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Bonus points: Jeremy Irons, on the heels of “The Lion King” and “Reversal of Fortune,” is the chief bad guy, and Samuel L. Jackson is a Harlem shopkeeper who helps McClane.
Bottom line: $100 million domestic gross and another $264.5 million international gross.
“LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD” (2007)
What we said: “Yippee-ki-yay. Unlike its R-rated predecessors, ‘Live Free or Die Hard’ is PG-13, but it’s still as violent as the 1988 movie that introduced John McClane as a cop with a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“In fact, it’s probably more violent, with a higher body count and a terrorist plot designed to drive a stake through all that Americans hold dear.”
Villain Timothy Olyphant isn’t as deliciously devilish as his predecessors, the wisecracks are thinner and the movie falls into a series of stunts and chases, I wrote in my review.
Bonus points: The plot, in which sophisticated hackers mess with transportation, the airwaves, Wall Street, utilities and cellphones, was timely in post-9/ 11 and Katrina times. At 52, Willis may have lost his hair but not his ability to convincingly play an action hero.
Bottom line: $134.5 million, domestic, another $249 million international gross.