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Die Hard With A Vengeance

review by David G.


Rated R

Running Time: 131 Minutes

Starring: Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson

Screenplay by Jonathan Hensleigh

Directed by John McTiernan

Retail Price: 29.98

Studio: Fox

Specs: Non-Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1, 5.1 Dolby Digital English, Dolby Surround English, Dolby Surround French, English and Spanish subtitles, Chapter Search, Animated Menus

Who says that same s**t does not happen to the same guy the third time around? McClane (Bruce willis) our favorite New York City cop is back in this third Die Hard. And this time, he is the toy of a certain Simon (Jeremy Irons) who wants McClane to do different things like walking threw Harlem with a mean panel marked on his back or solving riddles. Otherwise, Simon will blow a public place. McClane will be helped in this bad day by the unwilling Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson). Of course, nobody guesses that Simon has another goal than just playing with McClane.

Many movies have surfed on the wave initiated by the first "Die Hard", and at my knowledge no one of them managed to be as great as it is. We had to wait until 1995 to, at last, watch a movie with even a superior quality and we weren't surprised to hear that the director was John McTiernan who already made the first "Die Hard". Tthe story doesn't take place in a unique place in contrast of the last two, but the whole New York is the principal scene of the movie. With impressive directing, New York has never looking so huge or so realistic. McTiernan decided also to break the path constructed by himself 7 years ago, by shooting the action with an arm-carried camera, making this blockbuster looking like an experimental movie. But McTiernan is talented enough to capture all information in this apparent confusion and the precision of the screenplay contribute to make this movie a masterpiece more in the McTiernan's filmography.

However, there is one huge default: the ending. The original director's cut did not have this ending but the studio didn't like it and forced McTiernan to shoot another one. At Chapter 24 on the DVD, you realize all is lost. What a pity!



"Die Hard with a Vengeance" is presented in non-anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 format and although the picture seems a little granular, it's all part of the documentary look wanted by the director. The colors are well contrasted too. The movie looks great!

The 5.1 Dolby Digital English is incredible. It's simple: with this DVD you are in the action, you are in the traffic jam, you are in the crowd. Being French I have to complain once more about the French soundtrack. In effect, the dubbing really, really sucks and that manages to spoil this wonderful movie. This dubbing joins with Cliffhanger and Bad Boys (those being the worst).

The three discs of the trilogy are built on the same scheme: trailers for each "Die Hard" movie, a slide show with barely 10 pictures, a useless featurette and some cast bios. For this disc, I would have liked to seen the Deleted Scenes that seem so interesting. Maybe one day a special edition will be released. Let's pray.

A action movie classic to join with the first Die Hard as the ultimate action movies ever made.

Now a riddle: How to fill precisely a five gallons jug with four gallons of water when you have only a three gallon jug? Don't know? Watch the movie for the answer.

(4.5/5, NOT included in final score)




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