By the time the fourth movie came out, Bruce Willis had lost all his hair. But that’s not the only difference between Die hard 4.0 (‘Live free or die hard’ is the American title) and the original Die Hard-trilogy.
The biggest difference is that the filmmakers changed John McClane as a hero – they made him a superhero! He became the sort of American patriot who could survive an explosion with nothing more than a few drops of blood. It’s awesome to see and makes for great action … but it also comes with a curse.
The one thing that made Die Hard an instant classic is how it stood apart from all the typical blockbusters made in the ’80s. John McClane was no Rambo. He was a standard New York police officer. He bled … he faltered … and he was ultimately saved by someone else at the end of the first movie!
In Die hard 4.0, Bruce Willis has become the same bodybuilding macho-hero the filmmakers originally tried to avoid. Watching John McClane escape a massive fire without so much as a scratch or skate on the wings of a jet aircraft without breaking a single bone does more damage than good to the movie …
Of course, it’s impossible *not* to enjoy Die hard 4.0. There are so many awesome things to look forward to. The shooting of the bad guys in the apartment is a fantastic scene. The escape from the dark tunnel with cars coming from opposite directions.
And who can ever forget the scene where John McClane takes down a helicopter with a car? His excuse? ‘I ran out of bullets.’, he said.
Bruce Willis shines as John McClane one more time, and although he does his best and delivers some of the best punches and funniest one-liners, it doesn’t feel quite the same. He’s older (that’s ok) but he seems impervious to bullets (that’s not ok).
Still, it’s a joy to see Bruce Willis dust off his number 1-character of his career again …
Standing by his side is actor Justin Long as the coward computer-hacker. Here’s an actor who usually plays in silly horror movies or even lesser teen comedies, but in Die hard 4.0 he actually delivers the goods. He is both funny and awkwardly nervous. Whenever a situation arrives that demands a little courage, you’ll see him whimper in panic and fall to the ground, begging for his life.
Starring as his daughter is the ever-beautiful Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Pity her role isn’t any bigger, we’d love to see her side along her daddy and kick some bad guy’s ass!
Near the end of the movie, she gets her moment to shine … and boy-oh-boy … she’s not just a pretty face to look at, she’s a wildcat with a few mean streaks up her sleeve!
Not nearly as epic as Alan Rickman in part I or Jeremy irons in part II is bad guy Timothy Olyphant. He’s quite okay, but his performance is rather shallow. Truth is they could’ve cast a hundred different guys for this part.
It may be a pity that the filmmakers changed John McClane into a superhero … but all things considered, Die hard 4.0 is truly a super-action movie!
Did you know?
French actor and martial artist Cyril Raffaelli, who plays Rand, does his stunts almost without special effects and wires.
Give it to me short:
Die hard 4.0 shows a slightly different John McClane – and no, we’re not talking about the fact that he’s bold! He’s a superhero now, the sort who can fight a dozen bad guys, jump from the wings of a falling jet plane onto a broken-down piece of concrete, sliding down hundreds of feet without rupturing his clothes or getting hurt in the process.
It’s a lot of fun to see Bruce Willis as John McClane again, but it’s also a damn shame the realism of a New York police officer is out the window …
Fortunately this is about the only real flaw.
Agreed, the casting of Timothy Olyphant as the bad guy isn’t the best casting choice, but he’s surrounded by brilliant writing, awesome action scenes with amazing fighting choreography and some of the funniest acting you’ll see in a while.
Especially Justin Long as the spineless coward or Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the though kick-ass girl/daughter of John McClane take the cake … I suppose it’s the young people that make up the difference in this great action movie.