Unbelievable but true: Since April of this year there have been trailers for two new action films with Bruce Willis every month. The former action star, who became a cult figure in testosterone cinema with his iconic roles such as “Die Hard”, “Last Boy Scout”, “Pulp Fiction” and “Armageddon”, is now a direct-to-video film supplier, who almost got his own category at the Golden Raspberry for his often rushed assembly line productions – until it finally became known that Willis’ tragic career has an even more tragic background: Willis is ill and will soon be giving up his acting career have to.
It’s been a while since he was in front of the camera for films that people really enjoyed watching – such as “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For” (2014) or “Split” (2017). And if you want to take a look at Willis’ last action highlights, you have to go back a little further: For DashFUN author Daniel, the matter is clear: Willis’ last thoroughbred action hit, which is just as much fun today as it was in the past, is even five years older than the sci-fi action thriller “Looper”, which is also worth seeing, and is already a proud 15 years old: “Die Hard 4.0” from 2007.
Disreputable by many old-school genre fans around its theatrical release, John McClane’s fourth mission, while visibly different from the first three films, has stood the test of time with flying colors and still works better than many current action films. If you want to convince yourself of this, you have the opportunity to do so tonight on free TV. “Die Hard 4.0” will be on RTL today, July 3, 2022 from 8:15 p.m. The only disadvantage of the TV broadcast: During prime time, the film only runs in the version that was shortened by more than six minutes. We therefore recommend DVD, Blu-ray or stream – for example on Disney +, where you will find all “Die Hard” films.
» “Die Hard 4.0” DVD & Blu-ray on Amazon*
» “Die Hard 4.0” on Disney+*
+++ Opinion +++
Yes, the latecomer sequel to Die Hard, known internationally as Live Free Or Die Hard, has never had it easy. While the original trilogy took just seven years to complete, it took another 12 years for cult cop John McClane to return to the big screen. Twelve years in which cinema and audience viewing habits have changed quite a bit. And so “Die Hard 4” had already lost for many before it had even started: Because as the first film in the series to receive a PG-13 rating and no R rating in the USA, it was immediately considered unworthy, labeled as a bastard that no one wanted. The fact that a recut was to follow later in the home cinema, in which blood spatter and the like were partly digitally inserted, only made it worse in the end.
But once you’ve come to terms with the fact that action movies in the 2000s came along with a bit more gloss and without bloodpacks, you can expect this an entertaining, fun and, above all, brutal, incredibly varied action spectacle.
With an attack on the USA and thus, to a certain extent, on the western world, which only one man – namely John McClane – can stop, “Die Hard 4.0” certainly has a good portion of retro action cinema in it. Almost 20 years after the lead and blood-soaked Nakatomi Plaza Christmas party, director Len Wiseman (“Underworld”) but the heroic saga now into the 21st century – which is particularly noticeable in the staging. Less blood, more high gloss and an almost indestructible superhero certainly form a contrast to the first three films. Nevertheless, in the end Wiseman manages to walk an impressive tightrope between tradition and modernity, between cult and commerce.
Especially compared to current blockbusters, “Die Hard 4.0” scores with hand-made action. The advantage? Even after 15 years, it has lost none of its effectiveness. Because here no stone is left unturned. Whether it’s chasing, shooting or close combat: you can feel that as little as possible was shot in front of a green screen or in the studio, but mainly on location. The bullets don’t just sink into nothingness (or into animated bullet holes), but regularly ensure that the shreds fly around your ears noticeably. What an orgy of destruction!
Sometimes a helicopter is brought down from the sky by a police car (!), before the last act brings about a variety of action-madness à la “True Lies”. A few obvious CGIs are used in the breathtaking finale in particular, but they always remain supplementary accessories amidst the incredibly complex practical effects – and not become a substitute, like in many Hollywood hits these days.
Conclusion: Brisk jokes, brute shootouts, spectacular parkour interludes, outstanding chases and plenty of courage for over-the-top madness make “Die Hard 4.0” an explosive, incredibly entertaining action firework and one of the last really good Bruce- Willis Movies. Disreputable as a modern “Die Hard” imitation when it was released in cinemas, the handmade spectacle has 15 years later, at least in terms of action, almost more in common with the legendary action classics of the 80s and 90s than with today’s CGI orgies. And that’s good.
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