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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
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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

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

d 4.0 Dir: Len Wiseman Finally got around to see this one. It so happend my Filmchannel showed all the previous Die Hard films over the last weeks, so I went in prepared... I really like the Die Hard films. They're tongue in cheek, full on action films with a perfect character in the lead. Wisecracking, grumpy, tough as nails John McClane. McTiernan was the perfect director for the first one. Harlin did a great job with the second one. Lot's of action, a high octane story and Bruce in hi... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by BobM70 at 18:15, 06 September 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

Brillent film. I have to say not as good as the others.. and it was a bit over the top with the jet plane but overall a good enough film ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hott fuzz at 16:36, 17 August 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

More than just a random collection of impossible action set-pieces, but not a lot more. Best word do describe: solid. ... More

Posted by bozo at 23:53, 16 August 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

I quite liked the film. It didn't feel like a Die Hard film (whatever that means) and much of the action was way OTT but it was still good fun. McClane beating Mai Lihn up was a bit on the edge, I thought. She may have been a baddie but there's something not quite right about watching a woman get beat up. The film was obviously aimed at a younger audience as well;  Farrell was annoying  but Lucy was cute. All in all I think three stars was a fair award.   Oh, and I've notice... More

Posted by Danger Man at 08:43, 02 August 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

I was pretty impressed with this film, compared to all the dissappointing sequels that have come this year. Here are my full thoughts if you're interested.   ripbladereviews.blogspot.com/2007/07/die-hard-40-live-f ree-or-die-hard.html ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ripblade at 16:13, 01 August 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

It did not feel like a Die Hard film at all. I suppose that is to be expected when a film has a director with a completely different style of film making than the previous one, a far less talented composer and a change of rating. A decent, enjoyable film but only a Die Hard film by name. If they had called the film ''Action Cop'' and changed the name of Bruce Willis character to ''Jack Steel'' (just an example) this film would have easily been a completely different, stand alone act... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mlavagna at 11:59, 31 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Diehard 4.0

REALLY POOR! this is just an action film starring Bruce Willis with some odd references to John McClane just to remind you that this tripe is meant to be a Die Hard film. JM takes on a fighter plane? Len Wiseman = Berk ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The Lensman at 00:19, 31 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die hard 4.0

I was one of the films many skeptics  , and went expecting bad things , but was actually pleasantly surprised to find it was rather good .   Updated to modern times , as well as faithful to the older films , it was an enjoyable sequel which could have been far far worse.   Set in an airport and directed by Renny Harlin for example. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by BartonFink at 21:00, 26 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Diehard 4.0

I think it's better then 3 too ... More

Posted by theoriginalcynic at 17:46, 25 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Diehard 4.0

L: theoriginalcynic For the first time in ages I actually enjoyed the whole film.  I'd say it's 4/5 'cause it's not quite as good as part one. Its definetly better than Die Hard 2 ... More

Posted by lbiu at 17:42, 25 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Diehard 4.0

For the first time in ages I actually enjoyed the whole film.  I'd say it's 4/5 'cause it's not quite as good as part one. ... More

Posted by theoriginalcynic at 17:26, 25 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Diehard 4.0

Die Hard 4.0 is easily the best of the summer action films, the plot maybe weak but it makes up for that with some great set pieces, great Willis performence and a non stop thrill ride pace. It's not the best of the series...by far, but its a nice addition. The only place it really gets bad is the obvious CGI Airjet fight which was hilariously bad.   3/5 ... More

Posted by lbiu at 17:23, 25 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Diehard 4.0

I think it's still the best film this summer and i've seen (except Transformers yet...) all the major ones.  It's just action non stop from start to finish which is what you want isn't it? And who cares if they edited a swear word? If that makes you upset then you need to get a life lol ... More

Posted by theoriginalcynic at 17:14, 25 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Diehard 4.0

i loved it i thought it was a excellent action film,i did feel the timothy olyphants performance was abit flat only because i know he couldve done better,justin long was grand great delivery. yes it did feel different from other die hard films but thats coz they dont make films like that anymore,and yeah they edited out the fucker of ykamf but come on,*spoiler*if your gonna edit it out then what better way then mcclane shooting himself!i mean really people should stop goin to see movi... More

Posted by swan at 14:05, 25 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

Entertaining but pretty forgettable and probably the weakest of the series so far. It still holds the attention for its running time and has some decent if not awe-inspiring action sequences...the problem is, it just doesnt feel like a die hard film. Even number 3 which departed from the formula (i guess it had to, how many times can one man, etc etc?) still had that die hard vibe. This one ditches it virtually all together and mainly hangs together and works due to the one man killling machine... More

Posted by MartinBlank76 at 08:30, 24 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die hardererer....

L: caprat Great summer action fest. Was my fave movie of the summer until I saw transformers today. It has everything you you expect from a die hard movie great action, great wisecracks but unfortunately the bad guy was a bit shit. Willis can still carry an action movie and was ably assisted by Justin Long  who provides much of the laughs. That should be that though now, let the franchise go out on a high. sp; The bad guy was cool - it's the dude from Scream 2 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by theoriginalcynic at 14:41, 23 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Go and see it! Amazes me how Empire didn't say a bad word about it and then they only gave it three stars? Why, because they don't want any backlash if they're wrong? The film was a four star movie and the best since Die hard 1! Seriously...slam bang action from start to finish and McLane's daughter was tasty too   Also Kevin Smith cameo - brilliant! Like 80's blockbusters? Then this is for you! Think speed in the doesn't let up stakes but it's also prepostr... More

Posted by theoriginalcynic at 14:39, 23 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

L: mlavagna I heard that McTiernans agreed with Willis to direct Die Hard 5 and that Willis has also spoken to Morgan Freeman about playing the head villain. Die hard 4 didnt exactly bust the blocks at the box office,i think that means no Die hard 5. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by darth silas at 23:22, 21 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die hardererer....

Great summer action fest. Was my fave movie of the summer until I saw transformers today. It has everything you you expect from a die hard movie great action, great wisecracks but unfortunately the bad guy was a bit shit. Willis can still carry an action movie and was ably assisted by Justin Long  who provides much of the laughs. That should be that though now, let the franchise go out on a high. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by caprat at 21:40, 21 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

L: Vadersville L: mlavagna I heard that McTiernans agreed with Willis to direct Die Hard 5 and that Willis has also spoken to Morgan Freeman about playing the head villain. Where you hear this? heard rumours over at imdb. I hope it's true. ... More

Posted by mlavagna at 22:38, 19 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

BRILLIANT   Just got back from it and i have to say it was great. Okay it wasn't smart but hell yeah it was explosive and fun. They did kinda take it too far with the plane bit but the rest was fun and i enjoyed it. The main bad guy was a bit anoying and weak in comparison to the others we have seen but they were still a big enough threat.   4.5/5 oh screw it 5/5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by themightyhutch at 23:12, 18 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

I loved it.  Olyphant may have been a weak villain, but his henchpersons (Maggie Q and Cyriil Rafaelli) more than made up for it.  When you think about it, the Die hards have always been at the forefront of the action genre, and this one is a proud addition to that canon.  As for "the line" the way it was used was good and I din't really care that it was muffled.  Justin Long did well as the comedy sidekick, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead is very easy on the eye. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Mozza at 21:30, 18 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

L: mlavagna I heard that McTiernans agreed with Willis to direct Die Hard 5 and that Willis has also spoken to Morgan Freeman about playing the head villain. sp; Where you hear this? ... More

Posted by Vadersville at 19:43, 18 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

I heard that McTiernans agreed with Willis to direct Die Hard 5 and that Willis has also spoken to Morgan Freeman about playing the head villain. ... More

Posted by mlavagna at 17:49, 18 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Die Hard 4.0

JAWDROPING mad as hell over the top action movie of the year,and i hav'nt had this much fun watching a movie in years.The Bruce is back with one hell of a bang!!!!!! ... More

Posted by evil bill at 18:27, 17 July 2007 | Report This Post


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