LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD

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Posted October 3, 2007 in Film

John McClane’s latest smash-up struggle to save America kicks off with the aging detective (Bruce Willis, bald and beautiful) in decline, his contribution to securing our borders from terrorism limited to making sure no boys get to second base with his estranged daughter (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). “You’re a Timex watch in a digital age,” taunts his latest villain (Timothy Olyphant), the head hacker in a team that’s intent on hammering a techno-addicted country back into the medieval age. He definitely takes a licking. By the climax, Willis’ prizefighter bulk has been so abraded, he looks like a chunk of raw steak. Director Mark Bomback does acrobatics with cars (and planes and semis) I haven’t seen since Cirque du Soleil; shunning the Blendtec editing fad, the action is lucid, raucous, and tense. When kung fu computer whiz Maggie Q kicks him across the room, McClane rips out a chunk of her hair. Still, as he’s outfoxed by this Internets stuff, he’s teamed up with Justin Long—a.k.a. the Mac Guy—whose tech geek snark gets less grating once he stops whining about his low blood sugar to help Bruce blow up the Eastern Seaboard. While the script shoves in too many winks at McClane’s demolition derby past and practically dares you to snivel about its plotholes, this popcornus ultimus flick is such sweaty, blood-pumping fun, you’ll wish he’d left enough of America standing for a fifth sequel. (Amy Nicholson)

 


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