Security goes to the movies: Live Free or Die Hard

In which qualified reviewers look at the film, and nerds look at the tech details

"Hi, I'm a Mac." "And I'm John McClane, mother-"

[And I'm a Computerworld security editor with a tendency to nitpick. I asked the staff's resident film buff, associate editor Ken Gagne, to let me know what he thinks of the new Die Hard movie -- partly to figure out if Bruce Willis is getting my $11, partly to figure out if my head will explode from sheer fury when I see this film. (You remember Firewall, right? We don't need a repeat of that mess. On the other hand, a person can't just stay indoors rerunning Sneakers, either.) Let's see what Ken had to say about the movie, shall we? And remember -- if you let me get the wisecracks out of the way here, you won't have to listen to me in the theater itself. -- Angela Gunn, security channel editor.]

Opening just a week shy of Independence Day, Live Free or Die Hard (take that, New Hampshire!) follows the familiar formula of John McClane (Bruce Willis) being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He wisely adopts a sidekick (Justin Long -- the cool, hip avatar of the Macintosh in Apple Inc.'s commercials), who returns McClane's confidence by supplying vital information needed to rescue a family member, beat the bad guys and save the day. The minor distinction in this 21st century update is that the villains aren't just terrorists -- they're Internet terrorists! McClane can hardly figure out how to turn his cell phone on; can he rise to the challenge and save not Nakatomi Plaza, not New York City, but all of America? (Duh. Of course.)

The terrorists' assault du jour is a "firesale," defined in the movie by Long's character as "a three-step, systematic attack of the country's infrastructure." [Gunn here: Attack on the infrastructure, or just on the language? What is the Hollywood obsession with using the word fire in a crowded computer lab?]

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