MRR's Action Movie Month - Die Hard: With a Vengeance

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The second sequel to the successful action film Die Hard brings Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) to New York City, where he's forced to team with a Harlem shop owner to prevent the brother of the late Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman in the original film) from stealing billions of dollars worth of gold from the Federal Reserve Building. Playing the part of the villainous Simon Gruber is Jeremy Irons while Samuel L. Jackson is McClane's reluctant partner Zeus Carver.
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MRR's Action Movie Month: "Die Hard with a Vengeance" Review

Rating: R (For strong violence and pervasive strong language)
Length: 131 minutes
Release Date: May 19, 1995
Directed by: John McTiernan
Genre: Action/crime/thriller

In "Die Hard with a Vengeance," John McClane (Bruce Willis) has the unenviable task of teaming up with a store owner to defeat a terrorist at a deadly game in New York. The movie, which is the third in the "Die Hard" film series, was written by Jonathan Hensleigh and directed by John McTiernan.

In the opening of the film, the tranquility of New York City is broken when a bomb explodes in a department store. Simon Gruber (Jeremy Irons) calls and claims responsibility for the destruction. He toys with McClane and other police officers before the authorities learn that Gruber has a stockpile of biochemical explosives. What follows is a series of intriguing dangerous games as McClane races to save the city from destruction. This time, McClane has a partner named Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson), a Harlem shopkeeper.

"Die Hard with a Vengeance" has a significant amount of violence in it, and the scene in the elevator where McClane has to shoot four bad guys at point-blank range was particularly violent.

The early James Bond movies tended to begin with sensational stunt sequences, and many people loved them that way. "Die Hard with a Vengeance" took things a step further and was essentially a movie featuring one sensational stunt after another. Watching these great feats leaves moviegoers reeling on their seats. Simon seems to be omnipresent and all-knowing, and it is a wonder that Zeus and McClane are able to survive the death-defying games-read missions-to which he sends them.

McClane and Zeus work well together, even if they meet by chance at the beginning of the film. They appear in most of the scenes, often with a little chitchat, although some people might say that their dialogue is borderline racist. McClane seems to suffer from manic depression, which is intelligently counterbalanced by Zeus' observant nature.

When the first "Die Hard" film was released, many people lauded it for its solid storyline and tight plot. "Die Hard 2: Die Harder" somewhat failed in this regard, but the third installment certainly does not disappoint. Everything from the storyline to the sequences of the events is utterly believable. Of course, McClane still had to rely on Hollywood filmmakers' leeway to accomplish his superhuman feats, but the movie still does not stray too much from believability.

This does not mean, however, that the film is perfect, because it does have its weak points. For example, in one of the most unbelievable scenes, the daring duo of Zeus and McClane uses a cable to climb onto a cargo ship. There are also other scenes with sloppy details that should have been straightened out. For example, there is no explanation as to how the duo runs from one end of the city to another with Gruber still watching them. Again, why does nobody touch the suitcases of bombs left in the open in parks across the city? There are several other weak points that could be picked apart, but the overall achievement of the producers is still remarkably believable.

One of the things that help the movie glide over these mistakes is the solid acting. In addition to the remarkable chemistry between Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, they also deliver their lines emotionally, have witty remarks, and are mostly entertaining. The level of consistency they manage to achieve throughout the movie makes them very likable. However, this glorification cannot be left to the duo alone because the supporting cast is also great. Some who stand out are the villain Gruber and the bomb diffuser Charles Weiss (Kevin Chamberlin).

McTiernan is an accomplished film producer and actor who is majorly recognized for his action films that include "The Hunt for Red October," "The Thomas Crown Affair," and "Predator." Willis, who was born in Germany, is an American film actor, producer, and musician. He has produced and acted in numerous television productions and films that include "Pulp Fiction," "The Fifth Element," "Moonrise Kingdom," and others. Then there is also Jackson, an American television and film producer and actor who has his roots in the Civil Rights Movement. He has also appeared in numerous productions, including "True Romance," "Shaft," and "Thor," among others. Irons, an English actor, has appeared in several productions, such as "Reversal of Fortune," "The Lion King," and the romantic drama "The French Lieutenant's Woman," which earned him a Best Actor BAFTA nomination.

Rating 4 out of 5