Thursday, April 9, 2009

Die Hard Tetralogy

I had to watch Die Hard: With a Vengeance for a project I had to do in my math class. And I didn't want to watch the third movie, without at watching the first two.

I swear I had watched these movies before, but after I got through the three of them I realized, that I may have only seen the third one - despite recognizing a few scenes in the first two, I don't think I have watched them as a whole.

So, this week I watched the Die Hard Tetralogy - including last year's release of Live Free or Die Hard.

Instead of large reviews each film, I will do what I have been doing with smaller reviews of a handful of movies - but as a whole I would have to give this tetralogy an Excellent grade.

Title: Die Hard.

Starring: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, William Atherton and Alan Rickman.

Brief Synopsis: John McClane (Willis) is heading to LA to be with his estranged wife Holly (Bedelia) and his two kids. Holly had moved to LA for a job, leaving NY police office McClane behind. After arriving at her office during a Christmas party, Hans Gruber (Rickman) and his gang take over the building in an attempt to steal a large amount of money. And it's up to McClane to save the day.

Opinion: I have to admit I love a good, smart villain and Rickman's Gruber was outstanding. He had thought of basically everything to get away scott free with a ton of money, and it was fun to see everything play out. What he didn't count on was McClane - who is truly an every man's hero.


Title: Die Hard 2.

Starring: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, William Sadler, William Atherton, John Amos and Dennis Franz.

Brief Synopsis: McClane is visiting his wife's parents for Christmas and is currently awaiting Holly's arrival at the airport. That same afternoon, General Esperanzo is being transported via plane to the area. McClane becomes supsicious when he finds two men in the baggage department of the airport - but receives little help from Capt. Lorenzo (Franz). Col. Stuart (Sadler) and his men take over the airport and all the airport guidance systems in order to free Esperanzo. Of course, McClane proves to be a one-man army again to take down the villains.

Opinion: I still enjoyed this film, but it was lacking a lot of what the first one had. Plus, it almost tried to copy the first one as McClane was all alone in saving the day. Sadler was pretty good as the villain, but not as great as Rickman's character in the first film. Still a solid showing, but probably my least favorite of all of them.


Title: Die Hard: With a Vengeance.

Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Larry Bryggman and Jeremy Irons.

Brief Synopsis: A criminal mastermind, Simon Gruber (Irons) has stolen gallons of a liquid bomb which is set off in downtown New York. Gruber is also holding a grudge against McClane for killing his brother, Hans. So, he enlists McClane - and later Zeus Carver (Jackson) - to play a handful of games, including riddles and math problems, in order to save a school.

Opinion: This film was highly entertaining, and although I was not sure if giving McClane a partner would work - it truly did with Jackson's performance and the two played very well against each other. Irons still wasn't up to the task of Rickman's performance, but he was very convincing as Simon. The riddles and games as a diversion was also very clever and pretty entertaining in trying to figure out along with Carver and McClane.


Title: Live Free or Die Hard.

Starring: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant, Maggie Q, Kevin Smith and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Brief Synopsis: 12 years after the last film, McClane is a police lietenant and is given the assignment of tracking down and bringing in a computer hacker, Matt Farrell (Long). What he doesn't realize is that Farrell has accidentally helped Thomas Gabriel (Olyphant) take over the world's computers - and cause a "fire sale". McClane has to keep Farrell alive, track down Gabriel and also rescue his daughter Lucy (Winstead) before Gabriel shuts down the entire coutnry.

Opinion: A bit updated as the events take place in 2006 or 2007, which was very interesting to see McClane adapt. He has never been happy with technology, and seems even further behind now. Not technically a sidekick, Long was very entertaining as Farrell - and Olyphant was a great villain, who technically thought he was a do gooder.


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