Die Hard 4.0 (2007)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long, Maggie Q, Cliff Curtis, Kevin Smith

Directed by: Len Wiseman

Rating: 1 2 3 and a half

Bruce Willis is dinsoaur cop John McClane in Die Hard 4.0

What with all the 'boy wizard pirates transforming into yellow spider ogres 3' shenanigans currently invading the multiplex, big bucks explosion fest Die Hard 4.0 has somehow managed to slip beneath the radar. Which is in some ways a bit of a shame, because while it is without a doubt one of the stupidest films I've seen in a long time, it's also extremely entertaining.

It's over ten years since grizzled detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) last graced the silver screen, but he hasn't softened up any in the intervening time. This time round, our lumbering dinosaur of a cop is pitted against a brilliant ex-FBI security expert who's hacked into the entire US computer system and is gradually shutting down the country (hence the computery '4.0' – clever, these film people you know). But, armed with nothing but his trusty handgun and a nerdy hacker sidekick (Keanu Reeves-a-like Justin Long), the indestructible McClane soon proves that an amazing ability to flail away at a keyboard for 30 seconds and, in so doing, crack into top security financial databases and bring a country to its knees, is nothing compared to opening a great big can of good ol' fashioned whup ass.

As foreign henchman tooled up to the nines blaze away fruitlessly at our bulletproof hero (who knew a fridge could resist the onslaught of two enormous machine guns?) and even a fighter jet can't hit him head on, there's no questioning that, when it comes to a battle between brains and brawn, brains simply don't stand a chance – even if they are armed with missiles. Truly this is a film to warm the cockles of the heart of anyone who doesn't have broadband.

Bruce Willis and Justin Long in Die Hard 4.0

But don't think that McClane is completely stuck in a macho, grimy vest wearing, unregenerated male time warp. Nope, he's swotted up on his equal opps, and beats up women as readily as men – now that's diversity for you.

Yes, it's very very easy to mock this film. The plot is ridiculous even by Die Hard standards and the script so corny you could grill it on the barby, but the action scenes and stunts are huge and OTT and exciting, and the relationship between McClane, the Neanderthal, old school cop, and his geeky, postmodern, hacker kid sidekick, Farrell, works very well, the cheesy one-liners bouncing around as quickly and harmlessly as the bullets bouncing off their jammy hides. Oh, and the cameo from Kevin Smith as the basement dwelling übergeek Warlock is simply priceless, and worth the price of a ticket alone.

In the battle of the summer blockbusters, Die Hard 4.0 has indeed died on its buns of steel, but in the entertainment stakes, it's back with a vengeance.

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