Combustible Celluloid
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With: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long, Maggie Q, Cliff Curtis, Jonathan Sadowski, Andrew Friedman, Kevin Smith, Yorgo Constantine, Cyril Raffaelli, Chris Palermo, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Sung Kang, Zeljko Ivanek, Christina Chang, Jake McDorman, Rosemary Knower, Tim Russ, Joe Gerety
Written by: Mark Bomback, based on a story by Mark Bomback, David Marconi, on an article by John Carlin, and on characters by Roderick Thorp
Directed by: Len Wiseman
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, language and a brief sexual situation
Running Time: 130
Date: 06/12/2007

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

3 Stars (out of 4)

'Free' Ride

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Shaky, choppy director Len Wiseman, of the two Underworld films, exceeds all expectations with this clean, exciting fourth Die Hard. It's about computer terrorism, but it feels like a throwback to the days of movies before computers, with actual cars blowing up and actual stunt men falling down shafts. Returning as John McClane, Bruce Willis brings a winning personality to the action, jumping visually into the fray like a punching bag brawler. Based on a 1997 "Wired" article by John Carlin, the ludicrous script can't fill in all the holes, but gets by on wit and speed. A computer nerd (Justin Long) is McClane's unwilling sidekick (like the Samuel L. Jackson character in the previous entry, Die Hard with a Vengeance). Timothy Olyphant and Maggie Q co-star as villains. See also: The Die Hard Trilogy.

DVD Details: Fox's two-disc DVD set comes with two different cuts of the film, the theatrical cut, and a new unrated cut, though as far as I can tell, the latter appears to run just a few seconds shorter than the theatrical cut. (To be fair, I did receive a low-quality "check" disc and not the final product.) Bruce Willis provides a commentary track, along with diector Wiseman and editor Nicolas de Toth (the son of the great filmmaker Andre de Toth). Disc Two comes with a 97-minute "making of" documentary, and a 22-minute sit down interview with Willis and co-star Kevin Smith(!). There's a fairly uninteresting music video by a band called Guyz Nite and a short featurette about them. Then there's a Fox Movie Channel special, and a handful of trailers.

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