Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)

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7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Changes the direction of the Die Hard films

Some cheesy effects, dull points

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Die Hard:  With a Vengeance

Studio:  Cinergi Pictures

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Comedy

Release Date(s):  May 19, 1995 (US)/August 18, 1995 (UK)

MPAA Rating:  R

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I meant to say Nigerians?

John McClane (Bruce Willis) is at it again.  When a terrorist calling himself Simon (Jeremy Irons) begins threatening to blow up locations around New York City, he demands John McClane follow his orders or more bombs will explode.  After a dangerous assignment in Harlem, John finds himself teamed with a angry man named Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson) and forced to do outrageous stunts around the city.  Simon has a plan, and he has he has a particular grudge against John that he wants to settle…but don’t underestimate John McClane.

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I’ll destroy you, John McClane

Directed by John McTiernan, Die Hard:  With a Vengeance is the third film in the Die Hard series.  Following Die Hard 2:  Die Harder in 1990, Die Hard:  With a Vengeance was based on the story Simon Says which was originally planned for a Brandon Lee movie.  The movie was a massive financial success but was met with mixed reviews.

Die Hard:  With a Vengeance was a change to the Die Hard franchise.  Die Hard 2 was almost a remake of Die Hard, and simply remaking Die Hard again wasn’t a good idea (an early plan was to use the script eventually used for Speed 2:  Cruise Control).  Though Die Hard:  With a Vengeance has its problems, it was, at points, a fun change to the series.

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Yippee Ki-Yay, mother-f*@!er!!!

Die Hard:  With a Vengeance is clever when it comes to its story, but it goes on way too long.  I was glad to see a change, but I do get a bit tired part of the way through the movie.  The story plays like the segment of Dirty Harry where Scorpio has him running all over San Francisco.  It works at this point, but the movie gets bogged down during the real plans of Simon and his men.  I do like how the movie makes McClane an actual police officer for once…he’s not working solo.

Bruce Willis continues to excel as John McClane.  Willis is the main reason to watch the films, but he’s joined by Samuel L. Jackson who provides a nice balance to him (it was originally pitched to Laurence Fishburn).  Jeremy Irons is always hypnotic on screen, and he does play a good villain…the role was originally planned for David Thewlis but Thewlis had to drop out.  I do like Sam Phillips as Simon’s heavy Katya…though she isn’t used enough.

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When I hated white people, I didn’t end up tied to a bomb, McClane…

The movie just doesn’t visually hold the weight of the other two films.  Die Hard had very little special effects.  The explosions were real and movie feels real.  Here, there are a number of sequences that are hurt by bad digital effects and poor planning.  Scenes like the water flooding the tunnels (which makes you believe that Bruce Willis is strong enough to fight the waves but a loaded dump truck cannot) and Zeus and McClane’s ship fall just look cheesy.

Die Hard:  With a Vengeance is a fun, but dumb movie in a series which had a fun and smart start.  You can watch Die Hard as a good escape, popcorn movie, but it is very problematic.  The movie is somewhat original, but the rather long movie drags at points.  Die Hard:  With a Vengeance was followed by Live Free or Die Hard in 2007.

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Related Links:

Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard 2:  Die Harder (1990)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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