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Continued: The film franchise that won't die

  • Article by: BARBARA VANCHERI , Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Last update: February 15, 2013 - 1:09 PM

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.





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