Sunday, September 02, 2007

Movie Review: Live Free or Die Hard

Note: In honour of all of the hacking I saw in this movie, I decided to write this review in Ubuntu, instead of using HTML-Kit in Windows. I know, I know. I know exactly what all of the hackers out there are thinking—assuming any read my blog, which is a ridiculous assumption to make: “That’s what he calls being a hacker?!? Using gedit?!? What a luser! He’s even using the wussiest version of Linux!” And all I can say to that is this: It’s worse than you think, geeks: I’ve even got Beryl installed, so that I get all the pretty pictures. Wee! Look at my Desktop spin! I may never use the keyboard again!

Anyway, on with the movie review…

Let me just say, to begin, that I like the Die Hard series of movies. I can’t say that I love the series, because I don’t like them all equally; I sort of like them better as they go along. And I like them for the same reason that everyone else who likes them likes them: Because of the John McClane character. John is supposed to be just a normal guy; the “reluctant hero”, who doesn’t really want to be a hero, but when nobody else is around to do it, he does it. In fact, there is a scene between John and Thomas, in this movie, when John explicitly explains this. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to be John McClane, or that I want to emulate him, or even that I’d want to be his friend, in real life. But in a movie, it’s a great character, and I do enjoy watching the Die Hard movies for that reason.

So, now that I’ve gotten not one but two preambles out of the way, what did I think of the movie? I loved it. I think it was the best of the series. Were the stunts completely over the top and unbelievable? Yes, yes they were. But that was half the fun of watching the movie; I got a good laugh, at some points, because some of the stunts were so over the top that they were actually silly. That being said, it was definitely a feast for the eyes.

Also, let me say this: The camera work for this movie was beautiful. Yes, you heard me: I used the word “beautiful” for the camera work in an action movie. But it really was; you have to see the movie to believe it.

Finally, since it was a movie that heavily involved computers and hacking, I’ll also say this: They did a pretty good job with the computer details. As a computer nerd, it’s almost always frustrating to watch a movie that involves a lot of computers, but they didn’t do a bad job, on this one. I mean yeah, sure, some of the stuff might have been a bit over the top, but why should I treat their use of computers in a more critical way than I treat the stunts? Everything in this movie is over the top. If anything, the use of computers was more realistic than the stunts.

If you like action movies, and especially if you like the Die Hard series of movies, check out Live Free or Die Hard. I very much enjoyed it, and recommend it.


David Hunter said...

One other thing I should have mentioned: although I’m sure that I’ll be buying this movie on DVD, it really is one of those movies that’s better on the big screen. If it’s still in the theatres in your area, go and see it there.

Of course, it probably isn’t; I saw it at the AMC theatre in Woodbridge, and I know that AMC usually keeps movies playing there longer than other theatres do. So it may be too late, by now. (According to, it’s only playing at four theatres in Toronto.)

Anonymous said...

I agree completely!!This movie was one of the best, if not, THE best movie this summer. I actually saw it at the theater and the drive in.