Bucking the trend of trilogies in 2007 we get the 4th Die Hard movie. The anticipation, the worry. The fear! Bruce Willis over50 years old, could he really pull off another John McClane? I was definately nervous going to see this, more nervous than the third Bourne movie. This one had a real chance of being embarassing.
A friend had said it was good – which alleviate the concern a little, but still, there was much trepadation in the air.
The movie starts off by covering the years between #3 and #4 in 20 seconds, introducing us to McClane’s teenage daughter and setting his location and status. I found it useful, it dispensed with the background quickly and made sure that all we had to worry about was the story going forward. McClane is still a cop, still sarcastic and still getting shot at for no good reason. In 4.0 John is sent to pickup a minor league hacker, who has become embroiled in a Fire Sale (everything must go!) hack accidentally, and neither John nor the hacker are aware of how far the Fire Sale perpetrators are prepared to go.
The action kicks in immediately and the chase begins, because this Die Hard movie is basically one huge chase movie. The bad guys are constantly on the move, John McClane is constantly under attack through a number of mechanisms and the action follows them from location to location. The humour of Die Hard is present and as deeply ingrained in John’s character as ever. John’s sidekick is a worrying addition but it turns out ok despite my fears. The bad guy is suitably cool and yet deeply frustrated by John’s existance. The special effects are superb and the encounters are typically over-the-top; McClane survives an attack by a figher jet while driving a truck for example.
The plot is nothing amazing, but it’s twisty enough to be interesting, the final endgame is revealed pretty early on but then that’s not why anyone is watching (right? you weren’t hoping for an indepth and intricate thriller whodunnit)? The movie really just focusses on the core of Die Hard, John McClane fighting increasingly absurd attempts to kill him while getting ever closer to stopping the bad guy.
Without too much of a spoiler, the introduction of his daughter at the start was foreshadowing, and if you have to save a family member well the stakes are just that much higher …
It’s not as good as the original, but it is better than #2 and #3 and it is nearly as good as the original.