Live Free or Die Hard theatrical poster
|Written by|| Mark Bomback|
|Directed by||Len Wiseman|
|Produced by||Michael Fottrell|
William Wisher Jr.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
|Cinematography by||Simon Duggan|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release Date||June 27th, 2007|
|Preceded by||Die Hard with a Vengeance|
|Followed by||A Good Day to Die Hard|
Live Free or Die Hard, known internationally as Die Hard 4.0, is the fourth movie In the Die Hard series, released in June 27th, 2007. It received some chagrin from fans as it is the only film in the series to be rated PG-13, with some claiming that the film strayed from the feel of the first films and becoming softer.
John McClane takes on an Internet-based terrorist organization who is systematically shutting down the United States.
Bruce Willis reprises his role as McClane for the fourth time. It co-stars Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant, Maggie Q, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Cliff Curtis and Kevin Smith. It was directed by Len Wiseman and written by Mark Bomback & David Marconi. It is followed by A Good Day to Die Hard in 2013.
- Main article: In-depth synopsis of Live Free or Die Hard
Several computer hackers, including Matt Farrell, has passed several computer algorithms to Mai Linh. Then Mai's assassins planted bombs in their computers and several of them were killed when they deliberate malfunctions their computers to allow them to press the delete buttons which trigger their bombs. Then the FBI Cyber Crime Division experienced a brief computer blackout. Deputy Director Miguel Bowman wants every top computer hacker brought over for questioning.
In Camden, New Jersey, a college girl and a college boy make out in a car. When it starting become to rough, New York Police Lieutenant Detective John McClane breaks it up. The girl turns out to be McClane's estranged daughter Lucy, who is angry at both her father and her boyfriend. Lucy says that her father died and goes by her mother's maiden name, Gennero. McClane gets a call on the radio from his boss, Captain Jack Scalvino to pick up Farrell and bring him to FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.. McClane reluctantly takes the assignment.
At Farrell's apartment, he chats with username Warlock before logging out. His computer starts to malfunction and Farrell was about to press the delete button, which was the trigger of the pre-planted bomb that killed the other hackers. But before he can do so, McClane knocks on his door and he answers. Farrell tried to lie to McClane that Farrell is not here, but fails when the neighbor tells that he's going out. McClane convinces Farrell to let him in.
When the five assassins realized that the bomb didn't go off, the French hitman Rand leaves to deal with Farrell. Once Farrell was powering down his system and McClane wasn't looking at him, he tried to escape. But the window wasn't opening. Then Rand fires at them, but misses both McClane and Farrell. After multiple shots fired by Rand, McClane fires at Rand with his pistol. The pistols draws the rest of the hit men out of the van.
McClane and Farrell crawl out of the apartment and to the elevators. McClane hears the assassins' footsteps and sees the fire extinguisher. He grabs the extinguisher and tosses towards the stairway. As the hitmen were coming to the floor from the stairway, McClane fires at the moving extinguisher, causing it to explode and pushes one of the thugs out of the window and into the truck below. McClane and Farrell retreated back to the apartment as the two hit men on that floor followed. McClane blocks the front door with the fallen refrigerator. But loses his pistol when the bad guys tried to push the door open.
The two hitman fired at the door to destroy it open. While they we're reloading, McClane grabs one of them through and pulls his face through the door, breaking his neck. The third man fired at the door opened and got in. As was looking for McClane and Farrell, the hitman got shot in the leg by McClane. They continued to fire at each other. As McClane hits The Terminator action statue, causing it to hit the delete, unknowingly trigger the bomb. The bomb kills the hitman at the apartment, but McClane and Farrell survived it since they were at Matt's room.
McClane grabs the dead man's machine gun. Then he and Farrell got out of the burning apartment through the fire escape. As they got down, McClane and Farrell get into McClane's car. After they backed out and stop to head forward, Rand's partner, Del, breaks the car window and puts a choke hold on McClane. When Farrell couldn't reach the machine gun in the back seat, McClane puts the car on drive, moving forward into the garbage container, which hits Del, forcing him to let go of McClane. Rand, a skilled acrobat, jumps into the next building and goes down to the ground below. After McClane rams the gate, Rand jumps into the gate and tries to kill both him and Farrell. McClane rams off his car with another garbage container, sending Rand leaving flying to the wall of the building. McClane calls Camden police about the police shooting.
As Rand and Del, who survived their injuries get a call from Mai. Del reluctantly answers and tells her that Farrell is alive. Mai passes the phone to her boss and companion, Thomas Gabriel, who tells Del that he'll send the helicopter to pick him and Rand up to find Farrell.
Next morning in Washington, D.C., everyone was getting ready for tomorrow which is the 4th of July. McClane continues to drive Farrell to the FBI. Gabriel tells his main computer hacker Trey to find Farrell while he tells the other hackers to commence Stage 1, which it's the stage of shutting down transportation grid, including the street lights in Washington DC. McClane and Farrell we're hit by cars when all the traffic lights we're green. They walked to the FBI headquarters.
Gabriel has computer hacker Casper evacuated all personal in several government buildings, including the FBI HQ, with fake anthrax alarms. Gabriel launches stage 2, shutting down Wall Street. McClane and Farrell arrived in the portable FBI center outside of the FBI where they are met by Bowman and his assistant Molina. Farrell recognizes the pictures of the dead hackers on the FBI's wall, but doesn't tell anyone about it. Then Gabriel launches a message to America made up out of various American Presidents to put fear into the population that he is shutting all of America.
Farrell realizes that the cyber-terrorists are launching what hackers call a Fire Sale, a three-step systematic attack that shuts down transportation, financial and utility systems. Bowman shows less interest in his theory, but McClane suspects Farrell is right because the people after him in Camden we're professional hitmen. Bowman has McClane go with Farrell to Department of Homeland Security to have Farrell regarding the cyber-terrorist attack.
As Homeland Security agents called for routes to take Farrell to the DHS, Trey finds Farrell on their grid. Mai has the grid isolated to manipulate them towards Rand and Del, who are at the helicopter going after them. Farrell confesses to McClane knew the dead hackers since they passed their algorithms unknowingly to the cyber-terrorists for money. Farrell says he does math-based security and swears that he had no idea that he be an accessory to the terrorist plot. Then as Mai was directing Homeland Security to her route, Farrell recognizes her voice as the woman he been speaking when he passed his code out. McClane takes a radio and uses a ruse code on Mai, finding out she's a fake.
Gabriel takes the radio and speaks to McClane. Gabriel checks out McClane's profile, his police records and accounts. He wipes out McClane's 401K and taunts him to kill Farrell in exchange for the return for his funds. McClane declines the offer. The helicopter with Rand and Del arrive. Del kills several government agents, but McClane makes his getaway with Farrell in the Homeland Security car. As the helicopter chases the car, McClane runs over the fire hydrant, causing the water to hit the helicopter. Del falls off the helicopter and hits the car below, killing him. Farrell sees a tunnel and McClane go to the tunnel.
Gabriel gets the tunnel's schematics and has Trey re-route traffic on one end of the tunnel to block them in. Gabriel then orders Trey to re-route the other end of the tunnel, but Trey hesitates. Gabriel takes over and routes the traffic on the other end tunnel and shuts off the tunnel's lights, rimming it dark. McClane and Farrell barely survive several car accidents and made it to the pillar before a runaway tow truck can hit them.
McClane walks through the wreckage and takes the Homeland Security car. As he drives it towards the helicopter, Rand fires at it, causing the hood to be on fire. McClane jumps out of the car. The runaway car goes through the tool booth and becomes airborne. Rand sees this and immediately jumps out of the helicopter before the car hits it, destroying the chopper and killing the pilot inside. Farrell rushes towards the slightly injured McClane and announced his amazement about him destroying the helicopter with a car.
Rand checks out the helicopter crash and assumes that McClane and Farrell are dead. Gabriel tells Rand to return and tells his hackers to begin Stage 3 of their Fire Sale. Then several terrorists, disguised as Hazmat agents, arrived in the Social Security administration building in Woodlawn, Maryland. They killed several MP personnel and seized control of the building. Then Gabriel's main henchman, Emerson, enters to some secret server room below the building and begins the download for Gabriel. Mai and two henchman take a ride in the helicopter, disguising themselves as FBI agents. Then the semi-truck, carrying the computer station, leaves the warehouse.
After no luck to getting help, McClane tries to call Bowman, but Farrell tells the phone maybe tracked by the cyber-terrorists. So he takes someone else's phone and contacts Bowman with it. McClane tells him the cyber-terrorists came after Farrell and that his men are dead. Then Gabriel airs the fake explosion of the US Capitol, causing public panic. Although McClane and Bowman confirmed to each other about the fake explosion, they lost contact because Gabriel disabled the network. Bowman realizes the anthrax scare is a fake and gets everyone back inside the crisis center.
Farrell tells McClane that the terrorists are at the 3rd stage of the Fire Sale and says that they might be heading for Eastern Power Hub, a power super substation in West Virginia, to shut down all power in the Eastern United States. McClane and Farrell takes a car and Farrell poses as a man who convinces the On-Star operator to start the car to help his dying father. While on route to the power station, Farrell admits that he doesn't heroic like McClane is. McClane says he was only doing his job. Then he bitterly confessed to Farrell that you get nothing from being a hero, because his wife divorced him and he is estranged from his children. McClane states the only reason he does so because there is no one else to do it.
At the Eastern Hub in West Virginia, Mai and her henchman take over the station and kill the security guards and power workers. Then getting ready to shut down Eastern United States. McClane and Farrell arrived and realized that the terrorists are there. As they we're heading for the Central Control room, one of Mai's henchmen appeared, but McClane kills him after a brief shuffle.
They reached the control room and stopped Mai from shutting down the power grid. Farrell take overs control to prevent the shutdown. But Mai, a skilled marital-artist, proves to be a formidable match for McClane and she kicks him out the window and in the ground below. Mai forces Farrell to undo everything he did in the central computer. Just as Farrell finishes, McClane, who survived the fall, drives an SUV through the central control room and drives Mai into the elevator shaft. As the SUV was dangling in the shaft. Mai and McClane fight, where McClane knocks her out.
As McClane was getting out of the SUV, Mai's second henchman arrives in the shaft and fires at the SUV. Farrell hits him behind with a damage pipe and he falls into the SUV and into the bottom of the shaft. McClane reaches for the elevator cable. Mai, who had regained consciousness, tries to kill McClane with the silenced pistol from the fallen henchman. But the SUV came loose and McClane grabs the cable in time. The SUV crashes into the bottom the shaft and explodes, with Mai inside.
They went back to the control room and distracted Gabriel's hackers away from the Eastern Hub. Gabriel calls Mai, but gets McClane instead, who taunts him that she is dead. Farrell gets Gabriel's video pictured before the enraged cyber-terrorist hung up. He orders Trey to re-route every gas line to the station.
McClane and Farrell send Gabriel's picture to Bowman, who recognized him as the man he worked with. Gabriel was a former chief programmer for America's infrastructure security for the DOD until he got fired and his reputation was destroyed by the US government when he told the Joint Chiefs about the America's vulnerability for the systematics attack. Then Farrell sees the gas lines are coming to the station. McClane and Farrell went downstairs and into a van, using a cover. The explosions destroy the Eastern Hub station. Most of the Eastern seaboard has lost power. Lucy was in the elevator when the power went out.
Farrell convinces McClane to see his friend, internet hacker Frederick "Warlock" Kaludis, for help. McClane, who took some flying lessons in an attempt to conquer his fear of flying, takes Mai's helicopter to go to Warlock's house in Baltimore, Maryland. They went to the basement where Warlock set up as his own command center. Although Warlock is angry that McClane shows up in his house because of his animosity and mistrust for cops, Warlock reluctantly agrees to help.
Warlock reveals that Gabriel was fired from the DOD because he broke into the meeting of the Joint Chiefs and hacked into NORAD with a laptop to prove America is compromised for a systematic attack. Warlock also reveals that the algorithm that Farrell indirectly passed to Gabriel is being used in the Social Security Administration, but discovers that the algorithm is being used in Woodlawn and it is something far more than Social Security numbers.
Gabriel detects the hack by Warlock and sees through the Warlock's webcam that McClane is there. Gabriel has Casper put Lucy in the camera since she is trapped in the elevator. Gabriel speaks to McClane while McClane silently convinced Warlock to trace Gabriel's location. Gabriel taunts McClane about his lack of computer knowledge. McClane distracts the terrorist mastermind with losing his henchmen and Mai. Gabriel reveals Lucy and calls her, pretending to be a policeman out to rescue her in the elevator. Warlock silently tells the enraged McClane that Gabriel is in Woodlawn. He goes to the Warlock's mother car and Farrell follows him. McClane tries to convince Farrell to stay behind, but Farrell gets in to help him save Lucy and the cyber-terrorists as they took off.
Gabriel's henchman, Russo who is posing as an FBI agent, gets Lucy out of the elevator and takes her to Woodlawn. Lucy struggles with Russo until Gabriel and Rand took a hold of her and secured her wrists. Then one of Gabriel's henchmen silently tells Trey to leave the semi-trailer and kills all of the expendable hackers, including Casper.
McClane and Farrell arrive in Woodlawn and entered the building. Farrell trips the alarm to alert Bowman and the FBI. As they we're trying to get the schematics of the building, Russo caught McClane and Farrell behind with a gun. But McClane overpowers him and tosses him down the stairs, severely injuring him. Farrell fell down to the ventilation shaft of one of the cooling fans during the scuffle, which separate him from McClane. Gabriel tries to check in with Russo, but McClane taunts him that he is about to meet up with Mai and pretends that he just killed him, which shocks Gabriel and tells Rand to kill McClane.
In the FBI Headquarters, Bowman overhears NSA agent Jack Parry speaking to DHS agent Chuck Summer about the alarms going off in Woodlawn and demands an explanation. Parry and Summer reveal to Bowman that Gabriel designed a program that runs Woodlawn, a top-secret NSA facility, which stores critical personal and financial data into the servers as back-up in case of total systematic attacks, like the one Gabriel orchestrated. They say that Gabriel can download Woodlawn's data and siphon billions of dollars undetectable, which angers Bowman for not informing him about it sooner. He dispatches the team to Woodlawn.
Back in Woodlawn, Gabriel sends Emerson to investigate the cooling tower because of the disturbance. As Emerson left the server to check out the cooling tower, Farrell recognizes that the security lock in the server room is based from his algorithm and uses it to get inside the server room. He sees that they are going for the money and managed to encrypt the laptop that contains the financial data before he was captured by Emerson.
Gabriel tries to convince McClane about the reason why he's doing the Fire Sale was because the world needs to understand the dangers of the systematic attack and that he is doing America a favor by understanding the dangers of total cyber-terrorism. McClane doesn't buy his story and that he's coming for him. Gabriel tries to make Lucy convince her father on the radio, but she reveals to him that they are five men left, which Gabriel slaps her in the face.
Emerson arrives with Farrell and tells Gabriel of their current situation. Trey was unable to decrypt the data. Farrell and Lucy quietly introduces themselves and Lucy uses her last name McClane, as opposed to her mother's maiden name. Gabriel decides to take Farrell and Lucy with them to leave Woodlawn. Trey detects a F-35 Lightning fighter coming to them.
McClane enters the ice-cold cooling fan and Rand fires at him from below. McClane tries to fire back at him, but Rand acrobatically dodges his shots while moving up towards him. Rand then kicks McClane down below. McClane tries to reach for the gun, but Rand skillfully jumps and grabs McClane's gun. He fires at him. McClane kicks the nitrogen switch and it freezes Rand's arms. He then fell into the cooling fan below, shredding him to death as McClane's looks on.
Gabriel and his remaining men take Lucy and Farrell into the Hazmet truck. As McClane jumps on top of the semi-truck that carried the computer station, he climbs down to the driver's seat of the moving truck and kills the driver, Robinson, from the outside. He then takes the wheel and follows the Hazmet truck.
Inside the Hazmet truck, Gabriel tries to make Farrell decrypt the data. But Farrell refuses to do so. Just as Gabriel was shoot Farrell's knee, Emerson tells his boss that the semi truck is driving too fast. Trey looks on and realized it's not Robinson whose driving the semi and Lucy mocks Gabriel that it's her father.
McClane contacts Warlock and tells him to patch him to the FBI and Bowman. Warlock initially refuses because he is a hacker and Bowman is the FBI. McClane angrily convinces him that they have Lucy. Warlock then agrees to patch McClane to Bowman. Bowman and his team of agents we're on their way to Woodlawn when McClane informs him that Gabriel has left Woodlawn in the Hazmet truck and gives him the license plate number of it. He also tells Bowman that Gabriel has Lucy and Farrell and do what needs to be done to save them if anything happens to him.
The F-35 passes over them and Gabriel tells Trey to give him the go-codes of the fighter jet. After receiving the go codes from Trey, Gabriel tricks the pilot into attacking the semi-trailer rig that McClane is on. The fighter jet attacks McClane at the highway overpass. After much eluding and several misses, McClane goes up on the highway where the fighter jet was about to make a final pass, when several falling highway debris hit the fighter jet, damaging it. McClane gets on the tail of the jet that is on the flat spin. The pilot ejects the plane and McClane jumps on the damaged highway and slides down on it just as the fighter jet crashes behind him. McClane gets out of the damage highway and spots the Hazmet vehicle from the distance at the industrial yards and follows it by foot.
Once they arrived in the warehouse, Gabriel again tries make Farrell decrypt the financial data. Farrell refuses again and Gabriel shot him in his knee. Then he takes Lucy and forces him to cooperate in exchanged for her life. Farrell begins to decrypt the data. Trey arrives in the car and says the FBI are coming to them. Gabriel orders him to get their gear in the plane. While heading for the plane, McClane arrives and kills Trey and the other henchman. The surprised Gabriel holds Lucy hostage to prevent McClane from shooting him. Then McClane gets shot in the shoulder by Emerson.
Gabriel hands Lucy to Emerson and proceed to try to kill McClane. Lucy then tried to resist. Although she shot Emerson's foot from his holstered pistol, Lucy attempt to pass the machine gun to her father was prevented by Gabriel. He then grabs McClane and forces to watch as soon as Farrell finishes decrypting the data, he will have him watch he kill Lucy and Farrell in front of him. Gabriel then puts his pistol at McClane's shoulder to torture him and mocks him on his tombstone will "Always in the wrong place at the wrong time." McClane replies, "How about Yippee Ki-Yay, motherfucker." Then McClane grabs Gabriel's pistol with his both hands and gets a shot off through his shoulder and into Gabriel's chest, killing the terrorist mastermind. Emerson was about to kill McClane, but Farrell takes McClane's pistol and kills Emerson, ending the crisis. Lucy rushes to her father and tends to him, just as the FBI arrived on the scene.
As McClane, Farrell and Lucy we're being tended, Lucy and Farrell show interest in each other, which displeases McClane as the ambulances are taking to the hospital.
- Bruce Willis as John McClane
- Cliff Curtis as Miguel Bowman
- Željko Ivanek as Molina
- Christina Chang as Taylor
- Sung Kang as Raj
- Tim Russ as Chuck Summer
- Joe Gerety as Jack Parry
- Yancey Arias as FBI Agent Johnson
- Chris Ellis as NYPD Captain Jack Scalvino
- Timothy Olyphant as Thomas Gabriel
- Maggie Q as Mai Linh
- Jonathan Sadowski as Trey
- Edoardo Costa as Emerson
- Cyril Raffaelli as Rand
- Yorgo Constantine as Russo
- Chris Palermo as Del
- Andrew Friedman as Casper
- Bryon Weiss as Robinson
Box office and critical receptionEdit
Live Free or Die Hard debuted at #2 at the box office and made $9.1 million in its first day of release in 3,172 theaters, the best opening day take of any film in the Die Hard franchise (not taking inflation into account). On its opening weekend, Live Free or Die Hard made $33.3 million ($48.3 million counting Wednesday and Thursday). The film made $134.5 million domestically, and $249.0 million overseas, for a total of $383.5 million, making it the twelfth highest grossing film of 2007. To date, it is the most successful film in the franchise.
The film has a score of 81% with a certified "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 204 reviews with the consensus being it is "an efficient, action-packed summer popcorn flick" and a score of a generally favorable 69% on Metacritic based on 34 reviews. A review on IGN stated "Like the recent Rocky Balboa, this new Die Hard works as both its own story about an over-the-hill but still vital hero and as a nostalgia trip for those who grew up with the original films." On the television show Ebert & Roeper, film critic Richard Roeper and guest critic Katherine Tulich gave the film "Two thumbs up," with Richard Roeper stating that the film is "not the best or most exciting Die Hard, but it is a lot of fun" and that it is his favorite among the sequels to the original Die Hard. Roeper also remarked, "Willis is in top form in his career-defining role." Michael Medved gave the film three and a half out of four stars, opining, "a smart script and spectacular special effects make this the best Die Hard of 'em all." Among the more unfavorable reviews, Lawrence Toppman of The Charlotte Observer stated: "I can safely say I've never seen anything as ridiculous as Live Free or Die Hard." Toppman also wrote that the film had a lack of memorable villains and referred to John McClane as "just a bald Terminator with better one-liners".
- Live Free or Die Hard is the only film in the series so far to take place over several days rather than just one. The original Die Hard takes place from around roughly five at night till the early hours of Christmas morning. The same goes for Die Hard 2, but Die Hard 2 likely takes place over the course of a few less hours than the first, as the planes only had so much fuel before they'd crash. Die Hard with a Vengeance takes place from early on in the morning till sometime after dark, so the timespan in that film was the longest of the three until Live Free or Die Hard.
- There were many rumors surrounding the Matt Farrell character prior to shooting, one of the more circulated rumors being that the character was actually Jack McClane, but this didn't end up being the case.
- Lucy McClane was originally rumored to be playing a more physical role in the film, but this ended up being untrue.
- Bruce Willis decided not to grow his hair out in order to play McClane, instead keeping his hair short and buzzed.
- In the previous three films, McClane had had a scar over his left eye, but in this film, it is no longer visible. This could have been either a mistake or a choice, as some scars do heal and go away over time.
- It is revealed that John McClane is a fan of Creedence Clearwater Revival during the scene where he awakens Matt Farrell on the way to the Hoover building. He's most displeased when Farrell says it sucks. A classic song by the band called "Fortunate Son" is later played in the end credits of the film.
- William H. Wisher, who is best known for co-writing The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and the upcoming fifth film in the aforementioned franchise, made unwritten contributions to the script for LFODH.
- For more on Bruce Willis' take on the fourth film's stuntwork, the PG-13 controversy and Hollywood's overuse of CGI over the real perilous scenarios, see here.
|Films||Die Hard -- Die Hard 2 -- Die Hard with a Vengeance -- Live Free or Die Hard -- A Good Day to Die Hard|
|Games||Die Hard -- Die Hard 2 -- Arcade -- Trilogy -- Trilogy 2 -- Nakatomi Plaza -- Vendetta -- Die Hard 5|
|Comic||Die Hard: Year One|