Die Hard 4.0: Ultimate Action Edition (2-disc)

Distributed by
20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentDVD:
2-disc DVD:

  • Cert:
  • Running time: 123 minutes
  • Cat no: 3760001001
  • Year: 2007
  • Pressing: October 2007
  • Region(s): 2, PAL
  • Chapters: 36 plus extras
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
  • Languages: English
  • Subtitles: English for hearing impaired
  • Widescreen: 2.35:1
  • 16:9-Enhanced: Yes
  • Macrovision: Yes
  • Disc Format: DVD 9
  • Price: £19.99 (DVD); £24.99 (2-disc DVD); £22.99 (Blu-ray)
  • Extras: Deleted and Extended scenes, Gag Reel, Music Video, Behind the scenes with Guyz Nite,Analogue Hero in a Digital World: The Making of Die Hard 4.0, Yippee Kay-ay Motherf*****!,Fox Moving Channel presents “Fox Legacy”, Hacker Underworld, Homeland Security in a Cyber Age,Matt’s pad with Justin Long
  • Vote and comment on this film:View Comments


      Len Wiseman

    (Die Hard 4.0, Motorcade, Underworld, Underworld: Evolution)


    Michael Fottrell


    Mark Bomback

Original Score :

    Marco Beltrami

Cast :

    John McClane: Bruce Willis
    Thomas Gabriel: Timothy Olyphant
    Matt Farrell: Justin Long
    Mai: Maggie Q
    Bowman: Cliff Curtis
    Trey: Jonathan Sadowsky
    Casper: Andrew Friedman
    Warlock: Kevin Smith
    Rand: Cyril Raffaelli
    Del: Christopher Palermo
    Lucy: Mary Elizabeth Winstead
    Raj: Sung Kang
    Molina: Zeljko Ivanek

After 3 films in seven years, it seemed that was it for John McClane.

But then 12 years later came the fourth installment, again with Bruce Willis in the lead role, by now a copwho should be taking it easy but who finds himself drawn into another rollercoaster ride of nonsense against a bad guywho thinks he’ll be the one who can finally deal with the unbeatable cop.

As the film begins, we see that Lucy McClane (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is now all grown up, which shows how long this film has been in developmentas the original came out in 1988 with this entry being released in 2007… which makes her about 24 at least.McClane clearly has as much of a problem talking to his daughter now as he did to his wife in the original film when theyargued in her executive bathroom before the terrorists took control of the Nakatomi building.

McClane is teamed up with Matt Farrell (Justin Long) when there had been talk some time ago that Lucy wouldpartner him in this film and would be played by Britney Spears. Good job they didn’t hire her in 2007 for this as that’swhen she went completely mental and shaved her hair. Farrell is clearly not the kind of person the FBI would hire foran important job because he’s a computer hacker which our hero has been tasked with picking up in the middle of the nightsince a situation has just occured during the opening credits which looked like it would benefit a substantial numberof them, if only the majority of them hadn’t all died in questionable explosions, of which only one is shown onscreen,and at the same time the FBI believe their systems have been hacked.

What isn’t explained is how the victims’ PCs are infected with a virus which cause a yellow light to emit inside theirPCs which then causes an explosion when ‘delete’ is pressed. Total madness!

Since McClane and Farrell managed to escape from being dead, they set off in the detective’s car but as daylight comesso does the hacking of the traffic network and all the lights are turned green, causing havoc on the streets and trafficcomes to a standstill, so it’s off on foot they go… Hmm.. is this turning into 16 Blocks?It seemed so at first, but no, it’s just the beginning of another bad day for Bruce as the bad guys trigger alarms atvarious FBI buildings and send the stock market into meltdown with fake reports on it crashing.

From there on, it’s pretty much action all the way. Farrell is a smart-talker but in a way that’s amusing rather thanannoying, which could be very easy for a sidekick to fall into; there’s a Special Agent Johnson, like in the first film,but he’s not in it long enough to establish any particular connection to the original; and there’s a cameo fromKevin Smith as The Warlock, one of Farrell’s online buddies who appears in the second half and may be theonly man who can help them, even if McClane wants to take the piss out of his humble abode.

The baddies are led by Timothy Olyphant as Thomas Gabriel, who has particular reasons for taking control ofeverything in what Farrell refers to as a ‘fire sale’, where all the utilities, generally controlled by computers, aretaken over to the point where chaos ensues and the only available option is to sell everything off because it’s neitheruse nor ornament to anyone. He makes for a good enemy but is no Alan Rickman. Most of the rest of his underlings arelittle more than geeks or hired grunts, but there’s feistyness in his better half, Mai (Maggie Q), who triesto high-kick McClane into next week, but overall it doesn’t take a genius to work out who’s going to win there.

Most of the cops we see are plastic plods, particularly the lead of Cliff Curtis as FBI Deputy Director Bowman.

I also spotted one continuity mishap, 55 mins in, as McClane breaks a car window in order to steal it, yet when it cuts tohim then opening the door… the glass is intact!

This film certainly delivers on the action front, hence why it got a high score of 8/10, but like the third film itfails to deliver anything approaching believeability and as a result it doesn’t quite hit the heights of the firsttwo films. Still, it’s well worth seeing.

Presentation-wise, this version is the 2-disc “Ultimate Action Edition” which, oddly enough, is the only version whichactually lets you hear the full, usual catchphrase from John McClane, no doubt along with all the other fruity languagewhich is totally natural for our main lead, and which you can tell exactly what was excised from the theatrical versionbecause off the toned-down subtitles. This begs the question – why release this version, and presumably thesame goes for the extras, on DVD only and not Blu-ray?

Oh, and one last thing – the title. Given the computer-related storyline, Die Hard 4.0 seemed like a decentone to go for whereas the alternate title, in the US and other countries, Live Free or Die Hard was the crappestI’ve ever heard, and would also through it out of the alphabet with the others in the series since they all begin with”D”(!)

The film is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and both picture and sound are without fault. The image issharp and colourful, bringing across all the explosions you’d expect as well as the tightly-framed shots as required.My viewing experience was helped by watching itupscaled to a 37″ Panasonic plasma screen via a Samsung BD-P1500 BluRayPlayer. The sound comes in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1, so I went for the latter, and to say you might needear-defenders is an understandment. This one is a fantastic demo disc which really delivers the goods.

The extras are as follows, with the first 4 coming on disc 1 and the rest on disc 2:

  • Deleted and Extended scenes (3:37):Four of them here. Without giving spoilers, I’d have kept in the second and fourth, although with the latter one asit wasn’t referenced elsewhere in the film it probably wouldn’t have fitted in too well.
  • Gag Reel (7:47):Does exactly what it says on the tin.
  • Music Video (4:29):”Die Hard” by Guyz Nite, a song about McClane through all four films. I’ve seen this before on Youtube and it’s very cool.
  • Behind the scenes with Guyz Nite (5:46):Some nonsense with the band. Doesn’t half go on even though it is quite short.
  • Analogue Hero in a Digital World: The Making of Die Hard 4.0 (95:30):A feature-length documentary featuring comments from the cast and crew, starting with a look at the original for a fewminutes before jumping forward to this one and taking in the appearance of the film, the characters, the soundand the stunts. All clips featured at in the original 2.35:1 anamorphic ratio with all on-set footage in 16:9 anamorphic,as goes for the rest of the extras. The previous ones were all in 4:3 with film clips in letterboxed 2.35:1.
  • Yippee Kay-ay Motherf*****! (21:44):That’s how it’s spelt here. Kevin Smith interviews Bruce Willis on why he did the fourth film. Interesting to note thatBruce said he wasn’t happy with the second or third films and that it was just a “sequel business” in those days.I loved the second one, and the third was great but too OTT rather like this one.
  • Fox Moving Channel presents “Fox Legacy” (6:18):Someone called Tom Rothman talks about the Die Hard series. He is a very boring man.This is the only 4:3 segment on the second disc, with letterboxed clips.
  • Hacker Underworld (8:51):A bit of a tedious extra as a man in a suit talks about real-life hackers.
  • Homeland Security in a Cyber Age (10:00):More of the same, and not very interesting.
  • Matt’s pad with Justin Long (6:43):A tour of a computer geek’s studio flat, after its taken rather a battering in the film.

The main menu is a fairly dull affair – static and with some of the not-very-emphatic theme music. There are subtitlesin English and a decent number of chapters with 36 across the two hours.


Review copyright © Dominic Robinson, 2009.View the discussion thread.blog comments powered by Disqus= 0) {query += ‘url’ + i + ‘=’ + encodeURIComponent(links[i].href) + ‘&’;}}document.write(”);})();//]]]]>]]>

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