Die Hard 4 was way too over the top, McClane was way too tired and phoned in, the villain was a joke, the hacker was annoying, it lacked all the irony and charme of the previous three movies, it lacked Michael Kamen's score (stop saying "But Beltrami used his themes!", Beltrami's score was utterly generic and bland and lightyears behind anything that Kamen would have phoned
in had he still been alive. It would have been better to reuse already recorded pieces from the three movies (I believe they did that a lot in Die Hard 3 already anyway)).
It was like with the hair and the vest everything else was gone, too. They had the July 4th setting, and didn't use it. I'm absolutely certain
that Michael Kamen would have based his score on the 1812 Overture. And that he would have underscored the French parcours stunt guy with pieces of the French national anthem. No self references, no irony. No even a christmas reference. Even Die Hard 3 had one!
And Willis' performance was so bland. The Bruce Willis from the 80s and early 90s was a completely different one than the guy after The 6th Sense. Even in the Mercury Puzzle he was more of a John McClane type of guy than he was in Die Hard 4. Now he likes to play the rather silent and cool types, with a low voice. But McClane has always been loud, impulsive, ironic, sarcastic.
And then the stupid hacking shit. Open the tunnel gates, put out the lights, and everybody's going to crash. Kill the hacker by putting explosives into his computer, and upload a virus that will make him push the delete key. Or let's explode an entire power plant with a few online commands. OH FOR GOD'S SAKE!
And then we had this wonderful scene in Die Hard 3 where they break into a cheap old car with a gold bar, and McClane asks: "can you hotwire this thing?" and Jackson simply starts the engine and says "Of course I can, but it takes too fucking long", and bam, next scene.
And in Die Hard 4 that very stupid scene with the BMW and the onStar system, which was completely unneccessary, awkward and destroyed the pacing. Followed by a very awkward moment where McClane has to explain why he does what he does. When a character has to explain himself to the audience, you know that something went wrong. That's the job of the movie critic to analyse the actions of the character.
And then visually and auditorily, it didn't fit into the other three movies at all. That horrible orange & teal color timing. The bland soundtrack.
And as others have said, John McTiernan would have been able to direct the same scenes into something way more powerful and exciting.
Oh my. In short, I was extremely disappointed.
And now the premise has really outlived its usefulness. McClane is a totally cartoon character by now. People complain about the self referential Die Hard 2, but they don't complain when he gets accidently into a terrorist plot the FIFTH FUCKING TIME?