So this third, and for twelve years, the final installment of the Die Hard series.
Die Hard With a Vengeance to me kinda really highlights one of the key changes in the series. In each film the scenario gets bigger and bigger. Initially it was one building, than an airport, and now a city. The fourth film expands even more and what I know of the fifth film to come takes place outside of the USA.
Again, the third film is sort of a rehashing of the basics set up from the previous films. John McClane is now back in New York, his personal life is still screwy, and terrorists decide to strike yet again, though this time they actually want him involved.
While the set up may not be new, I felt like there was at least an attempt to change things up with by working on the story more. The story kidna doesn’t. It just muddles things even more by getting lost in it’s own twists and turns. That and it just gets old after a while. The simpler story-lines from the pervious films worked because they were simple. I feel like they wanted to make this a bit more of a thriller.
The action in this film is better than the others. It’s at lest on par with the first. Since they have full reign of New York City, the explosions can be bigger and they are. Even the smaller action sequences still kick ass and I felt like there were more action scenes in this installment.
The only returning character in this film is John McClane. Technically Holly makes a cameo via phone, but I don’t count that. I also don’t count the brief flashback scene of Hans Grubber taken from the first film. Still, Bruce Willis is the same. I don’t think anything changed since he still did a great job with the character. I felt like the humor returned in this film though. I attribute that to the inclusion of Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson). Zeus and McClane are a great pairing. They’re both stubborn smart asses so it works really well. that and Willis and Jackson are great, especially Jackson. He really steals the scenes. I actually think the sort of buddy cop set up that they fit in this film helped with the humor and made it easier to stick with the whole time. It added something new to the mix since it wasn’t the John McClane show. Jeremy Irons plays Simon, whose also Hans’s brother. He’s great, though they could have let him keep his original accent. I think it’s kinda funny that Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons played brothers in this franchise. I read somewhere that they were determined to have the most pleasant/sexiest voices. Anyways, Irons is great. Does a good villain, even if they just use him as voice work for half the film.
The third installment seems like it’s trying to make some changes, but doesn’t really seem to pull it off. Still, most people seem to prefer it over Die Hard 2 and even with its slow spots, the movie keeps moving pretty fast till you near the end. Again, worth the watch for fans of the other films.
Oh, and I guess by now I should bring this up. I don’t see any problem with watching these movies out-of-order. I don’t know why you would, but it’s not like the stories are intricately connected. You miss some of the background character development given to McClane (which isn’t much) and you miss out on a few jokes, but it’s fine.
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