Die Hard 4.0


Directed by: Len Wiseman
Written by:Mark Bomback
Starring: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long, Maggie Q, Cliff Curtis, Jonathan Sadowski
Released: August 9, 2007
Grade: B+

John McClane (Willis) is an expert at foiling terrorist attacks.  He did it in 1988 in a high-rise building, in 1990 at an airport and in 1995 across New York City.  It’s hard to believe that with all his success and publicity, he hasn’t found himself a better place in life.  At the start of Die Hard 4.0, we find out that the now divorced John McClane is still working as a simple detective.  Did he turn down promotion opportunities?  Did he not cash in by selling his life story?  I guess we’ll never know.

In this instalment, McClane is asked to pick up a young computer nerd named Matthew Farrell (Long) and take him to FBI headquarters for interrogation.  The FBI’s computer system was recently hacked and they believe that Farrell may have been involved.  As they prepare to leave Farrell’s apartment, both are fired upon.  High-powered machine rifle blow holes in the side of the building.  A computer explodes and the place catches on fire.  Somehow, both McClane and Farrell survive.  I’m not sure about the fate of the others in the apartment block since we never see them.  I guess they just slept through it.

As the regroup from their near death experience, the city is thrown into complete chaos.  The traffic control centre is hacked and all lights are changed to green.  This creates carnage on the roads and all the streets become clogged.  Next, the stock market computer systems crash and a massive sell-off of shares results.  Further troubles arise when the cell-phone network goes offline.

In turns out that another terrorist organisation is at work.  For what I believe are strange motives, Thomas Gabriel (Olyphant) wants to bring the country to a standstill.  He and his computer hacking team have cracked every major system in the United States.  He wants to prove to the world that it is possible and steal a lot of money in the process.  Still, I’m not sure what he planned to do with the billions of dollars he planned to take.

Anyway, it’s up to John McClane to save the day… again.  The police and the FBI are incapable of tracking Gabriel down and so the task has fallen upon McClane and his new sidekick Farrell.  The serious-faced McClane does the shooting whilst the easy-going Farrell does the hacking.  Their differences create much of the film’s humour.

The plot is riddled with holes and clichés but that’s what we’ve come to expect from such films.  In that regard, it’s no different from other action flicks.  You’d don’t see a movie like this for its intricate plot and deep characterisation.

Instead, people will watch Die Hard 4.0 because they’re expecting a light-hearted adventure ride.  On that count, the film lives up to expectations.  There are some pretty intense action sequences and the two leading characters get themselves out of some impossible-to-believe situations.  Credit must go to the director, the visual effects team and the stunt guys.

You won’t be screaming with excitement but I think you’ll have a good time.