Back when Live Free or Die Hard (which I will refer to as LFoDH) was released there was a lot of shit flung at the movie and the studio releasing it. The studio had announced that they were releasing the movie with a PG-13 rating instead of an R rating like the previous movies had gotten. This cause a lot of outrage among film fans because they felt that the movie was going to be too toned down and therefore would not feel like a Die Hard movie at all.
But a funny thing happened when the movie was released. Despite having a PG-13 rating, the movie was actually good. In fact it was great. The movie held true to what a Die Hard movie should be, just minus the f-word and graphic violence. The movie was still as hardcore and badass that it could be.
This time around McClane has to face off against cyber-terrorists who plan to shut the United States down via computers. This of course would have a terrible impact on the way we live because we rely too much on computers.
McClane gets another sidekick, this he is a computer hacker played by Justin Long. At first glance this seems like a bad idea, McClane doesn't need a sidekick. But as you see what the movie is doing with the character and his interactions with McClane, you start to actually like th guy. Long is very funny as the sidekick and his is believable as a hacker.
The bad guy is played Timothy Olyphant, but he is less successful at being the bad guy as Long is being the sidekick. Olyphant is decent as the bad guy, but you never really buy that this guy is all that bad. Sure they hype him up in a very unnessicary scene featuring Kevin Smith, and I know that he is shuting down the world so he can steal money, but I never believe that could rise to the challenge of facing off against McClane. Maybe it is because our real world bad guys are bigger pussies than back in the day, but still. I want to see McClane go one on one with the bad guy, but this does not really happen.
The director of LFoDH is Len Weisman. He came off of the first two Underworld movies and, again, seemed like a bad choice. Here was a director who had made two very dark and flashy action-horror movies, how could he do LFoDH justice? You have to go back to the second Die Hard and think about who the director was on that. That's right, Renny Harlin, who had just come off of a dark and somewhat flashy horror movie. I for one wanted to see what Weisman could do and was very shocked that he made a classy Die Hard movie. He brought none of that editing BS to the movie and instead gave us the kind of action movie that the 80's were all about.
He also brought a keen eye for CGI and how it SHOULD be used in a movie. Instead of calling attention to itself, the CGI work here blends very well with the live action work. In fact, some of the things that happen here you would swear they are CGI, but they are not. There is a scene where one of the bad guys jumps from one rooftop to another and then hops down the sides of the fire escapes to the ground level. This scene is was done for real and that makes it all the more impressive.
As we all know, whenever McClane takes out the main guy he likes to say "yippie kayay motherfucker" (I know in the first movie he said it as a response to being called a cowboy, but you'll see where I'm going with this.) This is has become one of the best and well known catchphrases of all time, but according to the MPAA, those rat motherfuckers who are so scared that they will get beat up because they gave a movie a certain rating that they hide who they really are, you can only say fuck a couple of times AND it can not be used in sexual conotation if you want a PG-13. So it appears that the word "motherfucker" is a sexual term.
Now I know the literal use of the word "motherfucker" (a person who fucks their own or someone's mother.), but the way that McClane uses it is not in a sexual way. He's just calling the bad guys a name. Maybe back in the day "motherfucker" actually meant what it sounds like, but today "motherfucker" can mean a whole slew of things. Bernie Mac put it best when said that you could have a conversation with a person and the "motherfucker" could be used 35 times and the meaning is always different.
"Have you seen that motherfucker Charlie? That motherfucker owes me thirty-motherfucking dollars. Tell that motherfucker that he better giving me my motherfucking money or the motherfucking time I see that motherfucker I'm gonna breaking his motherfucking head"
It's not a direct quote, but you get the point. The word motherfucker can be used as a term of endearment or as a hateful term. The way that McClane uses it is just the same way that you would call someone an "asshole". He's calling the bad guy a name. That simple. But the MPAA has deemed motherfucker as a sexual term and therefore when McClane says it a gunshot is heard. Now Fox went back and released an unrated version of LFoDH and the phrase is kept intact. Do the dipshits at the MPAA actually think that kids don't know what the word "motherfucker" means? Do they actually think that they are protect the youth of America by covering up the word with a gunshot? We already know what he is going to say, just let him say it.
Despite of the rating, Live Free or Die Hard is a very good movie that actually lives up to the Die Hard name. Bruce Willis is at the top of his game and the action scenes are exciting and suspenseful without calling attention to themselves. I really hope that if they make a fifth one they take a cue from the fans and let "motherfucker" fly free.