So as always, we do the “cool” thing and rank the films in the series from least to best. I am going to say while there is a last place, all the Die Hards are well worth your time if you've never seen them. Its quite easy to just sink into any one of these and enjoy the adventure. The series features one of the most likable and charismatic leads you’ll find in any franchise, let alone action movie. That alone makes me excited for any Die Hard film. My lone wish for the future of the franchise would be one more McTiernan directed film, but I don’t believe that’ll happen. If this next film is on par with the last one, I’ll be fine. I’m not expecting it to be the best, just a fun, unique adventure featuring John McClane.
I’ve spoke plenty on the negatives of this film. But as it stands, it’s a fun, formulaic film that fits a lot of those late 80s early 90s action tropes. Renny Harlin does succeed in ramping up the violence and gore, going bigger, but leaves behind some of the intimacy and emotion from the first film. It’s better than most of the many Die Hard knock offs. If anything, he kept it assured that it’s always best when the Die Hard series does these things.
#3. LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD
I find myself having a lot of fun with this film. The second one might “feel” a little closer to the other films in the series, but some of that has to do with aesthetic and being released in closer proximity with them. John McClane becomes that personal guy we loved before, opening up to Matthew Farrell about things and going through his own sort of arc in the film’s runtime. The relationship between Farrell and McClane carries the film quite well and their banter and actions feel quite genuine. This movie is constantly moving and giving us different environments and action set pieces throughout. Though the “big” action sequence from the finale fails, there’s plenty others that work in spades.
#2. DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE
This is almost short of a coin flip between this and the first film. Everything gels here and they manage to get up to the greatness of the first one. Not many sequels ever accomplish with this film does. The Die Hard franchise also is one of the few franchises that avoid the plague of the third film. I feel like popping this one in again already! Oh, and check out the commentary we did for it! A lot of fun!
#1. DIE HARD
There’s not a whole lot more to say. This film is PERFECT. It changed everything for action movies. It holds to this day. You get to see the launching of a superstar. One of the greatest villains in film history. Set ups, pay offs…we’re spoiled to have this movie. If you only watch one pure action movie in your life…make it DIE HARD.
And before I go, here’s my favorite parody of DIE HARD from the old Ben Stiller Show. Surprisingly it still works VERY well
I’ll return with a few words on A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD
NEXT RETROSPECTIVE – 4 of…hearts…8 of spades…2 of spades, JACK OF DIAMONDS JACK OF CLUBS!!!
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