He may be slightly arthritic, but Bruce Willis proved he could still save the world and then some in the "full-on" action sequel Die Hard 4.0. Almost two decades after he first wowed the crowds as NYPD cop John McClane, Willis takes on the terrorists hiding out in cyberworld. Yes, the film is big, brash and with more holes than Bruce Willis's favourite vest, but most critics and moviegoers lapped it up.
"I wasn't happy about the middle two films," Willis tells co-star Kevin Smith in Yippie-ki-yay... That's part of the reason he signed up for a fourth and, because he says, "I'm a gambling man by nature." In the feature commentary Willis talks more about why he gave the thumbs up to director Len Wiseman's vision. That's despite having to tone down some of the action and strong language for a PG-13 rating. Wiseman doesn't talk much about what's in that excised footage, and certainly the four deleted scenes presented on disc one aren't too spicy. The footage is mostly just added banter between McClane and Matt (Justin Long).
Willis shows signs of aging in the gag reel, forgetting his lines and swearing profusely to fill the gaps. It's obvious that he's having a great time though. A ten-part documentary, which forms the centrepiece of this two-disc edition, shows him getting down and dirty when it comes to the stunts. But Maggie Q takes the bigger risks; hanging from the bonnet of an SUV dangling in a lift shaft. Cameras also go on location on the streets of Baltimore, where the eclectic architecture played a crucial part in the overall look of the film. Wiseman and his production designer explain how they tried to lighten the tone of the film through the visuals, especially since studio execs feared Wiseman would make another Underworld. Sound design, music and editing also come under the spotlight.
Slice And Dice
Die-hard Die Hard fans can relive classic moments from the previous films in Fox Legacy, as part of an investigation into why John McClane has such an enduring appeal. If you prefer the nerdy charm of his sidekick then follow Justin Long on a brief tour of Matt's Pad, which according to him, is furnished with pilfered props from the old Star Trek set.
In another two featurettes looking at, firstly, the rise in computer-based crime and, secondly, the American governments' efforts to stamp it out, we're assured that most hackers are not geeks holed up in their parents' garage. But that's where the assurances stop and the doomsday scenarios begin.
Pseudo rock group Guyz Nite (who look a little like the updated Village People) boost the fun factor of this DVD. A behind-the-scenes featurette accompanies their Die Hard music video where they clarify their unique musical style, saying, "We rock about things that dudes like to talk about." Apparently that's corn dogs and Bruce Willis movies... No doubt the Guyz are preaching to the choir on this Ultimate Edition DVD, which offers the perfect night in for boys of all ages.
Die Hard 4.0 DVD is released on Monday 29th October 2007.