Live Free or Die Hard review by Rosie

Live Free or Die Hard

SH: And welcome back once again to At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper. Sean Hannity here alongside my partner Alan Colmes, sitting in all this week for Roger and Richard, who are off for some well deserved R and R, no pun intended. Coming up on the show weve got a special behind the scenes look at the making of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and why some parent groups are saying J.K. Rowling has finally gone too far. And later, an exclusive interview with Australian actor Russell Crowe. Ill ask him why hes not American and whether he thinks we should continue allowing immigrants to star in films that Americans could be starring in. But first, Alan.

AC: But first we can all sleep easier tonight because Americas favorite detective is back on the case and hes taking down the terrorists. Thats right, Detective John McClane just refuses to die, both literally and figuratively, and now hes back with an ultimatum for anyone who would do his country harm: Live Free or Die Hard.


AC: And, basically it goes on like that for another two hours or so. Bruce Willis, of course, returns as John McClane, this time taking on a rogue band of cyber-terrorists who have hacked their way into the infrastructure of the government and threaten to bring America to its knees by wiping out every communication line, security system, and financial record in existence and sending the entire country into chaos. Timothy Olyphant also stars as the leader of these cyber-goons, along with Justin Long as McClanes tech-savvy, accidental sidekick. Sean, if youre done toweling yourself off from that preview, whatd you think?

SH: Alright, I want you to listen to this and hear me good, Alan. Live Free or Die Hard is the best and most important movie in America today and -

AC: Really? Best and most important? Thats -

SH: Well, first of all, can I finish? Yes, best and most important, and Ill tell you why. One, John McClane is the quintessential American man: hes tough, hes a fighter, hes the kind of old fashioned, blue collar, American hero that this country needs more of today. If every school that forced their students to watch An Inconvenient Truth made time for this movie instead, wed be eating cotton candy at Six Flags: Iran within five years. Two, -

AC: Wait, what? What does that even mean?

SH: Can I finish? Can I, you asked me what I thought, let me answer first and Ill go back for whatever you dont understand after I lay it out. One, John McClane, hero. Two, this is a message movie that finally deals head on with the issue of the very likely possibility of an orchestrated attack of this very nature occurring on U.S. soil in the near future. If were going to have any chance of being prepared for it, we need to bring this issue to the forefront of the discussion with more films like this one. Thr-

AC: A message movie? So its a very likely possibility that a small group of disaffected Miami nightclub models will hack into all of the central mainframes of government and industry in the near future and leave every federal agency in America chasing its tail while the country crumbles all around us. Im just trying to make sure I understand what youre saying.

SH: No, see, no, there you go again. Youre trying to put words in my mouth. That is not what I said at all which, if you had been listening, you would know. What I said was it is a very likely possibility that we could see an orchestrated attack of this nature sometime in the very near future. I was going to make this point in a minute but since you dont know how to have a reasoned debate, Ill say it up front: I do absolutely have a contention with the producers about their casting of the bad guys as Americans turned against their own country. I think it was a cop-out, and I think it hurts their credibility tremendously. Everything about this movie revolved around one key issue: terrorism. Now we all know who the terrorists were and are and would be, but this is what happens when you live in a society where the media is controlled by Hollywood liberals who are ruled by their own white guilt and cant even be honest when it comes to something as cut and dry as who our enemies are in the war on terrorism.

AC: And who is that again?

SH: Oh dont give me that, we both know who were talking about here.

AC: No, I dont, tell me who?

SH: You know, the sad part is I almost believe you might be that nave. But this is exactly the kind of liberal paranoia about the (finger-quotes) dangers of stereotyping (end finger-quotes) that is going to leave us unprepared as a nation when reality strikes. I mean, Im all for equal opportunity but there are some things we just need to leave the thought police out of and talk straight about before its too late.

AC: Oh, yeah, there were no stereotypes in this movie. So youre saying the fact that the Asian girl knew karate, the henchmen were all expressionless Eastern European mercenaries who knew enough gymnastics to fight on catwalks, and that anyone who knew how to use a computer was a twentysomething loser living at home in their parents basement with a collection of comic book action figures and Star Wars memorabilia was just talking straight. It must be if the producers were so afraid of (finger-quotes) stereotyping (end finger-quotes).

SH: Some of it, yes. But you see, thats what you do, you act like everything needs to be black and white but Ive been trying to tell you for years now, Alan, theres this thing in the world called nuance. We cant all live in Candyland.

AC: Well, Im just saying, youre sitting here ripping the producers for not casting the terrorists in whatever way you think would be more accurate but when I ask you what exactly that would be, you wont give me an answer.

SH: Im not the one making a movie here, so the question doesnt even make sense. But if you think you can hold on for just one more minute I can finish laying out my points here and explain to you what Im saying in a way that even you can understand. Is that ok?

AC: (leans back, opens palms up towards ceiling in front of him in a gesture to continue)

SH: Thank you. You see what I have to put up with everyday, folks? One, John McClane, hero. Two, we need to raise awareness and public debate about the possibilities of new kinds of terrorist attacks. Three, theres an important lesson to be learned here about commitment and responsibility and hard work. Weve got a whole generation of kids in this country whove been raised by what they see on TV, or by parents who want to be their kids friends, to think that the only thing that matters is what feels good now. John McClane is a perfect example of the power of American determination to triumph over those who would do us harm. He does what needs to be done, he doesnt back down, he doesnt give in and, in the end thats what America is all about and what still makes this the greatest country in the world. Im not sure how someone could have a problem with hard work but something tells me you will.

AC: Oh, is it my turn to talk now? No, I dont have a problem with hard work. Im not sure how you get from what John McClane did in this movie to a lesson about the value of hard work, but

SH: What dont you see about it?

AC: Well for starters I think he single-handedly blew up and destroyed more property on his own than the terrorists were ever even trying to. I mean, theres hard work and theres recklessness, isnt there?

SH: He does whatever it takes to get the job done.

AC: He just destroys everything! You dont think there might be any other possible way to handle a situation like that? Even if it works eventually, is it worth it to burn down your whole house to kill one mouse?

SH: Well, you see, thats why you live with mice. If thats what it takes to get a rat out of my house and keep it away from my children then thats what it takes, and its attitudes like yours that are exactly the reason why so many rats know its safe to try to sneak into and live in our country because they know youd rather live with them than do what it takes to get them all out.

AC: Ah, I see, so because Im skeptical that one aging New York City detective could stop a band of genius cyber-terrorists by punching them, and then punching them harder whenever they say something he doesnt understand, that means I must be inviting illegal immigrants in to sleep on my couch.

SH: Well, first of all, let me just say that I wouldnt put anything past any member of the NYPD. But I never said any of that, you did.

AC: Alright, I think we could talk about this for the rest of the show but were up against a hard break here. Final word, thumbs up or thumbs down?

SH: Two thumbs up. Best feel good American movie since Rocky IV.

AC: And Im going to have to go thumbs down. Loud, violent, pointless, incoherent, and perhaps the most transparent piece of manipulative propaganda since Rocky IV. So to recap, Live Free or Die Hard gets a split review: right thumb up, left thumb down. Coming up, Al Sharpton joins us live in studio to give us his top ten must-boycott childrens movies for 2008, should Hannah Montana be worried? Well find out when we get back.

5 out of 10 Jackasses
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