Connect with us

Movie Reviews

Die Hard with a Vengeance



Released: August 18th 1995 UK)

Director: John McTiernan

Stars: Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons

Certificate:15 (UK)

Reviewer: Richard O’Toole

After Die Hard 2 it took all of five years before John McClane hit the big screen again and it was truly worth the wait. Die Hard 3 or rather Die Hard: With A Vengeance continues the series with an original story and a strong cast. The narrative could be put into a sentence – Hans Gruber’s brother wants revenge on John McClane (Bruce Willis) whilst doing a bank heist. But to summarise the film like this is a true injustice.

It takes only forty seconds for the narrative to begin. It has nothing to do with John McClane, there is no ‘wrong place, wrong time’ scenario, it is pure and simple act of terrorism that sets the film in motion. A department store in New York is blown up; the explosion itself is quite spectacular – vehicles are thrown across the road, a block of New York traffic comes to a stand still and the streets are filled with panic (the stuff we take for granted these days in cinema). A German terrorist named Simon (Jeremy Irons) phones the NYPD and claims responsibility for the bomb and states he wants to (or in fact he is going to) play a game of Simon Says with the once again New Yorker, John McClane.

This leads to a series of tasks for McClane, the first of which unites him with his partner for the film Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson). As McClane wanders helplessly through the streets of Harlem wearing a board with “I Hate Niggers” written on it, Zeus runs out from his shop to save him from a nearby gang. From this point on it goes from task to task as Simon screws with McClane more and more, until it is discovered why he is doing so. Simon or rather, Simon Gruber is the brother of Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) whom McClane threw from the top level of the Nakatomi Plaza (Die Hard). Needless to say Simon wants revenge, but he cleverly uses this as a mask for his real motive. Alike his brother, Simon wants money and lots of it – so he informs the NYPD he has planted a bomb at a school within the area. With this threat keeping them busy and McClane still playingSimons Says, he begins to steal (take all the gold bars) from the Federal Reserve Bank. Of course, eventually McClane figures out what Simon is actually doing and plans his counter attack…
The lead actors cast for Die Hard: With A Vengeance are top quality. Willis once again gives a stunning action man performance and linked with the genius of Samuel L. Jackson the duo are big screen gold. But it is Jeremy Irons who continues the legacy of the Gruber family that I truly take my hat off to. His performance is menacing and believable. Irons had big shoes to fill from Rickman’s performance and he truthfully does fill them.

Die Hard: With A Vengeance is a great action-comedy-popcorn film, filled with more hilarious one liners from McClane, another dirty-bloody vest, plenty of violence and for once a narrative to be proud of. This could have quite easily been the last of the Die Hard series, but I’m so glad it isn’t!

Just For You