Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)
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This is the best of the Die Hard sequels in my opinion. Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson work really well together here. The last 20 minutes or so let the film down though, otherwise it would be quite close to being as good as the first.
What begins as a surprisingly great cat-and-mouse style action film with heated and intense sequences derails soon after the plot reveals its hidden intrigues. The first half is an action film on par with the original Die Hard, but the second half is unnecessarily complex and kills the good-will built by the first half. The film also suffers a few poor editing choices that make the film as if it has skipped over important details simply to save time in re-uniting scattered plot threads. Jeremy Irons is nonetheless excellent as the villain.
Die Hard with a Vengeance has director John McTiernan return to the franchise, but it's painfully obvious this was (famously) a generic action script adapted to fit Die Hard's purposes, even if they do make it about Hans Grueber's ghost (so to speak). But by making New York the setting, the claustrophobic "Die Hard" ingredient is gone, and gives way to chase scenes, Riddler-ish puzzles, and things blowing up. It really IS like any other action flick, no matter the plot's Grueberish turns, and no matter how well those are filmed, edited, etc. Plus, the setting might make one queasy today given 9/11 (the World Trade Center's first bomb incident is even mentioned), but regardless, the film is too long by at least a half hour, and hinges on a LOT of coincidences. And you know what? I don't think I like the racially-motivated banter between MacLane and up-and-comer Samuel L. Jackson's Zeus either. Feels trite. I don't mean to make it sound like a total disaster, it's just that it tires you out by the time you get to the boat and then tediously keeps going.
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In 4 official lists
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This movie ranks #47 in Empire's The Greatest Movie Sequels
This movie ranks #102 in Marshall Julius's Action! The Action Movie A-Z
This movie ranks #362 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Worldwide Box Office
This movie ranks #523 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Adjusted Box Office