For many, the iconic John McClane (Willis) is the last word among superheroes.
It has been 18 years since Die Hard first released, and the series is still very much alive and kicking, much like its 52-year-old superstar and lead. And judging by this smashing fourth installment, Die Hard, like McClane, is not going to die in the near future either.
You're not kept waiting - less than 10 minutes into this blanket action thriller, the commotion commences. New York Police Department (NYPD) detective McClane has just endured another humiliating altercation with his rebellious college-going daughter Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), when the police chief intercepts him on the radio.
McClane is asked to go to Camden, New Jersey, and escort one Matthew Farrell (Long, satisfying as McClane's sidekick), a professional computer hacker, to the Hoover Building in Washington DC, the FBI headquarters; Farrell is wanted in connection with a breach of security at the FBI.
McClane arrives at Farrell's doorstep, as does trouble. A gang of armed assailants open fire, and the apartment becomes their stronghold of terrorism. Bullets spew, a bomb detonates, but McClane manages to save Farrell.
Farrell's enemy, faceless to the duo as of now, is Thomas Gabriel, a computer systems evil genius. Gabriel has launched a 'fire sale' – a mode of cyber-terrorism whereby he hacks into all federal-controlled systems within America and completely shuts them down, killing the country's bloodlines.
The FBI is sweating, and the confusion has already thrown the nation out of gear. McClane, characteristically, rises to the challenge – he will combat these terrorists, or else...
More than 2 hours later, once the curtain has fallen, the audience leaves on a full-stomach of popcorn – the metaphoric kind as well. There are oodles of thrills, and much raw muscle is flexed, bones broken, as McClane and Farrell race towards the finishing line.
And this is where Die Hard 4.0 works brilliantly; this is an out-and-out Hollywood action adventure entertainer, one that does not pretend to be anything else. It does not apologize for its clichés (and there are several) - it only celebrates the old-school of Hollywood cinema and, of course, its spine, Willis.
Willis is perfect as ever as the cocky, larger-than-life John McClane, the lonely policeman (at one point, he says that being a hero adds up to nothing) who will blow up his own shoulder if it kills the bad guy. If the numerous action sequences picturized on him fail to impress you – boy, you are a tough audience, in that case – then his signature one-liners will surely tease a chuckle out of you:
Farrell (amazed): "You just killed a helicopter with a car..."
McClane (straightforwardly): "I was out of bullets."
Apart from the dialogue, the special effects deserve special mention. The sequence where several cars get smashed-up in a tunnel (which leaves the audience feeling rather satisfied; it seems expected that cars would get badly banged up in this kind of cinema) and the sequence where McClane battles the Kung-fu fighting vamp Mai (Q) are worth the price of your ticket, and your time. And so is the rest of this flick, if it's not clear yet.
So go, get on this ride. You will not return disappointed.