Die Hard: With a Vengeance ★★★★½

John McTiernan, returning to the franchise with the second sequel, infuses just as much tension, action, and cinematic trickery as he did with the original, creating a hugely enjoyable amusement park-like ride with Die Hard With A Vengeance. New York City makes a welcome addition to the formula, as does Samuel L. Jackson as Zeus, one of his greatest roles. The chemistry between Bruce Willis and Samuel L. is sharp, acerbic, and witty, extremely well played. They should’ve kept Jackson a part of the franchise. Willis is also very animated and committed to what remains his best onscreen character. You compare him in this to the two that follow and it’s obvious that he lost some enthusiasm and heart at some point. But that’s still far away from here, where Willis and McClane reign in John McTiernan’s magical kingdom.

Watching this makes me miss this caliber of action film. There are rarely films like this today, rarely directors like this, stars, budgets, etc.  But in 1995, it’s just how shit was done. 

A wildly entertaining ride all the way. Watched via 20th Century Fox Die Hard Collection Blu-ray, personal collection.

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