Die Hard: With a Vengeance
Reviewed by Russell Lutz
Rating: 4 Beans
he first "Die Hard" was a classic. It still may be my favorite film, believe it or not.
"Die Hard 2: Die Harder" was not perfect, but a worthy sequel in my book. A great film.
And then there's "Die Hard with a Vengeance". John McTiernan (the director of the original, as well as "Predator" and "The Hunt for Red October") just wasn't able to capture the magic of the original.
Don't get me wrong. This film has merit. The dark look at John McClane in the throes of separated depression was pretty good. A nifty gimmick for the theft of a zillion dollars worth of gold was fun. The explanation that Simon (Jeremy Irons) was the brother of Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) from the original film gave me chills. And I really liked the tight little firefight in the elevator.
But so many things didn't work: Simon requiring Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson) to help McClane was ridiculous. (Why would he want him to have help?) Watching McClane ride a dump truck down a flooded sewer, and then shoot out of a manhole at precisely the instant Zeus is driving by made me cringe. And, for goodness sake, even the Bond films don't strap the hero to a giant bomb and have the villain walk off anymore. If "Austin Powers" can parody it, it shouldn't be in a serious film.
To top off all of this, the ending is choppy, confused, tacked on, and pointless. I have heard that the original ending of the film didn't test well, and it was reshot. I can't imagine the original was worse.
All in all, 4 Beans for a film that was better than average for an actioner, but pathetic compared to the previous films in the series.
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