Critical Consensus: Yippee-Ki-Yay! "Live Free Or Die Hard" Is Certified Fresh

by | June 27, 2007 | Comments

Although the 1988 original is one of the touchstones of modern action cinema, and although Bruce Willis is still as big a star as he’s ever been, there were concerns among "Die Hard" diehards that the latest installment, "Live Free Or Die Hard," would be a letdown. There was the PG-13 rating, and the fact that it’s been 12 years since Willis’ iconic Det. John McClane was on the case. Fear not, critics say.

The pundits are calling "Live Free Or Die Hard" one of the series’ best installments, a popcorn-ready throwback to the pre-CG days of crazy stuntwork. Despite the title, the setting for the latest "Die Hard" isn’t New Hampshire; it’s Washington, D.C., where a group of super-hackers (led by Timothy Olyphant) are plotting to attack America’s computer infrastructure and bring the nation to its knees. McClane teams with a cyber geek to stop them; rousing pyrotechnics ensue. Critics say that while the plot is beyond preposterous, it’s of little matter with stunts and action this exhilarating and intense. And they also note that Bruno settles nicely into his iconic role. At 76 percent on the Tomatometer, "Live Free" is not only Certified Fresh, it’s the second-best-reviewed "Die Hard" after the original. (Check out RT’s interview with Bruce Willis here.)

All these years later, and still no CGI.

Die Hards:
96% — Die Hard (1988)
66% — Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990)
47% — Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995)