When this film was released, it was given either one of two titles. If you live in North America, you’d have called it Live Free or Die Hard, inspired by the New Hampshire state motto: ‘Live Free or Die‘. Anywhere else, and you’d call it Die Hard 4.0. This seems a curious title, especially as the Die Hard films are a discrete variable, not continuous. After all, you wouldn’t expect to see Die Hard 4.1 would you? I guess that 4.0 just sounds somehow more awesome, although Willis claims that decimal point is included because the film revolves around cyber-terrorism.
The fourth instalment simply gives the fans what they love. More explosions, more action, more wisecracks, the full gamut! Provided you have a large enough action budget and a decent writer, you’ll find we’re not too difficult to please! In this particular episode, a terrorist Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant) has a team of cyber-terrorists who continuously shut down the U.S. infrastructure. In a way, it’s kind of thought-provoking how much we rely on computers and electronics nowadays. One wonders if life could go on without them.
Simultaneously, Bruce Willis is trying to reconcile his relationship with his estranged daughter Lucy, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead (ooh, suits you sir), and manages to pick up a new sidekick in the form of the youthful Matt Farrell (Justin Long), who is also a computer hacker. While I preferred Samuel L. Jackson in the third film, Willis and Long share a different sort of bond, one where Willis is more condescending and alienated from youth culture, and is nonetheless fun to watch.
While this is the weakest of the Die Hard films so far, it is still a lot more entertaining than its competition, especially The Expendables which also includes Willis. Here’s to hoping the fifth film will be at least as good!