Die Hard week continues as we anticipate the opening of A Good Day to Die Hard on Thursday, after which we’ll have to incorporate “yippee ki yay mother Russia” into the pop culture lexicon. Today, we’re taking a look at Die Hard with a Vengeance, which I assume everyone has seen at this point, so this is more of a Die Hard with a Vengeance points of interest post rather than a full movie review, but I do ramble on for a while.
After having that title issue with Die Hard 2 being known as Die Hard 2, Die Harder, or Die Hard 2: Die Harder, they decided to give up on the numbers all together and just call this one Die Hard with a Vengeance, which sounds silly to me, but this movie rocks and is my favorite in the series.
Die Hard with a Vengeance marks the end of film series propelling an actor playing a cop in the movie into getting a similar acting job on a TV show. I would have watched Major Case Unit starring Inspector Walter Cobb, but that’s just me. “McClane is a toilet bug” – brilliant line reading by Larry Bryggman!
Unlike the first Die Hard and the sequel, this flick does not takes place at Christmas time, and I have to say, it’s a relief. This movie deviates from the formula in a good way – the location isn’t as static (the building, the airport), it’s not Christmas, McClane has a fish out of water partner, there are tons of vivid characters (like Jerry the truck driver!) and interesting locations (the bank, the park, Yankee Stadium – all of these places have unique looks) and we finally get a legitimate car chase in a Die Hard movie – and it’s not even a car chase, so it’s unique! They’re just rushing from point A to B…
Right, the car chase! There is la ton of great car actin in this movie, but the rush to Wall Street is my favorite, and that’s one of those scenes in this movie that makes me feel like the movie is real in a way that no Die Hard movie has done before. Everybody they encounter just seems like a real person – even if you only see them for a split second. There’s the cab driver (“Hey, what the fuck you doing with my cab?!?”), the guy who owns the market (“Hey! I remember you!”) and the kid who robs it (“It’s Christmas time! You could steal city hall!”), the woman on the street (“Well, I never!”) and of course, I already mentioned Jerry the truck driver. The movie also doesn’t necessarily glorify McClane’s job – he’s down on his luck, suspended, hung over, and by the time we get to the climatic confrontation on the boat, he’s completely covered in his own blood, which seems to be actively flowing. Also, one of his fellow police officers is killed – a reminder of the perils of real police work, and he’s a character we like, so when McClane finds him dead, it’s as tough on the audience as it is him. It’s just a well made movie all around – and it should be mentioned that this flick and the first one were directed by John McTiernan, and it shows.
Oh, and DHwaV gives us perhaps the most bizarre alternate ending of all time.
Die Hard with a Vengeance just does it for me for all of the reasons I listed above and I didn’t even mention Samuel Jackson in one of his most quotable roles – not to mention Jeremy Irons. I give Die Hard with a Vengeance a 9.5 out of 10. It’s one of the best action movies of all time and although I haven’t seen A Good Day to Die Hard yet, after I do so I’m betting I’m still going to be saying that they should have stopped with this one.