Tuesday, July 10, 2007

“Live Free or Die Hard” is the most entertaining of the summer 2007 blockbusters I’ve seen so far. Bruce Willis is back for the fourth time as New York City cop John McClane, who stumbles onto a terror plot courtesy of some well-armed cyber terrorists who plan to literally shut down the country. The scenes of the bad guys causing all sorts of mayhem by messing around with traffic signals and utilities are pretty terrifying and very well staged.

Willis is a delight in his signature role. As impressive as the explosions and stunt work is here, they’re not nearly as entertaining as McClane driving his foes to fits of apoplexy as he continually disrupts their plans. McClane, in true Die Hard fashion, gets beat up pretty good, but - no surprise –comes out triumphant. How he does that is all part of the fun.

It’s a marvelously entertaining show, with only a climax involving McClane atop a fighter jet coming off as contrived and frankly, more than a little silly.

I was surprised I enjoyed this as much as I did since it was directed by Len Wiseman, who gave us one of the worst movies ever made, “Underworld”, a werewolves vs. vampires movie that couldn’t have been duller if Alvin and the Chipmunks had starred in it.

The score by Marco Beltrami is so negligible you wonder why they even bothered.

Rating for “Live Free of Die Hard”: Three stars.

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