Let it be known that the Die Hard franchise are my favorite action movies of ALL-TIME. I have been a fan of them ever since I first saw Bruce Willis‘, John McClane, brown the heck out of a wife-beater. The name is completely ridiculous, but what wasn’t in the 80’s? You had a werewolf playing basketball for Odin’s sake! So, this review of the films will be more biased on my love for the films in their own separate ways and what they mean to me. If you haven’t seen the movies, well you can stop reading right now and go watch them! For the rest of you, let’s take a little journey together shall we?
I was there for the Die Hard Marathon last week, so all the films are fresh in my head from that amazing experience. Surprisingly, the 12 hours went by really fast and I had an amazing time. Albeit for 93 minutes at the end of the night; but more on that at the end…
What can I say about this film really? It’s one of the best films in cinematic history. It’s a comedy, it’s an action film, and the movie that I have to watch every Christmas. From the moment you see the ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’ you know that John McClane is a different type of hero. He is man that everyone can relate to. He doesn’t pull any punches and will stop the bad guys with a sense of humor, without even a pair of shoes on.
Alan Rickman plays the most perfect villain as well. I couldn’t help but picture him as Professor Snape; but he’s still deliciously evil. He weaves an elaborate heist that would have been perfect, if only John McClane hadn’t been there. Die Hard will always be my favorite action movie of all time. It never gets old to me, no matter how many times I can’t fathom how a wife-beater could get so disgusting in such a short amount of time.
Die Hard 2: Die Harder
You know, it’s a Renny Harlin movie from the 90’s. They tried too hard to pull the “classic” sequel cliches. “How does this keep happening to me!?” You could almost have a drinking game to how many times you hear that line. I don’t mind the action in the film, it’s really not too bad. The problem, is that the movie is just downright cheesy. Dennis Franz’s police officer was a horrible joke the entire movie; but I love William Sadler and enjoyed his bad guy. I can laugh at it, but it’s not anywhere near the original.
Die Hard With a Vengeance
Arguably the best film of the series. The plot is so incredibly intricate, adding Samuel L. Jackson as Bruce Willis’ side-kick, and the twist of Jeremy Iron’s character being Hans Grubers brother are all recipes for making a PERFECT action film. The only reason this film is not my favorite Die Hard is because I have such a soft spot for the original; but if you were to tell me that you liked Vengeance more, I wouldn’t argue with you.
The score is terrific in the film and the action is out of control. Watch the making-of and see how the subway scene was shot, incredible. It’s funny, because when I was watching Skyfall, they had a very similar subway crash and I couldn’t help but think of Vengeance. You could that Mende’s must have drew some inspiration from the scene.
Live Free or Die Hard
12 years after Vengeance, we get Len Wiseman’s, Live Free or Die Hard. A lot of critics hated the name, Die Hard itself is a dumb name, so who cares? People complained about it being PG-13. Ok, that’s a little understandable; but then John McClane blows up a helicopter with A FREAKING CAR. Say what you want of the film, but Wiseman knows how to direct an action movie. Is Justin Long a lame side-kick compared to Samuel L. Jackson? Well yeah, but I like Long so I don’t really care.
If I had to complain about anything, it would be Timothy Olyphant’s, Thomas Gabriel. Notice how I didn’t say anything against Olyphant himself, I think that guy is a great actor and enjoy all of his movies/television shows. I just think the idea of a computer hacker is super lame. It bothers me a lot more in Tomorrow Never Dies, but just the idea of a person who can control all these computers to steal takes all the excitment out of robbing. They almost have god-like power and it takes me out of the film. Overall though, the film’s action is out-of-control and John McClane was still a badass.
A Good Day to Die Hard
I had fully planned to just do a full-on review of A Good Day to Die Hard, but honestly, it’s not really worth my time. It was as if they didn’t even watch any of the other films and just happened to have Bruce Willis playing a character named John McClane. The plot was ridiculous and confusing and the action was OK, when there was action at all. Jai Courtney isn’t a bad actor, but like Willis, he was put in a movie that didn’t give him a chance to show off any talents he could possess. I had a hard time watching the film because I had been sitting in a theatre for 10 hours on such a McClane high. My expectations for the film were great and I was sorely disappointed. I won’t own it and I’m OK with never seeing it again. Tis a shame that they will probably go out with AGDTDH as the last of the films.
The Die Hards will always remain as the best action movies I’ve seen. The humor, the action, and the Willis are mostly always top notch. (Save the 2nd and 5th entries). Watching the marathon was an amazing experience, especially to see the older films on the big screen for the first time; and all it did was make me love them more.