the first installment of this series is one of my top three films of all-time so this one is obviously not going to trump that. not that that’s out of the way…die hard 4 may be the second best of the series, though i’d have to see how it holds up to repeated viewings before i could make that judgment. die hard 2 is decent enough and die hard 3 is good, but not great. what all the sequels lack is a credible and impressive villain. die hard 4 has timothy olyphant as the villain which is unfortunate because this guy may have been the worst villain of the series. maybe if i watched deadwood i would think differently of him as an actor, but i’ve never seen it so…
there are some nice enough references to the other films (for example, mcclane being introduced to an fbi agent named johnson), but nothing excessive or too sly. the action is completely over the top, though. it’s fun and all, but it doesn’t merely push the boundaries of possible, as the first one does, instead it enters full on video game mode – with an f-35 shooting at a big rig while navigating its way through a freeway underpass, or mcclane driving a car up a ramp and into a helicopter, for example. it’s completely outrageous, which is fine for other movies, but not in keeping with the spirit of the series, if you ask me.
above all, the die hard series is about the failure and impotence of institutions and the triumph and capability of the individual. whether it’s the local cops and the fbi or the faa or homeland security, none of those agencies are able to do what mcclane does (primarily) by himself.
the bit and supporting characters are good enough. the script is well-balanced, but more topical than the rest. the music isn’t bad. the bad guys could have been better.Watched in theater