Sunday, February 22, 2015

Die Hard with a Vengeance

Movie Name: Die Hard with a Vengeance
Year of Release: 1995
Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson, Graham Greene, Colleen Camp, Larry Bryggman, Anthony Peck, Sam Philips, Kevin Chamberlin, Sharon Washington
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

After the heavily criticized "Last Action Hero", John McTiernan went back to the franchise he started in 1988, with the second sequel to "Die Hard", again featuring Bruce Willis as the resourceful police detective John McClane. "Die Hard with a Vengeance" finds McClane in New York, and this time around he's the target of a terrorist going by the name of Simon. Simon puts McClane through a series of perilous tasks, under the threat of blowing up multiple bombs throughout the city. McClane has the assistance of a store owner by the name of Zeus, who gets dragged into these challenging tasks. Simon however has some hidden motivations, besides the more immediate and personal ones, his brother is the late terrorist Hans Gruber, the man McClane killed in the first "Die Hard" adventure.
John McTiernan has always been an intelligent film maker - his best films are always anchored on lead characters that are both resourceful and strong willed, who eventually find themselves in solitary positions fighting for their lives and those around them. That happened in "Predator", "The Hunt for the Red October", "The Thomas Crown Affair" and "Die Hard". His sequel to "Die Hard" loses a lot of the claustrophobic element that made the first film so watchable and suspenseful, however the director smartly uses the city of New York almost as a maze, where the lead characters have to navigate in order to stay alive, and save the innocent population of further fatal explosions. It's a film that escalates the challenges of the original "Die Hard", giving the central and iconic character, a foil that is composed, intelligent, and persistent. Jeremy Irons makes the villainous character charming and menacing, perfectly balancing Bruce Willis' wisecracking, relaxed portrayal of McClane. It's a well orchestrated and acted film, worth watching!