NPR logo 'Live Free or Die Hard'

'Live Free or Die Hard'

Bruce Willis and Justin Long, searching for meaning (or maybe just the next bad guy to kneecap) in Live Free or Die Hard. Frank Masi/Twentieth Century Fox hide caption

toggle caption Frank Masi/Twentieth Century Fox

Bruce Willis and Justin Long, searching for meaning (or maybe just the next bad guy to kneecap) in Live Free or Die Hard.

Frank Masi/Twentieth Century Fox
  • Director: Len Wiseman
  • Genre: Action, Comedy
  • Running Time: 130 minutes

(requires RealPlayer)

Bruce Willis' working-class cop probably isn't the first guy you'd turn to if you knew you'd be battling a gang of computer creeps — he's so tech-challenged he doesn't even carry a cell phone — but if he's already engaged when the battle starts, it's helpful to have him in your corner.

His first encounter in a decade with megalomaniacal geniuses involves a doomsday scheme in which a team of computer hackers brings the U.S. to its knees. It's not remotely plausible, but with Willis' McClane leaping onto the tailfins of passing jet fighters and bringing down helicopters by launching police cars at them, there's enough stuff blowing up that action fans won't mind much.

Providing an invaluable assist: A geeky hacker type (Justin Long doing a pretty hilarious variation on his "Hi, I'm a Mac" persona) who becomes McClane's inadvertent comic sidekick.

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