 is to OTT and far off from what made the first film so good, but it actually fits perfectly into the series, as the films have gone along they have continuously got bigger and more OTT, if not neccesarily better. So 4.0 cant even hopes of reaching the highs of Willis's first outing but fits in well with the other sequels. The plot, focusing on computer hackers shutting down America cyberly, is alot more high concept and more complex than the previous films more tradi... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by stevolegendbauer at 16:24, 23 August 2010 | Report This Post


tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0337978/]Live Free or Die Hard f you`d look up the expression "over the top" in the dictionary you`d see that there would be the synopsis of the fourth installment in the Die Hard series. Not only is the story pretty far fetched, the action sequences are truly redicoulous. The speed is really high and Willis what he did in the previous three films and how we`d love to see him. Only downside to the film is Timothy Olyphant as the villain. He never really is co... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 22:18, 13 June 2010 | Report This Post


Great Fun

Die Hard was the first action film to have me jumping off the sofa & screaming with delight, cheering the demise of those evil bad guys who thoroughly deserved the bullets / beating / explosion that came their way. It was adrenaline pumping, nail biting stuff that prompted the sort of aggressive response that action films and computer games alike have been criticised for in the past. With Die Hard 4.0, I was cheering and swearing again and generally getting far too carried away. Sure, it was... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Hillsman at 13:04, 05 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: In a word- COOL!

Got round to watching the unrated version. Still got a lot of problems but enjoyed it a lot more than I remember- think allowing the actors to drop a few f bombs here and there made it a bit more fun.   The villians are still prety dull, but Willis gives it his best. ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 23:18, 05 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE: In a word- COOL!

     Missed it at the cinema and finally got round to watching it yesterday. Firstly I am a massive fan of the the Die Hard series with no. 1 being one of the greatest films ever. Needless to say I went into this unsure of what to expect: Bruce is getting on a bit and with a digital edge added to a very nuts and bolts action series I was a little bit sceptical.       OK so its not a patch on the first (what is?) and it has its flaws but I hone... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by st3veebee at 15:51, 05 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE: In a word- COOL!

edit ... More

Posted by Geldart at 11:55, 30 December 2008 | Report This Post


RE: In a word- COOL!

edit ... More

Posted by Geldart at 14:05, 29 December 2008 | Report This Post


RE: In a word- COOL!

L: joanna likes films Wow, this movie is so cool. Once again, Bruce Willis shines as John Mcclane, he even has his own sidekick for goodness sake! It's got funny lines, the action is shocking yet tense and you can't take your eyes off the screen. The bad guy, Timothy Olyphant, oozed deadly charmisa that even I was charmed! Great movie, though it didn't live up to the other three but still a cool film with extra bite! take everything this person says, and make it the total OPPOSITE ... More

Posted by Geldart at 14:00, 29 December 2008 | Report This Post


RE: it was alright

my problems with this film: a bald john mclane-i would have rather seen him have hair with grey temples booze and fag free- not even a mention of how and why he quit shit villains- all the films before this one had good casting for villains. iv'e had farts scarier than these ones. no fucking swearing- and shit is not a real swear word- the bible says so. no vest- just a shite green .....thing annoying sidekick-justin long? more like justin WRONG! give me al powell ... More

Posted by Geldart at 13:47, 29 December 2008 | Report This Post


RE: it was alright

After watching this again at xmas i think it gets better with each viewing and i think its deserving of 4 stars, but thats my opinion. My dad and brother hadnt seen it, and i recomended us to watch it, and it turns out they loved it. I think watching it right after another Die Hard film helps a lot too. Yes the violence (ie blood) is toned down slightly and the language is less hardcore, but the action is still there and its bloody great too. there wasnt one fallinng-out-of-window, hit-by-car, ... More

Posted by kumar at 15:37, 28 December 2008 | Report This Post


RE: three stars

]i have the same feeling towards dh4 as i do with indy 4. nothing like the original set of films that made it possible for a fourth to be made. their both very disappointing and aimed at a bigger crowd of movie goers. both get 3/5 but i think it's my admiration of the proper films before them that is giving them 3 rather than 2. ... More

Posted by marky_77 at 21:03, 01 June 2008 | Report This Post


RE: three stars

I enjoyed this. Really did not think I would from reviews and trailers. A decent action film. Though I have not seen the rest of the Die Hards properly only casually watching them. So I don't know what it is like compared. ... More

Posted by the anomaly at 17:30, 02 May 2008 | Report This Post


RE: three stars

The film was a pile of horse manur. Hated every second of it. Makes a mockery of the original films. The Die Hard series will forever remain a trilogy and thats that. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jermreen at 10:39, 30 April 2008 | Report This Post


RE: three stars

L: sofaking why only three stars when you had nothing negative to say about the film ? thought this movie was fun ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dukez at 10:18, 30 April 2008 | Report This Post


RE: In a word- COOL!

Silly fun. Preposterous but entertaining. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by shool at 14:56, 18 January 2008 | Report This Post


RE: 1, 2, 4, 3, that's the order!

Loud,silly, forgettable, nowhere near as good as 1or 2 and par for the course for an action movie.In the same bracket as Welcome to the Jungle/Sahara etc. ... More

Posted by kasm at 19:41, 22 November 2007 | Report This Post


RE: 1, 2, 4, 3, that's the order!

I thought that Die hard 4.0 was very good ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Chris66 at 20:56, 21 November 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard: Bore point 0

I can't believe they got away with calling it a Die Hard movie. The weakest film of the 4, which is saying something considering how crap Die Hard 2 is. 2/5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jonson at 08:48, 19 November 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Fantastic if you ignore the previous three

L: lukeynemo There's no doubting that the Die Hard movies (with the possible exception of Die Hard 2 which suffered from following the first movie too closely but without the fun) have set the benchmark for tongue-in-cheek action. However, the most obvious difference (and flaw) in this latest incarnation is that the writers seem to have been trying too hard. Influences of TV shows such as 24 are obvious, with a new emphasis and sub-text on technology and the dangers therein. But hang on, t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jamdodge1 at 16:42, 14 November 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

L: Biggus Don't even get me started on Maggie 'Terminator' Q and her apparent invulnerability to being run over, driven though plate glass and crushed against a wall by a speeding SUV. Lucy McClane was fit though. pedant alert* On closer inspection, Maggie Q was on the bonnet when the SUV hit the wall. I thought she's been crushed but her legs weren't hanging off the front.... doesn't explain why her legs weren't shattered having an SUV driven into her at 40mph in the first place thou... More

Posted by pablohoolio at 00:25, 03 November 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

And so we come to the belated 4th instalment in the much-cherished Die Hard franchise a full 12 years after Die Hard With Vengeance. Anticipation was high (as was cynicism) but finally we see the return of one of cinema's most iconic heroes... and I'm sorry to say this film is a big disappointment for me The success of the Die Hard films rests largely with the character of John McClane and this is Die Hard 4.0's biggest shortfall. Probably Bruce Willis' least convincing performance as McClane. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Biggus at 22:08, 02 November 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Don't waste 2 hours of your life.

How did Wiseman manage to pull this off? i thought Die Hard 4 was a very entertaining film, the action was very good and gritty, i felt every punch, shot and explosion; far better   effort and quality than both underworld films. I didnt really notice the lack of hardkore blood ala previous outings, however the swearing issue did bother me, especially with the   Yippee Kiyay *BLAM*. on that note, what a cheap way for a head honcho to die. Elephant man was a shite villian, ... More

Posted by kumar at 13:51, 21 September 2007 | Report This Post


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