Die Hard: With a Vengeance ★★★★½

Part of Dastardly Difficult December: film nr.16

So, the most impressive thing about this film is that it is the third film in a series and it doesn't suck. This is probably the tenth time I've seen it and it started like so many other times, I stumbled on it on TV and before I knew it the end credits were rolling.

There are two things that make this film work. The quest and the two heroes. If a plot that hangs together from contrivances and chance takes itself too seriously, it always falls flat on its face. This film's narrative doesn't make that mistake. It is silly, funny, fast-paced and ultimately makes you want to know what's what. And through this all run Tough White Guy and Angry Black Guy and without ever elevating beyond those stereotypes, it is the fact that they totally inhabit these characters and deliver their lines with such conviction and drive that it makes it nigh impossible not to root for them. The fact that Willis and Jackson seem to bounce off of each other so well doesn't hurt either.

I didn't care much for the bad guy. Irons is a bit bland and predictable here. He lacks his usual flair, probably because his character is the only bit of weak writing in the film.

So yeah, this one's right up there with the best action films ever made.

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