Steve G 🐝’s review published on Letterboxd:
When Die Hard With A Vengeance was first released, Empire gave it 5 stars.
I was a bit incredulous about this when I read it because it seemed impossible to me that a second sequel to an action film where the first sequel had already been crapped on in most quarters would be THAT good. And then this happened:-
"Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty...."
I mean, that's how you start a fucking film! This film had my attention and then held it for the whole of the rest of the two hours.
Clearly, the return of John McTiernan to the franchise is exactly what it needed after Renny Harlin's lacklustre effort. Although I haven't seen the next two, the largely negative reactions I've seen to them would suggest that the Die Hard franchise should only really be attempted if McTiernan is at the helm. Now he's out of the clink, maybe they will try again with somebody who knows what the fuck they're doing with John McClane.
Really, it's a film that should not be allowed to work at all considering it features the brother of Hans Gruber and then proceeds to try and pull the same double-cross as the first film. But McTiernan sees what made Die Hard 2 such a disappointment - namely the crap villains and long bits of not very much happening - and completely deals with those problems.
So you get Jeremy Irons as a far more interesting bad guy although still not a patch on Alan Rickman, and you also get something happening ALL THE TIME. Seriously, this film practically does not stop at all. Alright, it's not exactly breakneck when they're doing that thing with the jugs but at the very least you're still thinking and there is still tension.
Really, this film has a lot of nerve to try and pull off some of the shit that it does, but that was probably made Die Hard so great. It's probably 10 or 15 minutes too long but it's still far, far more fun than it should have been and still tremendously entertaining even on about my 10th watch.