Die Hard Quadrilogy review (Blu-ray)

Way, way back at the dawn of time – well, 1985 – there came a funny little TV show called Moonlighting. And this TV show starred a young, then-unknown actor named Bruce Willis. And the TV show was good, and became popular with viewers and critics alike. Then, in 1988, came young Mr Willis's first big-screen outing, a little action flick called Die Hard. And it too was good, and was also well liked by viewers and critics. And thus was a franchise born – the first four parts of which are now available in this Blu-ray box set ...

Die Hard (1988)
Ah, the original and easily the best. The film that sent Willis's star (and box-office mojo) soaring. The film that upped the action film stakes. The film that elevated creative uses of the word "fuck" to new heights, and thus was also born a catchphrase: yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker. New York cop John McClane (Willis) is visiting his estranged wife in LA when a gang of terrorists takes over their office building during the staff Christmas party ... and only McClane can stop them. So begins a cat-and-mouse game between the terrorists and the police, with McClane caught in the middle. here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in hereText to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in hereText to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in hereText to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in hereText to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in hereText to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to

Die Hard 4.0 (2007)
With a yippee-ki-yay motherfudger, super-grumpy supercop John McClane is back ... looking older, balder and so much worse for wear. Oh, and with a cleaner mouth. This time the villain is Thomas Gabriel (Olyphant), who was once a top systems designer for the US government. Now he's a disgruntled ex-employee, pissed off that his former bosses ignored his warnings about the post 9/11 dangers. So he decides to teach them a lesson, and make a lot of money at the same time. He wants to show the US how easy it is for terrorists to hack into the computer systems that run the country by, er, becoming a terrorist and hacking into the computer systems that run the country. Long story short: New York City detective McClane gets involved when he has to escort uber-hacker Matt Farrell (Long) to the FBI in Washington. Cue lots of extreme stunts involving cars, trucks, helicopters, lift shafts and, eventually, an F-16 fighter plane. The stunts are big, loud and impressive – and real, which is a nice change from this CGI-overdosed world we now live in. The humour is there, too, as is the world weariness we know so well. After an appalling amount of destruction and a pretty big (but fairly bloodless) body count, the good guys win, the bad guys get their comeuppance and we just KNOW there will be a Die Hard 5. Director Wiseman understands the action genre and keeps things moving at a fair pace. It's all good, clean fun – and that's the biggest problem. Why couldn't this Blu-ray release have given the UK the expletive-filled unrated version that the US got? A fuck-free Die Hard just isn't the same.

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EXTRAS ★★★★★½ Text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in hereText to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in hereText to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here text to go in here

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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