I'll give Len Wiseman credit for this...he directed a helluva first 40 minutes. I really enjoyed Live Free or Die Hard (LFoDH) through its reintroduction of McClane and to Justin Long's character. The first shootout at Long's apartment was really quite nice.
The movie basically went off the rails though when McClane drives an SUV from a parking garage somehow into the 4th floor control room of a power plant. I was willing to forgive all the techno-babble that allowed the Long's hacker character to maintain communications through a variety of means but the van thing was ludicrous. The following hanging truck scene was also unnecessary...and after thinking about it I realized it was done better by Spielberg in Jurassic Park 2.
After the aforementioned sequence, LFoDH stopped being a Die Hard movie and became Wiseman's exercise in blowing shit up. Granted he did it well, but having John McClane fight an F-35 jet is stupid, and that entire sequence with the jet looked like it had almost been lifted from True Lies.
I know I am not the only one who has thought this, but the main problem with the way the script handles the action is that it treats McClane like a superhero. He falls long distances and gets up with a slight limp, he fights jets and wins, etc. That is not Die Hard, or at least why we all loved the first one. Granted, the series got more and more cartoony as it progressed, but was always grounded in some sense of realism, which was totally lacking in the 4th installment.
Although, it seems like it has been so long since the first Die Hard came out, and a decade since the third film people probably don't even remember why they liked the first 3. All that is remembered is that John McClane is a bad ass and "Yippie Ki Yay Motherfucker!" or the various cable tv edits of the famous line.
With that said, this Pg-13 installment definitely felt like an R-rated movie. I did kind of feel that it would have been better if McClane used more F-bombs to describe the terrorists rather than "jerk off", which he used too much. If you actually sit down and rewatch "Die Hard" unedited, you might actually have forgotten how much great cursing there was in that film.
Anyway, overall if I had to rate it, I would give it a 6. Much better than I thought it ever could be, but a big knock on it forgetting why the first movie is so revered.