Die Hard with a Vengeance-Now I Get It, DH3 is a Prequel! Brilliant!
What we have with Die Hard 3 is a completely empty money grab. Everyone involved goes through the motions to milk a little more money out of a property with a high-level of name recognition. But if you are seeking something deeper, such as a reasonably intelligent script then, really you shouldn't bother. The first Die Hard movie is good fun, but the sequels are a bit insulting to the intelligence of the audience. Instead of having our wine cooler infused hero, John McClane (Bruce Willis) simply staggering into one high-octane adventure after another, why not have McClane recruited by say an elite anti-terrorism unit? I mean look at the first movie, look what he could do, doesn't it make sense that he would be a perfect fit in such a unit? For some perplexing reason this route is not taken, go figure.
Logic errors, such as why McClane is not a recruit in an anti-terrorism unit, abound and must, at all cost, be ignored. The laws of reason, probability (especially probability) and yes physics are all ignored with a vengeance. Once more McClane finds his posterior, the most unlucky posterior in history, engulfed in another massive terrorist plot and they are, of course, Germans. Seems a bit comical in 2005 doesn't it. Regardless, I have developed a theory about these Die Hard films. They are really the prequels to the Final Destination films. Think about it. What really happened is Death missed McClane in the first film and is chasing him throughout the sequels. There can be no other explanation.
If a guy was this unlucky, on this grand of a scale, wouldn't he be living in the middle of nowhere? McClane would only go to New York City, where DH3 is set, if he was drugged in the middle of the night and flown there. No, McClane would have been living in the vast emptiness of Alaska. Perhaps the writers should have considered a script where McClane's peaceful winter landscape is disturbed by the brutal roar of a jumbo jet crashing in his backyard and its full of what else? Terrorist...probably still German ones. You see the Germans will be used as the bad guys until someone else steps up with equally good uniforms and does something even more ridiculously evil.
You, the audience member, have the writing of one Jonathan Hensleigh to thank for all this fun with McClane. Hensleigh is the same fellow who was kind enough to bring you The Punisher, and yes it did punish the audience, and Armageddon, while a fun movie, Armageddon is one amazingly flawed and poorly reasoned script. Director John McTiernan's other works are a mixed bag as he has also directed some good film such as, Predator and The Hunt for Red October, and on the frowny face end of the spectrum, Last Action Hero and The 13th Warrior, which are both very painful experiences.
So how does a movie with a weak and sort of silly script make tons of cash as DH3 did? Star power, as in 1995 Bruce Willis was still a star of sorts, high name recognition and lots of stunts and explosions. This is one of Hollywood's simplest formulas and when it works it can work very well. Will there be another modern masterpiece in the Die Hard series? DH3 probably cost $80-$90 million and vacuumed up well over $250 million across the globe. What do you think? Although the franchise has been silent for about ten years don't be surprised if a beer bellied, old bald guy wobbles his way onto a screen sometime soon. If we keep eating it, they'll keep tossing it out there.
Story D+ (The script is just plain silly and unimaginative.)
Acting B- (Willis and Samuel L. Jackson both turn in strong performances which make the film a little more gripping.)
Visuals B+ (Like many summer blockbusters, the focus is on the visuals and in this regards DH3 works.)
Originality/Innovation D- (Die Hard With A Vengence is void of anything approximating originality.)
Enjoyability Grade C- (The logic errors and silliness of the film's foundation create a real mental block in terms of enjoyment.)
Home Theater/HD Factor B
Overall Grade C- (DH3 scores a C- by the slightest of margins. If you haven't seen DH3 and you really, really like blow it up action flicks then its a must see, otherwise occupy yourself elsewhere. Still, I think the only way to explain the logic errors of the Die Hard sequels is that they must be prequels to the Final Destination films. Think about it.)