Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Live Free or Die Hard (Die Hard 4)

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, language and a brief sexual situation
Profanity:Some strong language
Nudity/Sex:Teen-age making out (with the girl setting firm limits)
Alcohol/Drugs:Reference to medicinal morphine, alcohol
Violence/Scariness:Extensive, intense, and graphic peril and "action" violence, explosions, shooting, crashes, missiles, many deaths
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:June 22, 2007
DVD Release Date:November 20, 2007

It will blow the box of popcorn out of your hand.
die%20hard%204.jpg


Just as Entertainment Weekly picks the 1988 Die Hard as the greatest action movie of all time, Bruce Willis comma-ti-yi-yippies it up again for NYPD’s John McClane’s fourth explosion-and-wisecrack-fest. Number three is still my favorite, but this latest installment has all the essentials: over-the-top money-shot stunts (even a few that weren’t in the trailer), juicy banter, a world’s-at-stake-and-only-one-man-can-save-us storyline dire enough to explain the action without being too complicated to get in its way, and a lot of stuff that gets blown up. Just as Entertainment Weekly picks the 1988 Die Hard as the greatest action movie of all time, Bruce Willis comma-ti-yi-yippies it up again for NYPD’s John McClane’s fourth explosion-and-wisecrack-fest. Number three is still my favorite, but this latest installment has all the essentials: over-the-top money-shot stunts (even a few that weren’t in the trailer), juicy banter, a world’s-at-stake-and-only-one-man-can-save-us storyline dire enough to explain the action without being too complicated to get in its way, and a lot of stuff that gets blown up. It will blow the box of popcorn out of your hand.


Once again, McClane gets drawn into a very big mess that the bureaucrats can’t handle. He is asked to pick up a Matt, a young hacker (Justin Long of the Mac commercials) and bring him to Washington. But it turns out that the bad guys want Matt, too. He was one of several hackers who unknowingly assisted the bad guys in setting up the biggest computer meltdown of all time and they want him out of the picture. McClane rescues Matt and from then on they are pretty much getting chased or shot at or chasing or shooting at someone for the rest of the movie.


The movie’s biggest weakness is that the threat is a little dull. What, all the classically trained English actors are off in a straw hat circuit tour of “Coriolanus?” The first and third in the series had Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons. Willis is at his best when he is up against someone as over-the-top as he is. This one has “Deadwood’s” Timothy Olyphant. Though he tries to muster some mean looks, he’s bland. The rainbow coalition of Benetton-ad types on both the good and bad guy side and the big reveal on who the bad guys are and what they really want all seem designed to avoid offending anyone. No one wants them to stick with the usual (literal) suspects — drug dealers and terrorists. But for an explosion movie to be completely satisfying, there has to be a worthy opponent, and this one feels a little weak.


Parents should know that the fourth “Die Hard” movie is the first in the series not to be rated R, but it is as close to an R as the MPAA would allow, with extensive, intense, and graphic peril and “action” violence, explosions, shooting, crashes, missiles, many deaths, reference to medicinal morphine, some strong language, and a college-age couple making out (with the girl setting some firm limits). Characters use some strong language.


Families who see this movie should talk about what it means to be “that guy.” How have these movies changed over the years?


Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy the previous Die Hard movies, True Lies, and Enemy of the State (all rated R), and “Independence Day” (middle schoolers and up).



  • G.J.

    the unrated version is far better than the pg-13 version. 20th century fox should be ashamed of themselves for butchering the film for its theatricle release.

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