Until the a few weeks ago, I had not watched any of the Die Hard movies. My wife is a fan, so she bought them all on blu-ray. And, while I was converting them to play via the Plex server at home, I took the opportunity to watch all five of them.
Warning: This post will contain spoilers.
The first three in the series, I liked. Those are Die Hard, Die Hard 2, and Die Hard With A Vengeance. The fourth one, Live Free or Die Hard, I did not like. The last one, A Good Day to Die Hard, well, I thought was better than the fourth movie, but not on par with the first three.
We start with Die Hard. It is basically about a New York police officer, John McClane, who accidentally gets caught it what appears to be a hostage situation perpetrated by terrorists. But, it is really some guys trying to pull a heist under that guise. When the movie first came out, I remember thinking, “the guy from Moonlighting is an action hero? I’m not certain that will work.” Of course, I was wrong and the movie did well. And, after watching it, I understood why. It was an unique story and not too over-the-top that it was unbelievable. I liked it, but it made me miss Alan Rickman.
When a movie does well, of course, there is a push for a sequel. Enter, Die Hard 2. I was not certain how a sequel could be done of the first Die Hard, so I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Again, same police office and terrorist take-over. This time, it is a take-over of air traffic control and all the planes scheduled to land at an airport. Again, things are not what they seem with the military officers, sent to stop the terrorists, secretly being on the side of the terrorists. There were a few plot holes, such as almost everyone being inept, except McClane. Or, why didn’t the airport resort to Morse code via a searchlight after radio communications were taken over? But, over-all, not a bad sequel.
In my opinion, the true sequel to Die Hard should have been the third movie, Die Hard With A Vengeance. The brother of the terrorist that McClane killed in the first movie has plotted out a heist, disguised as a terrorist attack, and had decided to drag McClane into it. Adding in Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Zeus, helped keep McClane grounded, as he was in the first movie. Part of Die Hard With A Vengeance, I had caught on television some time ago. It is the part when McClane is standing in Harlem with the sandwich board on. Of course, the message had to be digitally altered for television.
Live Free or Die Hard was a disappointment to me. I had to keep myself from getting distracted by the “Hollywood” treatment of hacking and computers. Yes, you can create a virus that will destroy a computer. No, it will not make the computer explode. Unfortunately, there was the over-the-top, almost comical, action sequences to distract me from the hacking. Then, there was the main villain’s (lack of) expressions. Maybe he was also puzzled to how McClane went from an “every man” police officer to a superhero.
The current last movie in the series, A Good Day To Die Hard does not stray too far from the previous movie when it come to the over-the-top action sequences. Nor did it stray with the large plot holes. How do you cause major accidents all over a city and not have the police and military looking for you? How did McClane’s son keep it from EVERYONE IN HIS FAMILY that he was working for the CIA, or at least with the U.S. government? Why is everyone else, but the McClanes wearing protective gear when they go to Chernobyl? If everyone knew where the “documents” were kept, then why didn’t they just destroy the building, or at least drill open the door? Why did the daughter fly the helicopter into the building instead of trying to find a gun inside the chopper to use? Better yet, why didn’t she just wait the McClanes out? And, once again, McClane is a superhero.
After the last two movies, I really hope they are not going to make any more Die Hard movies. They should have stopped with the third one.