Movie Reviews: Live Free Or Die Hard
Die Hard fans who have been waiting 12 years to see the return of Bruce Willis as New York cop John McClane are likely to be relieved to hear that they'll get what they expect from Live Free or Die Hard. The movie, writes Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post, "seeks to remind viewers of the simple, nostalgic pleasures of watching stuff get blown up and bad guys get smoked." Or as Gene Seymour puts it in Newsday: As long as you understand that Live Free or Die Hard is nothing more or less than a three-ring festival of intricate stunts and pyrotechnic effects, punctuated with clown routines, you may not mind that it's about a half-hour longer than it needs to be." Chris Kaltenbach in the Baltimore Sun agrees. "The thrills are still there," he writes. But, as can be expected after 12 years, the star has changed, and so has his character. "McClane is still a New York cop, but he's an old, embittered New York cop," he observes. That's just fine, so far as Jack Mathews of the New York Daily News is concerned. "The fun of Live Free is surprising to me because I found nothing to like in the first three films, least of all Willis' look-at-me-I'm-a-movie-star performances," he writes, "But Willis has aged well and grown on me. He's still saying, 'Look at me,' but here, he bears the weight and humility of age." Lou Lumenick in the New York Post calls the movie "solidly crowd-pleasing." Richard Roeper in the Chicago Sun-Times refers to it as "two hours of pure adrenaline." To Manohla Dargis in the New York Times, the film's "a goof -- an unexpectedly funny goof, at that, despite everything, including the mayhem and somewhat creepy plot." But Claudia Puig in USA Today says that the movie is "diverting enough" but "as a convincing techno-thriller, it doesn't really work." Similarly Bob Longino in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that while it's "mostly watchable," it's "almost entirely forgettable after its final bang."