Die Hard: With a Vengeance ★★★★

"Why you keep calling me Jésus? I look Puerto Rican to you?"
"Guy back there called you Jésus."
"He didn't say Jésus. He said, "Hey Zeus!" My name is Zeus."
"Yeah, Zeus! As in, father of Apollo? Mount Olympus? Don't fuck with me or I'll shove a lightning bolt up your ass? Zeus! You got a problem with that?"

The Simon Says element of Die Hard With a Vengeance is such an ingenious addition to the Die Hard series to this point, even if Jonathan Hensleigh's script, in its numerous previous guises, forces it to become a plot point. It gives the film a great energy and contrasts nicely with John McClane's general weariness and "bad fucking hangover". Samuel L. Jackson's Zeus Carver may also be the series' greatest character, behind McClane of course (although Willis' diminishing interest in his profession has threatened that in the past), adding a brilliant sense of humour as well as a moral conflict to John's cynicism and recklessness.

The film then loses a little steam when the mysterious villain is revealed, even before his personal motivation becomes apparent (a great tie-in to the series). It then recovers as Simon pits McClane and Carver into more action-oriented schemes but loses it again towards the end.

At its best, it manages to rival Die Hard, one of the greatest films ever made, but is just a little too up and down to be considered alongside the original film. But considered alone, it is still an exceptional action film.

Die Hard ranked

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