For fans’ eyes only, Live Free or Die Hard is essentially 130 more minutes of Die Hard — just in case the 386 minutes comprising the previous three films in the series weren’t enough already. The movie functions as the cinematic Homeland Security Advisory System, those color bars that appear on CNN and alert us to our current safety status: using a computer, terrorists have taken over everything from traffic lights to electricity to Social Security… and only John McClane (Bruce Willis) can save America. But (as is emphasized throughout), McClane wouldn’t be necessary if the government had just upped its security measures.
As worthless as the movie actually is, it’s fascinating culturally as an attempt at making a politically correct post-9/11 action flick. We see car crashes galore, yet we never see any dead civilians (which reminds one of Bush’s strategy of not showing deceased soldiers on T.V.) Even the explosions are used sparingly —If effectively — with only a handful in the entire film. Omitting the casualties, however, doesn’t erase the endless banality of poorly paced action and definitely-not-clever one-liners.
Opens June 27