Live Free or Die Hard
I had to drive down out of the mountains (where the only movie theater within a 90 mile radius is a single screen 1950s relic showing Surf's Up and Transformers) and into the real world this weekend. During my brief stay in civilization, I took the opportunity to see the new Die Hard, and I enjoyed it with an obscene glee.
I came late to an appreciation of the action genre, but now I like a good old-fashioned, lone hero battling the evil-doers while things explode all around him and he clings to the tops of fast-moving objects in improbable ways, a trickle of blood sexily gracing his forehead, as much as the next girl. And this is a very good example of its type. It's ridiculous and over-the-top, lots of things blow up in delightfully thrilling ways, there's some great (insane) fight scenes, I think Justin Long as John's sidekick is adorable (I may be alone in this, let me know), there are a few genuinely funny monents, Bruce Willis has aged very well and does a good job making you see how much harder this for his character than it was when he was a young guy, the villain was well-cast and the doomsday scenario suitably scary.
Of course it can't top the manic fabulousness of the original, and it loses something by shooting for and achieving a PG-13 rating (namely all the swearing, including all but one of John McClane's "yippee-kai-yay motherf*s".) In addition, there's at least one stupidly boring and preachy scene that if I'd seen the movie with someone else would have prompted me to tap her on the shoulder and make a "gag me" motion, and another scene where the dubbing of a post-filming dialogue change is painfully obvious and distracting. But . . . all in all a big thumbs up from this viewer. Great summertime action flick, perfect for watching with a bag of popcorn in air-conditioned splendor.