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Die Hard With A Vengeance is not only a great movie, it is arguably the best masterpiece sequel of all time!
ivo-cobra815 October 2015
Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995) is the third film in the popular Die Hard franchise, which re teamed Bruce Willis with John McTiernan, the director of the first film. It is my second favorite Die Hard film in the franchise. It feel's fast paced, more realistic and more action movie to me. It is not boring or slow, I love the characters: John McClane, Zeus Carver, Simon Gruber, Joe Lambert, Connie Kowalski, Charlie Weiss, Katya and Mathias Targo. No CGI real action sequences, real explosions, real stunt performances. McClane fires a power line, severing it in to the helicopter blowing up the chopper to pieces amazing my personal favorite scene. I love this movie to death, this is my movie and it is my personal favorite action film.

Die Hard With A Vengeance (1995) is a near-perfect summer movie. It is one of my personal favorite action movies. It is so good as the first one, I couldn't decide which one I love to Death: Die Hard or Die Hard With a Vengeance. I love this movie to death it is my number 1 favorite action film in Die Hard series and action films. I love the original Die Hard to death but I love this sequel much more. That's my personal opinion. This franchise effort is a gleeful no-brainer with nonstop action. Die Hard With A Vengeance I really do believe is the greatest action sequel and a true masterpiece to the first movie. It gives some additional action pleasure, as we get to watch action heroes Bruce Willis get smacked around for 128 minutes.

In this third outing with John McClane, we are faced with yet another mad bomber on the loose. Jeremy Irons plays Simon, an East German Special Forces Colonel-turned-terrorist mastermind and the older brother of Hans Gruber, who has a score to settle with Detective McClane. Simon's bombing game comes complete with crafty riddles, which must be solved in a specified time or everything goes boom. McClane has no choice but to play. Along the way, he picks up an unlikely accomplice named Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson), a Harlem shopkeeper. Together they tear all over New York trying to head off disaster. Sure, it's all perfectly preposterous, but DIE HARD 3 has been directed with breathless intensity by John McTiernan, who certainly has a way with wrecking things. Was he very destructive as a child? Loved the spectacular subway crash, John. That hair-raising taxi ride through Central Park wasn't bad, either. I love the fact that they are saving kids from school. Charlie try's to disabled the bomb in school while Kowalski and Lambert are saving those kids stuck in the building I love that scene. McClane and Carver are desperately searching for the code for the bomb to disabled it, I love it to death. Don't forget to fasten your seat belts for this ride. It's often said that McTiernan and Hensleigh simply ignored Die Hard 2, and in terms of direct plot and dialogue references, this may be true, but they still give Die Hard 2 a nod by having an attendant humor--often almost "goofy" humor--in many action scenes. One of the most direct nods occurs with McClane "riding" something of an explosion (of water this time). This is one of the more hilarious scenes of the film.

Die Hard with a Vengeance is a 1995 American action film and the third in the Die Hard film series. It was produced and directed by John McTiernan (who directed Die Hard), written by Jonathan Hensleigh, and stars Bruce Willis as New York City Police Department Lieutenant John McClane, Samuel L. Jackson as McClane's reluctant partner Zeus Carver, and Jeremy Irons as Simon Peter Gruber.

Twenty years ago, after two blockbuster movies and a five-year wait, the "Die Hard" franchise roared back into theaters with the explosive "Die Hard with a Vengeance."

The movie was released on May 19, 1995, and it was an instant classic, thanks to a smart script, exciting plot, and the absolutely stellar chemistry between Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. But not only was "Die Hard with a Vengeance" a great movie, it was also arguably the best of its kind: unstoppable, and untoppable.

Die Hard With A Vengeance was filmed before CGI made it possible to create scenes like this without breaking a single window, this moment is utter, terrifying perfection.How often do you get an action flick where the heroes spend the entire first half of the film solving puzzles to save lives? In a franchise that distinguishes itself with action that toes the line between "creative" and "ridiculous," "Die Hard with a Vengeance" stays on brand, in the best way.

John McClane and a Harlem store owner are targeted by German terrorist Simon Gruber in New York City, where he plans to rob the Federal Reserve Building. 10/10 Score: bad Ass Seal Of Approval my personal second favorite Die Hard action movie.
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This Die Hard is the fastest moving of the trilogy.
Aaron13758 July 2005
I like this one about as much as I like the first one. The first one had a better plot and was more tense, but this one moves at a very fast rate and it seems like it is over before it begins. A vast improvement over part two, this movie once again finds McClane in the middle of an emergency situation. This time, unlike part two, though it is very reasonable that he is involved as Irons character is the brother of the lead villain of the first Die Hard. Throw in a very funny Samuel L Jacksoncharacter and you have the makings of a great film action wise andcomedy wise too. This one centers around a mad bomber, threatening to blow up several places including a school if officer McClane does not play the game. McClane must do whatever the bomber says and boy does the bomber do a lot to get our hero down. Great action is a given as our hero desperately must try to find the bombs. Multiple car scenes a cool scene on a boat, and loads and loads of gold thrown in for an exciting ride. Irons is great as the villain, as was Rickman in the first one. Truly this is one fast moving ride that will keep you well entertained throughout.
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The buddy action film has never been better.
Li-116 April 2003
*** 1/2 out of ****

When one thinks of buddy action pictures, Lethal Weapon is immediately the first film to pop into your mind, since it virtually birthed the genre. Another choice would probably be Midnight Run or Rush Hour, the latter of which somehow took pop culture by storm (I recall my friends going around, shouting "My daddy once caught a bullet..."). So often left in the dust, probably because it was the third film of a trilogy and strayed quite a bit from its predecessors, is none other than Die Hard: With a Vengeance which, off the top of my head, is the best buddy action film I've ever seen.

How can this be? Better than Lethal Weapon 1 and 2? Better than Rush Hour? Hell, I'll even say it's better than Die Hard and Die Harder. Here is a film that wisely knows, as a second sequel, not to simply repeat the same material over again. This has partially to do with the numerous Die Hard rip-offs (namely Under Siege and Speed), so those hooks were gone, and I absolutely thank God John Mctiernan and company didn't suddenly decide "we'll do Die Hard on a plane!," which would eventually be done three times (Executive Decision, Air Force One, and Con Air). But what the filmmakers have done here is ingenious, they've widened the setting to include all of New York City.

They do this and still manage to retain the intense claustrophobia that permeated the previous entries, doing so by displaying just how frantic morning traffic is and just how BIG New York is. As nonsensical as that last statement may sound, imagine trying to get from point A to point B in the middle of a traffic jam. Mctiernan really knows how to let the tension ratchet up from just the sound of honking horns.

Then there's the case of John McClane himself. This time around, he's at the whim of a madman named Simon who requires him to perform certain tasks or New York buildings will be demolished by explosives. In the first two films, McClane was an everyman, which added much appeal, but he also acted a bit too much like a superhero to work consistently as an everyman, so what the filmmakers have done here is turn him into a jaded cop. He's seen this stuff before, so he's not as scared as he was before. Willis is great at this role, too, seeing as he's done it before in The Last Boy Scout, but takes it to perfection here.

Rather, who we now have as the everyman is Samuel L. Jackson as Zeus, and he's a brilliant addition. Not only is Jackson simply awesome in his role, he's likeable, tough, and hilarious, but he's also easy to sympathize with because he's not an action hero. He doesn't know how to use a gun, he has no combat training, and he's never had to take on terrorists before. What makes him so effective is his street-wise nature, and this quality of his works perfectly with McClane's own street smarts AND action heroics, which they combine in their day-long adventure. These two have a chemistry that at least equals Riggs and Murtaugh and if there's a Die Hard sequel, Jackson needs to come back.

Too many action movies give us poor villains who aren't menacing, vile, or charismatic enough to make for effective antagonists. Jeremy Irons' Simon Gruber is an exception. He is the best Die Hard villain, oozing charm and snaky intelligence. This was one of the last few roles of Irons' career I could take seriously. He's done what since then, Dungeons and Dragons? Pity how his career has taken such a downward spiral.

And last, there's the story and action. The plot's a lot of fun, with McClane and Zeus having to use both their brains and brawn to save the day. The contrivances in the finale (the scene with the handcuffs, the aspirin bottle) aren't enough to bring the climax down, though it's true the conclusion isn't as exciting as the rest of the film. That's understandable though, since the rest of the action is magnificent, particularly a car "chase" through the streets of New York which is as unstaged as a car chase can possibly look. The film moves at a lightning pace that grips you from the opening scene to the very last. Die Hard: With a Vengeance is an action flick that has it all.
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McTiernan strikes gold (again)
BrandtSponseller19 May 2005
Series note: Although the Die Hard films obviously follow one another chronologically in the film's universe, they are not really constructed as chapters in a novel. You could watch them in any order, but to give the characters more depth, and make better sense of a couple minor references, I would still recommend watching them in order.

In my Die Hard 2 (1990) review, I complained (although apologetically) a bit about the lapses in internal logic. It ended up being somewhat excusable, because I read Die Hard 2 as a satire of the genre as much as a serious action film. With Die Hard 3, John McTiernan is back at the helm, as he was for Die Hard (1988), and the result is once again a more serious action film (containing some comic relief, of course) with very taut internal logic. In fact, Die Hard: With a Vengeance is so well constructed, so well acted and so well directed that I like it just as much, if not better, than Die Hard.

John McClane (Bruce Willis) is once again separated from his wife, and he's once again living and working as a cop in New York City. As the film begins, he is on a temporary suspension for some never-specified infraction (it works better that it isn't specified, as it enables us to imagine all kinds of crazy things that this gruff character might have done). After a bomb explodes at the Bonwit Teller department store, a mysterious person calling himself "Simon" calls the police taking credit and asking to speak with McClane--or he'll detonate further bombs in crowded areas. They rouse McClane from the aftermath of a drunken stupor. He shows up at the police station with a hangover, looking haggard. "Simon" is fond of riddles and makes McClane engage in a bizarre game of "Simon Says". The first task is for McClane to head up to Harlem and stand on a street corner in his skivvies wearing a sandwich board that says only, "I Hate Blacks" (using a more inflammatory epithet than "blacks"). Of course, he almost gets killed, but at the last minute, a reluctant savior in the form of a local shopkeeper, Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson), helps save his butt. Unwittingly, Carver ends up embroiled in the Simon Says games with McClane, with increasingly serious stakes. Just who is Simon? Why is he toying with McClane?

I should note that I was predisposed to like this film. I like Bruce Willis a lot, but I especially love Samuel L. Jackson. The combination of the two here is simply magical. They have remarkable chemistry and the characters that scriptwriter Jonathan Hensleigh has drawn enable both deep tension and hilarious comic moments between the two.

But the film succeeds on more than the charisma of its two principal actors. Die Hard: With a Vengeance has a fantastic, intelligent plot. Hensleigh ties his villain to the story of the first film in a semi-satirical way that gives the motivation for the "Simon Says" games great depth. The Simon Says games manage to be silly, smart, humorous and great catalysts for dramatic tension at the same time. There are subtle jokes about New York City, New York City cops, "reverse racism", European opinions of American intelligence, and so on. And of course, there are many edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting action sequences involving a wide variety of environments in the New York City area. The wide variety of environments was a nice change over the more limited settings of the previous two films, and gives Die Hard: With a Vengeance a feel almost like an adventure film.

It's remarkable that Hensleigh and McTiernan were able to sustain such a high level of excellence throughout. If you look at Die Hard: With a Vengeance from a broader perspective, the whole is constructed something like one of Simon's puzzles. Every scene leads inevitably, logically to the next scene, even though the film takes many "left turns", and the solution of one dilemma to the next often involves split-second timing.

It's often said that McTiernan and Hensleigh simply ignored Die Hard 2, and in terms of direct plot and dialogue references, this may be true, but they still give Die Hard 2 a nod by having an attendant humor--often almost "goofy" humor--in many action scenes. One of the most direct nods occurs with McClane "riding" something of an explosion (of water this time). This is one of the more hilarious scenes of the film.

As for subtexts, they are similar to those of the first Die Hard, with some interesting additions. There is an intriguing parallel between McClane's disheveled state, the typical New York City chaos, and the attempts to further undermine stability from the villain. Focusing on this aspect, Carver provides more of a dependable, even-keeled balance.

There are also direct references to very contemporary political subtexts--with foreigners having in mind that the U.S. has socio-economic power disproportionately in its favor. They claim to want to redress the imbalance, although in this film, at least, the claim may end up being a false representation--there appears to be corruption undermining it. However, it's interesting that there is yet another "twist" towards the end that shows the claim may not have been as corrupt as we initially believed, even if it still seems a bit mad and/or megalomaniacal. It's also interesting that the resolution is reached on foreign ground.

But the subtexts in Die Hard: With a Vengeance may be even more minor focuses than in the previous two films. Instead the focus is on the spectacle of a tightly told, thrilling action/adventure story. That's all the film needs to succeed as well as it does.
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Not your average action movie
srobi28010 April 2006
This movie gets right to the point and starts off with an explosion. I love that. A crazy guy named Simon (played very well by Jeremy Irons) blows up a store, and asks to speak to John McClane, who is on suspension. The cops grab McClane, who is by now a heavy drinker, and put him on the phone with Simon. Simon makes him walk through Harlem with a very offensive sign. Just when he is about to get beat down, he is rescued by the racist Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Zeus. It seems as though Simon wants revenge on McClane for something, but nobody knows why. Now, Zeus and McClane are at the mercy of Simon, who meanwhile is committing a massive robbery.

This movie is considerably different from the other two, which is probably a good thing. Who wants the same thing three times in a row? The plot has as many twists and turns as a snake, and the movie keeps the viewer involved. Watching Zeus and McClane bicker is amusing as well. Samuel L. Jackson pulls off the role of the "racist black man" very well. I would highly recommend this movie.
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John McClane is back and NYC is blowing up!
bat-59 July 2000
Someone's got a thing for John McClane. Bombs are going off around New York and if McClane doesn't do what Simon says, more things will go boom. Along for the ride with the always watchable Bruce Willis is Samuel L. Jackson, a electronics store owner who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. These two are off all over Manhattan figuring out Simon's little riddles. Jeremy Irons is perfectly cast as the intelligent Simon. He's shrewd, charming and knows how to get a job done. Back in the director's chair is John McTiernan, overseeing the mayhem. The action sequences are bigger, louder and wilder than before. Car chases, shoot outs, and a really neat sequence involving a ship, a bridge and a truck highlight this action lovers delight. So, buckle up, turn up the sound and get ready for a hell of a ride. New York is about to go boom!
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Fast-paced and action-packed
Derek23723 March 2003
This is definitely the grittiest of all the 3 Die Hard films. John Mclane is now a drunk, he's separated from his family, living in New York, and to make matters worse a terrorist calling himself "Simon" is out for revenge on Mclane. Mclane, and everyone else, has absolutely no idea why.

The first 2 films are superior to this one since this has a lot of changes from the mood that made the others so great. First off, it's not set on Christmas. No biggie though. Secondly, there are too many complications and twists to the plot. You almost have to take notes. And thirdly, the biggest change is that it's now turned into a buddy movie to the style of Lethal Weapon, since Samuel L. Jackson as Zeus unwillingly teams up with John Mclane. They're complete opposites, they argue, and they become friends. That sort of stuff.

Die Hard: With A Vengeance still stays true to it's amazing action scenes, though. There's plenty of explosions, there's floods, and overall general destruction. It's a different kind of movie, yes. But it's a good different kind of movie.

My rating: 9/10
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Great entry into a great series
bob the moo28 November 2001
Someone calling himself Simon detonates several bombs in the centre of New York City. He then sets a series of dangerous tasks for Officer John McClane to achieve or he will detonate more. McClane sets out to meet the demands of the terrorists with bystander Zeus Carver in tow.

This is the third in the Die Hard series and it makes an immediate improvement on the second by bringing back the original director John McTiernan. Here the film doesn't try to repeat the formula of the first film (terrorists/wife/rescue) but instead takes on a whole new plot while still tying it into the first film. The second movie tried to repeat the first film's plot but set in an airport, here the different angle makes this feel a lot fresher and feel like a movie in itself. The tie-in to the first film is clever and not too much of a stretch of the imagination - happily this is not the reason for the action itself - instead the terrorist's main aim is the gold held in vaults in the Federal Reserve on Wall Street, but the game with McClane is a special treat.

McTiernan was great in the first film, making everything feel tense and claustrophobic. Here he has the whole of NYC to run across and the camera shows this new found freedom. In action scenes the camera swings wildly round and zooms into focus on the action. During scenes set in offices etc containing a lot of dialogue the camera slowly prowls round like it's dieing to rush off to the next action scene. It's the opposite to the style in the first film and again makes this feels different enough to be a film in it's own right.

Usually film series can get a lot of baggage (watch Lethal Weapon 4 for proof), but here all the repeat characters are dropped, even McClane's wife only features as a voice on the phone. And that works well here and the only characters that are brought back here are McClane (of course) and Hans Gruber (in a flashback). This frees the film up to basically go where it wants without having to squeeze in old characters the way the second film did. However it links the films by having Simon Gruber taking supposed revenge for the death of his brother. The fresh active feel to this movie really gives it life and lifts the series out of the hole that the second film had threatened to put it.

The chemistry between Willis and Jackson is great and lends a lot of comedy to the film, there's lot of racial humour between the two and Jackson is more than the "black sidekick" that exists in many films. Irons continues the fine tradition of English actors playing Hollywood villains and is good for the most. His ticks and stutters stop him being anywhere near as good as Rickman was in the original role but he's still good. Willis gets good support from the likes of Graham Greene, Larry Bryggman and Colleen Camp as fellow cops but really him and Jackson carry the show.

Some of the scenes are a little forced and the plot doesn't always join together easily (a scene where Willis is fired out of a water pipe just as Jackson happens to drive by is a little too convenient) but many iffy bits can be overlooked if you focus on the action. The most effective thing that returns from the first film is the musical score. In the first film the score used variations on Christmas music to dramatic effect, here the score uses music well to add tension and comedy in a different way. It's difficult to put into words but this effect was missing from the second film.

The film has a hatful of nice twists towards the end and the only problem is that the conclusion in Canada doesn't feel like it fits in (the original ending was changed following the Okalahoma bombing) but this is a minor problem in a film that is a great addition to the action packed Die Hard series.
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The best of the three!
chrisbrown645321 May 2002
Die Hard With A Vengence is a near-perfect summer movie. This franchise effort is a gleeful no-brainer with nonstop action. It gives some additional perverse pleasure, as we get to watch smartypants Bruce Willis get smacked around for 112 minutes. In this third outing with John McClane, we are faced with yet another mad bomber on the loose. Jeremy Irons plays Simon, a nasty piece of Eurotrash who has a score to settle with Detective McClane. Simon's bombing game comes complete with crafty riddles, which must be solved in a specified time or everything goes boom. McClane has no choice but to play. Along the way, he picks up an unlikely accomplice named Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson), a Harlem shopkeeper. Together they tear all over New York trying to head off disaster. Sure, it's all perfectly preposterous, but DIE HARD 3 has been directed with breathless intensity by John McTiernan, who certainly has a way with wrecking things. Was he very destructive as a child? Loved the spectacular subway crash, John. That hair-raising taxi ride through Central Park wasn't bad, either. Don't forget to fasten your seat belts for this ride.
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Almost as good as the first Die Hard
Smells_Like_Cheese8 August 2004
I have to say that I was really impressed with this Die Hard film, the trilogy has just been an awesome one. This time we have a new partner, Samuel L. Jackson, who works so well with Bruce, they have such a great chemistry as partners in the film. Die Hard: With a Vengeance is a worthy sequel of the original Die Hard. It has great action, a terrific story, and in some ways it's just a fun comedy. I loved how John just wouldn't stop complaining about the aspirin since he has a hang over from the night before. Especially his line when he finally gets aspirin from the main villain, it was just priceless. I think you'll definitely love this Die Hard if you are a fan.

John is no longer at base one in life, he's actually farther behind I think, he's pretty much lost everything since his nasty drinking problem. He's suffering from a bad hang over this one morning and things get worse when he is threatened by an unknown villain to stand in the middle of the worst ghetto city wearing an offensive poster, right as he's about to get his butt killed, Zeus, a shop owner helps him out, but ends up getting involved. It turns out that the villain is Hans Gruber's brother, Simon Gruber, who is about to do everything his brother supposedly did wrong and will get the money. But John is going to make sure that he puts the Gruber name to shame.

Die Hard: With a Vengeance is an excellent action movie, it was a lot of fun and I couldn't believe how well it was made. Sam and Bruce are just perfect together. Jeremy Irons could not be more perfect for the role of Simon, he and Alan are so much alike where they have the most awesome voices for super bad villains. Yes, a little typecast for being a British villain, but it's all good, I think. I highly recommend Die Hard: With a Veneance, it's a great movie and a great end to the trilogy.

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redkiwi18 July 2001
Regardless of what you might think of Bruce Willis, he really does excel in this series of films and John McClane, the all action policeman is the perfect role for him.

This time his sidekick is the guru of the action film, Samuel L. Jackson, the owner of an electrical store, as he goes up against the ever excellent Jeremy irons, who can play a bad guy like few others.

Irons is executing the greatest heist ever, and the shots throughout the film are spectacular. The lack of any half decent script is completely masked by explosions, but what else would you expect?
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The Best Installment In The Die Hard Trilogy
Big Movie Fan8 January 2003
Die Hard:With A Vengeance deserves to be ranked in a top ten list of action movies. The first two Die Hard movies were brilliant but this installment just blows the first two out of the water.

Bruce Willis is back as police officer Lt. John McClane and in this movie he teams with Samuel L. Jackson as Zeus Carver to stop the wicked Jeremy Irons who is planning to cause mayhem and destruction around New York.

If you're a fan of non-stop action movies like Speed, then this is the movie with you. It doesn't let up for a second; it's one of those movies where your heart beats as fast as the characters and by the end of the movie, you'll be feeling like you ran round New York chasing a bomber. That is how all good action movies should be.

I don't think it is any exaggeration to say that Die Hard:With A Vengeance deserves to be rated one of the top action movies of the 1990's. All that has to be done now is to make Die Hard 4 which I hope would top this movie...although that would be quite a feat.
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The best of the quadrilogy
Newsense5 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Man, I was watching this movie the other day and I can't believe how good this movie is. Even though I liked Die Harder, it lacked the brains of its predecessor. John McTiernan returned to give us an action flick that not only delivers as an action flick but is also quite effective as a thriller.

Simon Peter Gruber(Jeremy Irons) is the brother of Hans Gruber who was killed by McClane in the Nakatomi Plaza. He detonates a few bombs in New York City and sends McClane on "Fools Errands" while covering up his real scheme: to steal gold reserves. McClane is saved from an a**kicking by angry mob by Zeus Carver(Samuel L Jackson), a shop owner. They reluctantly team up to play along with Simon's games. They later find out his big scheme all along.

Samuel Jackson and Bruce Willis have excellent chemistry together. Plus you have to admire the match up. Zeus Carver has a nationalistic mentality and John McClane is your not-so-average white-bread cop. Despite their differences they still get together to handle the same goal. Zeus despite his prejudices was still a factor in helping McClane solve those riddles which were more clever than the riddles that were given to you by Jim Carrey's Riddler in Batman Forever.

Jeremy Irons is magnificent as Simon Peter Gruber. He's definitely one of the best movie villains in history. His plan showed a clever genius absent from movie villains nowadays. Quite possibly the last serious role that Jeremy Irons had. Tell the truth, can you look at him with a straight face after he starred in Dungeons and Dragons? I think not.

I like the pacing of this movie too. It keeps you glued to the screen and provides a thrill ride from start to finish. Im kind of surprised That everybody knows that its better than Die Hard 2. Plus this movie has lowest score of all Die Hard movies on Rottentomatoes. Shows you just how much these snooty consensus followers really know. The fact that this movie was outsold by Batman Forever in the box office shows you exactly where the intelligence of the movie-going was heading. Straight down the toilet bowl and they've been sinking further into the sewer since then.

If you're looking for an action/thriller that doesn't disappoint you cant go wrong with Die Hard With A Vengeance. It has great acting, a superb villain, a good plot and some engaging action sequences. More effective than what passes for Thriller these days and is easily the most underrated action sequel of all time.
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victor_redlick29 April 2018
I'm not sure why some people dismiss this as a weaker film in the Die Hard series. Obviously the first one was incredible and nothing can ever really live up to it in my mind, but this one (the third one) is at least as good as the second Die Hard film, and they are both definitely a million times better than the awful Die Hard films that have come since the first three.

Great action, lots of good humor, good acting. This movie has it all, even a fantastic villain. Plus Samuel L. Jackson in a supporting role. This is a great action movie.
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Is "Yippee Ki Yay Mother ******" an Understatement?
MovieAddict201627 May 2003
"Die Hard: With a Vengeance" is a full-blooded action vehicle; it is a smart one, too, because its filmmakers realize the ol' one-man-army-trapped-in-an-area routine can't last long. So they have changed the technique to a game of revenge; cat-and-mouse. Some could call it smarter than its predecessors; and on a level as a thriller I must admit it is more intense. It is a lot better than the 1990 Renny Harlin actioner "Die Hard 2: Die Harder." But on terms of fun, you can't beat the original.

John McTiernan, who brought us "Predator," "The 13th Warrior" and "Die Hard," returned to end this series on a high note. Of course, like all sagas, "Die Hard" is far from over, with another sequel due to be released summer 2004. But until then, we can look to "Die Hard: With a Vengeance" as the end-all to the overall excellent John McClane trilogy.

The third film opens up where nothing left off; McClane (Bruce Willis) is on the streets of NYC when a man who calls himself "Simon" blows up a Manhattan department store, and then orders McClane to stand in Harlem with a sandwich board that says...well...something you wouldn't want to be wearing in Harlem.

After a convenience store owner named Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson) saves McClane, Simon orders both men to run around New York City and do Simon Says-type-games. It's all good fun, and a step away from the original film. Which can be good or bad.

Soon McClane finds out that "Simon" is really the brother of Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) from the first film, and that "Simon" is out for revenge against McClane (or is he?), and he will stop at nothing to kill McClane. But, of course, being a madman, he plays mind games with John McClane first. And the simon says mind games are tense, taught and action-packed.

It's hard to compare something like this to the original for one major reason: It is nothing like the original. The original was about a lone man fighting off a million guys, Rambo-style. But what saved it from becoming another average action spectacular was the great dialogue, non-stop SMART action sequences, and engaging performences by all aboard the project. Fast-forward two years later and you've got a replicant copy of the first film set in Dulles airport in Washington, D.C. But in all respect, "Die Hard: With a Vengeance" is not recycled. Its technique is new, and it almost seems as if it is not a sequel to the other "Die Hard" films. Which is probably not too odd, seeing that the script, originally titled "Simon Says" (no, not the Dennis Rodman one), was actually a sequel to "Lethal Weapon." Of course, moderations were made after the "Die Hard" series bought out the script, but the character of Zeus was probably Danny Glover, and John McClane was probably Mel Gibson. Thinkabouddit.

Bruce Willis is still John McClane. This film takes his character into a bit of a darker realm; McClane now has an alcohol problem, and his wife has left him again. Man, you'd think after having your life saved TWICE by the same guy that MAYBE you should stick with him. In fact, we don't even see McClane's wife (Bonnie Bedalia) in this film at all. Notta. Zip. Although we are led to believe they will hook up again at the end. Just wait until the next film, I saw.

Samuel L. Jackson adds some flair to the film, taking the movie into a more cop-buddy dimension ("Lethal Weapon"). Jackson's character is a racist, and it's a bit odd to see a black racist in a film. It's usually those nasty white fellas. :)

I liked Jackson's character, because it provides for dialogue outlet on McClane's behalf, and sets the film up for some very funny sequences. The character interaction is a lot stronger here than it was in "Die Hard 2: Die Harder."

"Die Hard: With a Vengeance" is hard to compare to the original because it is so very different. But the bottom line is that this sequel is much better than "Die Hard 2: Die Harder," but a step down from "Die Hard." But seeing how different it is, you might think it is better than both the films. It really depends on your preferences.

I give this solid action film a solid rating of 4/5 stars - an all-around solid action sequel. Solid fun.
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This movie is not underscored, and this is why
serviola26 August 2007
I have seen a lot of fuss about how underrated this movie is. One has to admit that it is a very entertaining, action-packed and sometimes very funny film. It was great to watch and I had a good time doing so, but honestly, it is not a clever picture.

In order to enjoy it, one has to give to it the same license as one gives to a James Bond or Harry Potter movie. If one concentrates on the fact that it is impossible for a taxi to fly in the air all through Central Park and continue working fine or that magic does not exist, then you will not enjoy certain types of films.

If you think about it, there are more holes in the plot, storyline and overall logic than bullet holes in total.

And I am not talking about how easy it would be to dismantle the bombs or if McClain would have died at the initial tasks, the fail-proof diversion would make no sense. I refer to situations such as when everyone in the police force, FBI and even public servants in the NY metropolitan area knew that there was a 10KT bomb in a school where one of their sons, grandsons, or nephews was studying and the story did not leak. Absurd! Or when McClain realizes that it was all a diversion and the idea is to rob the Federal Reserve. He does not tell his boss because he is not 100% sure; instead he goes inside the bank to check. And when he sees what has happened, he still thinks that chasing 14 trucks driven by an army of mercenaries with an old compact car is a better idea than calling for backup. Only when the trucks escape at the Bridge he decides it is time to tell his boss.

There are movies that have all the thrill and excitement of Die Hard 3 without all this nonsense. Take for instance Inside Man. That is a clever action movie. That is why it is rated better than this.
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Probably the best made Die Hard
morganstephens5126 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This film probably had the best acting, effects, characters, and action in the entire series. The more that I think about it, I think it is the best Die Hard movie, especially with the ending. But on the other hand, it is hard to watch due to the fact that it came out like at the same time as a terrible terrorist attack which makes it hard to see. This was the highest grossing movie of the year and I can see why, it was just in general a good movie.
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Die Hard, Does it Again... in New York City!!!
buzznzipp199527 July 2006
WOW!!! Bruce is back baby!! Talk about that 'lightning' striking again!! It's Powerful stuff! He starts out in a slow and 'sober' manner literally and catches his first, second and then third 'Wind' through out the movie. As he crosses paths with a kind Samaritan, from Harlem... what a team!

He (McClain) didn't even need a partner, but it works, explosively well, I think. The first 'Die Hard' was amazing, the second was better than a lot of other movies at that time, but not as great as the first, however, this one blows-back onto the scene. From the beginning, it grabs anyone with a 'pulse' and then works the story through and through, tightly weaving it and bringing wild-action and of course that famous-made McClain- 'attitude' by Willis and McTiernan the original directer and the best suited for this crack-action New York centered drama. Transferred from L.A. of course.

With the pressure coming down all around them, McClain and Carver(Willis & Jackson) stumble around, back and forth a little and get their footing, (barely sometimes), but keep their 'Wits' about them and a sense of humor, just to survive and deal with the cuts, bruises and then find their strength and deliver some deadly blows to their adversaries, with razor sharp accuracy!

This was better than I had hoped for, considering dreading most sequels. Abandoning my thought for them as just Hollywood 'looking for more money' in most cases. This series has come really far for me, considering that I thought the first Die Hard was gonna be just a 'senseless', maybe even stupid undertaking. Man, was I wrong!

I enjoyed the respect for good original story and plot, that John McTeirnan -Director and the novelist Roderick Thorp had in working to make this one stay in the best of the best category of FILM. The only part that I would have omitted was the water in the tube pushing that 14-ton dump truck along and John, surfing it then grabbing that drainage grate cover. He would of had a crushed chest cavity! Altogether, that would have to be "GOD" helping John through that one, because I think that would be at the very least, a very complicated feat, even for the 'Terminator'.

To any and all Willis fans even those who don't care about him...see the film! If you want the edited version to remove curse-words etc watch it on T.V. or you could go to 'Cleanfilms'.com and exercise your 'freedom of speech'(****)
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This only works very well thanks to Samuel L. Jackson's and Bruce Willis' performances
philip_vanderveken6 April 2005
I guess the "Die Hard" movies wouldn't have been the same without Bruce Willis as John McClane and Willis would probably never have been as known as he is today if it hadn't been for these movies. Sure, he has made many more movies, but I guess that, if you ask many people to name one movie with Bruce Willis in it, most of the time it will be one of the Die Hard movies which people will remember.

McClane's life is a complete mess: he's about to divorce, he has been suspended and he drinks more alcohol than can possibly be good for him. But than a massive bomb explodes in the Bonwit Teller department store. Of course this causes a lot of commotion and the police is anxious to find out who did it, when they get a phone call from a guy with a German accent who calls himself "Simon". Simon wants McClane to go to the corner of 138th Street and Amsterdam in Harlem and wear a racist sign. Of course this will mean instant death, but why does Simon want to have him killed? The answer is simple, because he's the brother of Hans Gruber, the terrorist he threw off a building a few years back. Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson), a local shop owner, saves McClane and together they find themselves in a deadly game of "Simon Says" while McClane isn't in the mood for games because he has a bad temper and an awful hangover...

Normally I'm not a big fan of all those buddy/cop movies, but this movie is an exception. The interaction between Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson is of an outstanding quality. These two even made me forget about the, let's be honest, a bit silly story. The entire movie would have failed if it hadn't been for these two. I haven't had such a good time with this kind of movie since 'Lethal Weapon' (probably the best movie to compare it with) and that's why I give it a 7.5/10.
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Sure, it's missing some logic...but one hell of a film by far
Randy-3816 November 1998
Die Hard With A Vengeance....what more need I say. An explosive film to say the least. Bruce Willis in top form playing the role that made him one of the best action stars of all time. Adding Samuel L. Jackson as Zeus and Jeremy Irons as the evil bomber Simon Gruber and you got the cast for one of the best damn action films ever made.

Check it out and see what exactly makes these films worth dying hard for.
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underrated gem, actually the best die hard !
lionel229 April 2003
this movie get action and humor as the first die hard. but it also has surprise and film-noir ( don't miss the scene in which big corporate executives enjoy counting how many firemen are arriving to the exploded subway station ) which the first die hard doesn't have. and did i say the great plot in which john mcclane must go through till he realize what is really going on under the surface. this story is so brilliant and it makes the die hard 2 looks stupid. my rating of this movie is 9. i haven't seen anything like this in an action movie so filled with thriller elements. the first die hard deserves an 8 and die hard 2 only get 7 in my rating.
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New York is bigger than Die Hard with a Vengeance
imseeg31 January 2018
This Die Hard with a Vengeance movie is the only Die Hard sequel really worth seeing, because the original Die Hard is so incredibly good that it is hard to live up to. For anyone who loves big action movies this sequel is an excellent choice! Guaranteed good time.

The story of this sequel is really clever. Lots of funny unexepected twists and turns. The action is over the top like it should be in any Die Hard sequel. The acting of Jeremy Irons and Samuel Jackson is superb and Bruce Willis is as funny as ever.

As a tourist from Europe I vistited New York when Die Hard with a Vengeance was just released. I took a cab in Manhattan and I couldnt believe what was happening when my cabdriver followed a speeding ambulance through traffic. Wild stuff.Then I went to see this Die Hard movie in a New York cinema and realized that my cabdriver had been copying a scene from the movie ! I love New York !
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Great action movie with fast paced action throughout, but weak ending
pcrprimer10 August 2014
The movie starts off by re-introducing John McClane, and immediately takes off with non-stop action. Samuel L Jackson has great chemistry with Willis, and they really work with each other. Even thought the movie was made almost 20 years ago, due to the dependence on mainly practical effects, it still looks good.

The one major downfall of the movie was the ending. It is too bad, since that is what the viewer will remember. It could have been easily re- mediated if they went with a less typical Hollywood-type ending, and that would also have been in line with everything else in the movie. Also, the water riddle was solved way too easily by John, and the editing of it didn't even show how he randomly arrived at the answer.
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Great fun summer buddy action film
antonjsw11 December 2013
Number three is this franchise continues to be hugely entertaining, albeit is closer in tone to Renny Harlin's Die Hard 2 than the original. It takes place throughout New York State, as well as having a climax on the Canadian Border. As a result, it lacks the vice like suspense and tension of the first film, and plays much more like a kick-ass crowd pleasing summer action film, which was very much the case with Die Hard 2.

This film very quickly pairs Bruce Willis's McClane character with a shop-keeper with 'chip on his shoulder', Zeus, brilliantly played by Samuel L Jackson. This buddying up of two characters who initially hate each other, and then evolve to support and respect each other is straight out of the Lethal Weapon play-book, and while not as quite as entertaining or as profound as that film, was certainly a much better 'buddy cop' that the Lethal Weapon sequels and most other films in this sub-genre.

The plot is straightforward but fairly clever, and departs from the previous two Die Hard films by massively expanding its scope, but adding tension through pervasive threat of potential bombs going off across this city that full of semi-permanent traffic jams. Unlike Die Hard 2, the references to the first film are far more subtle, except for the fact that the film's antagonist, "Simon", very well played by Jeremy Irons (albeit not at the level that Alan Rickman brought Has Gruber in the original) has a strong connection one of the characters in the original. It builds gradually towards a predictable but exciting climax with a very big explosion. However the visual effects around this explosion are surprisingly low budget and poor quality, albeit masked by quick-cut editing. The films actual ending feels rather tacked on and cheap after this previous climax, and sadly lets the film down as this sequence feels a little disjointed and the pace and feel of this sequence is very different from the rest of the film.

Bruce Willis as again great value as John McClane, and plays his in a surprisingly grounded and more gritty version compared to the more emotional and frightened character in the first one, and one that feels like bit like a working class James Bond super hero rip off in Die Hard 2. His character is the most accessible of the 3 films at this point, and his dry humour certainly bounces of Sam Jackson brilliantly. One wonders if there was improvisation here and the natural chemistry between these characters is fantastic and rivals the interplay between Rickman and Willis from the first film. It gives a humanity to the film which maybe was less emphasised in the previous two films. Certainly the fact that the McClane character has been through the wringer courtesy of the first two films means his character comes off less frightened and has a more jaded but grimly determined attitude this time around. Jackson's Zeus Carver is fascinating as his character is tough, streetwise, cynical, funny and also grimly determined. However is doesn't know how to use weapons, has no law enforcement or military training, yet as the story goes along is never intimidated by the protagonist or his henchman. Incidentally the films draws compelling villains for the rest of Simon Gruber's team, which is particularly effective has the group is much bigger than they key antagonists from the previous two films, and it could be easy to get lost within the plot, but this does not happen.

McTiernan tries to accomplish almost all the action in-camera with traditional stunt-work, and this further establishes the gritty atmosphere of the film. Veteran Hollywood stunt guy Terry Leonard second unit/stunt work deserves considerable credit for refreshing the look of the Die Hard franchise. Peter Menzies's Photography is gritty, though is use of 'shaky cam' in some sequences is quite extreme and yet again the late Michael Kamen's music adds to the proceedings. However the films visual effects are a bit of a mixed bag. They work best when they are at their most subtle (e.g. wire removal) and some of the more obvious visual effects, which was a combined effort by Sony Pictures Imageworks, Buena Vista Imaging, Pacfic Title Digital and Mass Illusion (who did some excellent work on Judge Dredd released the same year) don't always convince, but fortunately the rest of the film is do good it fortunately doesn't pull you out of the experience. To me it seemed like there were similar problems here that also had a similar effect on McTiernan's the Hunt for Red October.

In summary, an excellent and highly enjoyable fun summer film, refreshed by a suitably new gritty take on proceedings, but slightly flawed by a too abrupt and anticlimactic ending and some sub-par visual effects
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Great Ending to the Series
Screenwhisperer17 January 2003
A great ending to a great series! John McClane, now living in New York again, is the personal target of the mysterious Simon, a terrorist determined to detonate bombs all over the city if he doesn't get what he wants and also plots a game of revenge. While teamed up with the unwilling partner Zeus, McClane races wildly from one part of New York City to another as he struggles to keep up with Simon's deadly game. It's a battle between a psychopathic genius and a heroic cop who once again finds himself having a really bad day. Starring Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Graham Greene, Larry Bryggman, Colleen Camp, Nick Wyman, Sam Phillips, and Jeremy Irons as Simon. 3 out of 4.
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