livefreeordiehard1.jpgDie Hard 4.0 (nee Live Free Or Die Hard – a title at least as nonsensical and thus great at Die Harder) is a terrific action movie. IF what you want from your action movie is lots of stupidity, stunts and one liners. Which luckily I do. Nevertheless it feels less like a Die Hard movie than another part of the Transporter sequence. What Die Hard, and Die Hard 2: Die Harder had that made them part of this series was the sense of confinement. And what the sense of confinement gave us was that John McClane was the only person who could sort this out, because he was there. And he couldn’t get out of there either. Die Hard With A Vengeance made him the object of the bad guys revenge, and as such McClane HAD to be there. But it had lost the lustre with its tricksy roaming styling. Die Hard 4.0 pretty much relies on McClane’s goodness as a cop – yes he is again in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he continues to do his job until the end. There are a few moments where he could bow out and leave it to the professionals here (up until his daughter gets kidnapped, in a nice wink to the original). Is there really room for sidekicks and car stunts in a Die Hard film?

Well yes, but only just. The film is at its best when it lurches from one confined set piece to another. And yet our yucks in the cheap seats were mainly reserved for the ridiculous vehicle stunts (the water hydrant scene in itself was worth the price of admission). Yet Willis holds it all together with another gruff, likeable turn as McClane, and has a particularly touching scene where he mentions how rubbish being a hero is. And they managed to get a sidekick who is actually not annoying. So what if the film is cut to shreds to take out the swears? That’s just like watching Die Hard on ITV: “Yippee Kai Ai Kemosabe” anyone? Without McClane it would not be a Die Hard film (and at times the film is a touch too similar to non-Die Hard Willis starrer 16 Blocks). But saying that it is like The Transporter feels like an insult, when actually it isn’t. It was fun, what more can I say.

Except Yippee-kai-ai-great-big-trucker.