Live Free or Die Hard

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Bruce Willis. Action. Written by Mark Bomback. Directed by Len Wiseman.>[?FILM SYNOPSIS: A detailed terrorist plot threatens Americas infrastructure. The countrys brains are baffled. But not to worry, old pro Rudy Guiliani, I mean, John McClane, is on the case.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Nobody does tongue-in-cheek action drama better than Bruce Willis. Furthermore, his original Die Hard was a redefining of the actioneer. The wisecracking actor freshened the face of that genre. Now, after all these years, Willis still proves to be the essential Good Guy movie hero. And what a beginning to Live Free or Die Hard! The edgy plot is terrifying. It has the threat of a terrorist hacking into Americas most sensitive security systems and bringing our country to an abrupt standstill. What makes the story so spooky is that while youre seeking comfort in thinking that surely this cant happen, one character points out that it took FEMA five days just to get water to the Superdome after Katrina. In other words, while some details are pure Hollywood, overall, this opening awakens us to the reality of how impermanent life as we know it in the good old USA has become. Throughout this first act, the word catastrophe seems not only possible, but imminent.

The premise is nightmarish, making this a cut above the standard hero-saves-the-world summer film treat. This first half twists your gut and causes you to grab the armrests as if youre on an out-of-control roller coaster. Soon were thinking how lucky we are to have a super cop like John McClane to deal with such calamities. Well, make that hope there is.

Sadly, the second half becomes ludicrous, with the stars tongue stuck as far into his cheek as it will go. At one point, he actually escapes a life-threatening situation by jumping off a crumbling freeway and toppling onto the rear end of a hovering fighter jet.

Suddenly, its the typical bang-bang-punch-punch chase blockbuster weve come to expect each summer.

Though he began the franchise in 1988, Willis is still the right man for the role and every spare dime found at 20th Century Fox has been put into the production as if that will guarantee a following. And Im sure it will. But, although the stunts, special effects and action are as good as Bruce Willis is amusing, the subplot of estranged daughter being taken captive by the head evildoer is a tired scenario, and the free world being attacked and saved by countless scenes in front of a computer keyboard has also been done to death. Then theres the dialogue, which is peppered with profanity, several characters throwing Christs name around like a useless expletive and Gods name being followed by a curse at least 10 times. Why doesnt this bother moviegoers any more? And lastly, the twist in plot direction is inane and the overall feel of the film is brutal and senseless.

Video Alternative: Dr. Strangelove. Very dark comedy about a military commander who goes, well, a little funny in the head, and launches an A-bomb aimed at Russia. Stanley Kubricks brilliant comedy pokes fun at politicians and the absurdity of war. Peter Sellers, George C. Scott head intrepid cast. (Caution: Adult subject matter).

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
20th Century Fox

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A few sexual innuendoes.

Obscene Language: Around 25 uses of the s-word and several other harsh or crude terms.

Profanity: 10 profane uses of Gods name and an equal amount of misuse of Christs name.

Violence: From beginning to end, it is a tense film, with many people killed by gunfire, car crashes, explosions and other demises. Blood: A scrape here, a bullet hole there.

Sex: A college couple are groping away in a parked car until the girls father shows up.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 130 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Teens and Adults

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