June 27, 2007, - 9:54 am
By Debbie Schlussel
I went to last night’s screening of Bruce Willis’ “Live Free or Die Hard” expecting to hate it. And I was pleasantly–shockingly–surprised. I loved this movie (which hits theaters, today).
It’s hard to believe this is the third sequel to 1988’s “Die Hard”. The movie is the best movie of the summer, so far, and it makes my Top Ten movies of the year at this point, half way through 2007. I loved it. It’s pure non-stop action, filled with excellent special effects, great lines, lots of humor, and a very viable terrorist threat that can very easily be perpetrated on America, thanks to the do-nothing Departments of Homeland Security and Energy and the FBI. And it’s patriotic and enlightening.
This is what summer action thrillers are supposed to be about. And this is a great prelude to the Fourth of July. The audience clapped at the end, and when you see it, you’ll no why. A great return to the Hollywood action thriller. I expect I’ll only like “Rescue Dawn” as much as this one.
This time, Bruce Willis’ NYPD Detective John McClane teams up with Keanu Reeves lookalike Justin Long, a hacker who helps Willis stop cyber-terrorist Timothy Olyphant, who plays a former high-ranking government cyber-security official, who was ruined by the federal government, after he exposed and complained about holes in America’s national security post-9/11. (I personally know people who’ve complained about similar security post-9/11 and have had their reputations pillaged by the feds, so that’s legit.)
Olyphant conducts a “fire sale”–where the entire country, all of its infrastructure, is systematically attacked taken off the grid: All computer, electricity, and everything that operates on a cyber basis is taken out of commission. That means traffic lights, utilities, everything is undone. And the whole country is put into chaos. It’s called a fire sale because “everything must go.”
And as in real-life–where then-Bush Energy Secretary and Pan-Islamist Arabist Spencer Abraham did nothing after the Blackout of 2003 to ensure it doesn’t happen again (and he’s now a high-paid lobbyist for Islamist states)–America remains vulnerable to attack.
A “fire sale” attack could definitely be perpetrated upon America in real life. As we know from testimony in the past week, there have been 800 hacking attacks into Homeland Security computers at the highest levels. What has Michael Chertoff done about it? Nada. Zippo. Osama Bin Laden took credit for the 2003 Blackout, and even if he wasn’t responsible, it’s very conceivable a cyber-terrorist attack on a fire-sale scale could certainly happen. Islamofascists are very tech savvy, even as they hate the Westerners who created it.
As readers know, I’ve been down on Willis for a number of reasons and down on this movie because its cyberterrorists are not Muslim. I remain steadfast in that reservation and note that this movie would have been even more fabulous if they were. The identity and motivations of the terrorists in this one are harder to buy into. And, yes, some of the death-defying scenes in the movie are too incredible to be believed, especially with 52-year-old Willis (though he’s in better shape than many 40-year-olds).
Still, it’s a great movie. And I recommend it highly. Guys, you will love this. It’s a man’s man’s man’s movie in the tradition of some of the great action thrillers of the 1980’s and early ’90s with much updated technology. Think “Enemy of the State” mixed with “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” It’s not for young kids though. This one is very bloody and violent and lots of people are killed, though usually they are bad guys knocked off by the good guys.
Another bonus: This movie shows how incompetent the FBI, DHS, and NSA are when it comes to cybersecurity. Aside from the Congressional testimony about DHS hackers and the repeated FBI loss of computers containing classified info, we know that in many of the important terrorist cases, NYPD officials–like John McClane–have stopped attacks (like an NYC bombing plot during the 2004 Republican National Convention), where the FBI has been impotent.
This isn’t a spoiler, but I loved it at the end of the movie when the FBI agents finally show up and rappel down from helicopters, after John McClane and his allies have already saved the day and themselves from impending death. America knows this ain’t fiction, as evidenced by the audience (with whom I saw this flick), who booed the FBI agents.
“Would you go home, FBI?! You’re too late. Too late.” That’s what a moviegoer behind me shouted to lots of applause. If only that were strictly fiction and not–as it is far too many times–fact.
Just ask Special Agent Harry Samit (see here also).
Go see this. You’ll thank me.
Tags: 4th of July, America, Bruce Willis, Bruce Willis' NYPD Detective, Debbie Schlussel, detective, Die Hard, electricity, Energy Secretary, Federal Bureau of Investigation, federal government, Harry Samit, high-paid lobbyist, John McClane, Justin Long, Keanu Reeves, Live Free or Die Hard, Michael Chertoff, much updated technology, NYPD Detective, official, Osama bin Laden, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Special Agent, Spencer Abraham, stop cyber-terrorist, Timothy Olyphant