the Thinking Chicks Guide to Movies

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Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)

Reviewed on 2011 December 1

Third of the Die Hard movies, this one wisely moving away from the formula of the first two, set in summer and starting with a scruffy, hungover McClane brought to his knees by a vengeful terrorist.

Bonwit-Teller blows up, and the New York Police Department get a taunting phone call from a guy who only calls himself Simon (Jeremy Irons). Simon is proud of his handiwork, and threatens more of the same unless a series of tasks are performed by one John McClane (Willis). Inspector Cobb (Larry Bryggman) explains to Simon that McClane is on probation, but that doesn’t matter to him: they need to dig him out and make him do what Simon says, or more lives will be lost.

Simon has a serious grudge against McClane: the first task he assigns him demonstrates that, and the only thing that saves him from probably being beaten to death is the quick thinking of Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson). Zeus, to put it mildly, isn’t any more thrilled about being involved in Simon’s sick games than McClane.

This is even better than Die Hard 2, with funnier dialogue and a more elaborate plot, and the sparring between Willis and Jackson is hilarious. It runs for 131 minutes and doesn’t seem that long. The first Die Hard is still my favorite, but this is a great flick.

Three chocolate morsels. Since we’ve already had two Christmas and two summer Die Hards — and the fifth movie is in production — if there’s a sixth, I think it might be fun to have it woven around Halloween.


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