New Live Free Trailer Dies Hard

Attention, geeks: There's a new Live Free or Die Hard trailer.

And it's to die for.

Now, I discovered the existence of this trailer via /film, which pointed out on Wednesday that Nikki Finke is claiming that she's been told that this trailer "has tested higher than the trailers for any action movie in Fox history." As cool as the new trailer is, though, I'm with Nikki, and with /film: that's kinda hard to believe, and sounds like a whole lotta studio propaganda BS hoping to psych us all up for the flick.

As if that were necessary. It's Die Hard. It's Bruce Willis. The cool is built in. The new trailer -- available on the film's official site and also on Yahoo! Movies -- is overloaded with stuff exploding and neat stunts we haven't seen before, like a car crashing into a helicopter in midair and a car crashing down on other cars from midair. It features the all-important John McClane brand of humor, which minimizes and even undercuts the action in the way that only Bruce Willis can deliver and which simultaneously adds a paradoxical feeling of reality to McClane: he's a superman who feels like a regular guy.

Other things to be hopeful about: Timothy Olyphant as the villain; if anyone can approach the all-around excellent of Alan Rickman's original Die Hard baddie, it's this wildly underappreciated actor. (Granted, there's no sense of his character in the trailer, but that's to be expected.) And I know lots of people find Justin Long annoying, but I really like him. He was delightfully off-kilter in last year's Accepted, and it looks like he'll be a good match to Willis as McClane's sidekick here, bringing a touch of vulnerability and a snarky-shocked reaction to all the insanity. Long will be the audience's stand-in, and I think he'll be a good one.

My one concern? Part of what made Die Hard and Die Hard with a Vengeance so thrilling was the feeling of claustrophobia they created; the first film was contained within a single building, and the third managed to make the gridlocked streets of Manhattan feel uncomfortably confining. Part of why Die Hard 2 is the least successful of the trilogy is that it lacks that sense of confinement, though it tries for it ... and now it looks like Live Free is so geographically wide-ranging that this element has been entirely abandoned.

I'm reserving judgment, of course. But I hope I don't hear myself saying "Yippie-kai-no" later this summer.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

MaryAnn Johanson

reviews, reviews, reviews! at FlickFilosopher.com