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Live Free or Die Hard

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Truly, we're here by the grace of John McClane, the NYC detective who pretty much singlehandedly has been thwarting dastardly terrorist attacks since 1988. In Len Wiseman's actioner, McClane (Bruce Willis) and a new hacker sidekick (Justin Long) confront our worst nightmare: a combo-villain who's equal parts disgruntled employee, disillusioned patriot and super-spammer, with his greedy hands deep in our federal reserves. It's a setup that defies reason, as does most of the film's raison d'etre -- one exploding, crashing, fist-pumping stunt after another (car vs. elevator, car vs. helicopter, fighter jet vs. freeway, McClane vs. everything). Despite post-9/11 hand-wringing, apparently not much has changed in the world of entertainment: Terrorists blow shit up; the good guys fight back with more explosions; thousands die, buildings crumble, planes crash -- and we cheer the whole bloodless spectacle, as if one wisecracking hardass cowboy-cop can keep us safe. 

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