The action film Die Hard got the typical Hollywood treatment that every successful new IP seems to get. It’s been going on for far too long, and it will seemingly go on forever. Of course, the sequel to Die Hard was severely underwhelming, Die Hard 2 not only lacked the individuality of the original film but it also lacked the claustrophobic tension and fear-inducing intensity factors that made the original so good. It did well at box offices though, which is why a third film was released 5 years after the second one came out. They took their time, made up their minds, and realized they wanted to do this, and what did we get? Well, let’s see!
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The Movie Review
Since developing a serious drinking problem, John has essentially lost everything and is no longer at the base level in life. He has a nasty hangover one morning, and things become worse when he receives a threat from an unidentified villain to display an inflammatory poster in the midst of a ghetto in the city. Just as he is going to get brutally murdered by an angry mob, Zeus, a shop owner manages to save him, but he ends up getting involved in the mess. Simon Gruber, Hans Gruber’s brother, ends up being the villain. Now, Gruber is ready to do all of his brother’s alleged transgressions and will therefore get the money. However, John will make sure that he discredits the Gruber name.
Of course, after the near copy-paste of the first film with Die Hard 2, the studio decided to make some changes. John McTiernan was brought back to direct, and that in itself was a SIGNIFICANT upgrade to Die Hard 2. Die Hard with a Vengeance doesn’t force McClane into a situation, in fact, he makes a decisive decision to take control of the situation and deal with the villain in a swift and formidable way with the help of Zeus. That makes for a good action film, especially after the development we saw in Die Hard.
Whatever your opinion of Bruce Willis, he truly does succeed in this series of movies, and the part of John McClane – the all-action policeman – is ideal for him. He faces off against the consistently brilliant Jeremy Irons, who can portray a nasty guy like few others. Meanwhile, his partner this time is the master of the action movie, Samuel L. Jackson, who plays the owner of an electrical store. Jeremy Irons is such a huge upgrade over the villain in the previous film, especially because he TRULY feels threatening to the very core and has his own personality to him. Sam L. Jackson is a great addition to the franchise, and he fills the role of the regular guy caught up in big action for this film.
Explosions fully cover the lack of any script that is even remotely passable, but what else would you expect? The shots throughout the entire movie are breathtaking, especially those that are filming the action. The action is phenomenal, and it is definitely much more controlled than in Die Hard 2. This film takes its time to build up to the action scenes, and McTiernan shows his prowess in executing different types of action.
The music is just as underwhelming as the sequel though. It seems that the Die Hard franchise just wants to keep reusing the same soundtrack from the original Die Hard film. It’s an almost 10-year-old soundtrack for Die Hard with a Vengeance, but it’s bringing it back on the loop again and again. They might be trying to bank on the nostalgia factor, but I don’t think people can care that much when something is repeated that aggressively.
The majority of this film is a lot of fun, with a rapid pace and tons of action that ensures the 128 minutes fly quickly despite the fact that there is a lot to criticize. Even though the second half suffers from a decline in quality, it is still a more than enjoyable action film from the 1990s. Die Hard with a Vengeance is a solid upgrade over Die Hard 2, despite being not even half as good as the original.
- The faster pace makes it more enjoyable
- The characters are much better than the previous film, acted much better too
- There’s a lot more emphasis on well-done action, and the phenomenal camerawork adds to it
- The music is quite underwhelming to be honest
- The overall script is lacking, the dialogue is not as good as the original film