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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Die Hard: With a Vengeance


****½ Die Hard: With a Vengeance. Action/adventure.

Directed by: John McTiernan
Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Irons



Watched this on video while exercising, over the course of a couple of weeks. (I usually only watch a video while doing my evening stretches, about 5-10 minutes at a time.)

The director from the first Die Hard is back, as is the concept of the bad guys being super-thieves. Both of which, I think, make this one better than Die Hard 2. The presence of Samuel L. Jackson doesn't hurt, either.

Cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) is back in New York, but he's suspended from the NYPD and going downhill along with his marriage, when he's called back because some crazy bomber calling himself Simon (Jeremy Irons) has set bombs all over the city and is threatening to blow them all up unless McClane does exactly what Simon Says.

The first thing he's required to do is wear a racist signboard in downtown Harlem. A store owner named Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson) comes to his aid and ends up getting roped into the game as well.

The games were... mostly... fun, but I had a little trouble believing them--it was an awful lot of effort for the small reward of making McClane run all over the city and keeping the cops focused elsewhere. Seems like the same result could have been achieved by just the bomb in the school.

And speaking of school... I was a little insulted that both McClane and Zeus had trouble with the "St. Ives" riddle--didn't everyone learn that when they were schoolkids? One of them at least should have recognized it.

And of course, there was the requisite CB (aka "crazy bitch"), who's pretty much just there for shock value, but since the CB is so awfully common (well, this was 12 years ago, so maybe it wasn't so common then?), the shock value's pretty diminished.

Other than that, though--and those things are easy enough to ignore--it's action-packed, full of twists and turns, and exciting enough to make you ignore how boring those damn stretches are.

...more



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