Paul Cook 11/07/2007
Fighting its way through the hoarding members of press and media, the long awaited, highly anticipated fourth instalment of the grubby, rugged original action-cop adventure is finally here. Set amongst the cyber-terrorist world the franchise has been modernised and updated to remain relevant and just as adrenaline-fuelled as the first. However, it's this subject matter and the new director's vision for action that lets the film down.
Willis' stunts and tough, machismo attitude still impress throughout showing that the 52 year old can still pack a punch and kick some villainous ass despite his age. Having performed many of the stunts himself, Willis' loveable, rogue character of John McClane is re-invigorated in 4.0 yet remaining as old-school and rough around the edges as ever.
Director Len Wisemen ('Godzilla', 'Underworld') however, has not fully stepped into original director John McTiernan's shoes. The film feels too 'Hollywood' and too wannabe to ever really please the purists. Yes, the stunts are impressive and the real, non-CGI approach has really boosted the film's credibility and atmosphere but the fact that McClane is no longer the man against the world, the wise-cracking man in the wrong place at the wrong time and ultimately the average-Joe-hero that we all want to be leaves the film feeling as shallow as the rest of the Hollywood cash-cows.
With The Bourne Ultimatum just over the horizon and a whole host of Hollywood Blockbusters to rake in the family tickets, Die Hard 4.0 feels like an anti-climax with the “Yippee Ki-Yay” line sounding out of place and a complete let down for the fans. The storyline and on-screen action thrills, but the script is fairly bland and when it isn't bland it's cheesy instead.