Think fast. Look alive. Die hard.
Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:
Uh, you know, kill the bad guys and stuff.
Even more so than the first Die Hard, there is not a trace of homosexual anything in this film. Sure, McClane has to strip down to his boxers in the film’s opening sequence, but A) They are baggy, non-descript boxers favored by straight guys B) he seems to get a little bit of a kick out of having to strip down in front of a woman and C) he’s wearing a sandwich board that hides most of him. That board also happens to have “I Hate Niggers,” written on it, and McClane is in Harlem. So, a little far fetched and silly (as well as stolen. Remember the Danger Seekers bit in The Kentucky Fried Movie?) sure, but gay? No. In this one, McClane does manage to strip down to his wife beater, but he is so covered with blood, viscera and filth that I have a hard time believing anyone would be attracted to him.
A pretty low Corpse Count, only 18 by my tab, but still the movie was greatly violent. The elevator scene in particular where McClane has to cap four krauts at point blank range was particularly satisfying. Still, I would have liked more death. I noticed that the guy who scripted this, Jonathan Hensleigh, also wrote The Saint and Armageddon, two movies high on action and low on body count. Holy fuck, a little deeper research reveals that this Hensleigh guy is a close collaborator with none other than the prince of swine-vagina himself, Bruckheimer!! Hensleigh wrote The Rock, Con Air and Gone in Sixty Seconds, the later being one of the worst films these eyes have ever witnessed, and these eyes have witnessed a lot of bad. Sorry, this is the third Die Hard movie I’ve watched in the past twelve hours. I’m a bit out of it. Uh, needs more death.
How Bad Is It Really?
Well, it is a lot better than #2, let’s put it that way. Returning to the mix for this third installment was a buddy for McClane (Sam Jackson) and a smart but snooty European bad guy (Irons). Also like the first film, the bad guys were making it look they were perpetrating some highfalutin’ terrorist plot, but in reality are just simple thieves. OK, fine, exceptional thieves. Now, what bugs me is that Simon, the bad guy in Die Hard With A Vengeance is the brother of none other than the late, great Hans Gruber!! Why does that bug me? Because, McClane should have put two and two together faster than he did and realize that Simon didn’t want to bomb anything. He just wanted to steal a lot of gold.
This next comment will probably come back to haunt me, but here goes; I feel that this movie did not have enough time to breath. The characters, especially that of Simon, were good strong characters and I feel that Director McTiernan (back at the helm) could have had a lot more fun and explored the relationship between Simon, Hans and McClane a little more. As the film stands we get McClane saying, “You’re brother was an asshole.” And Simon saying, “Yeah, he was.” Anyway, while Die Hard With A Vengeance is a good way to waste 2 hours of movie watching time, it isn’t as good as the first Die Hard or even as good as it could have been.
Sam Jackson sort of dominates the one-liner department here, and that is as it should be. His character, Zeus, totally hates the white man and when he learns that this is personal thing between Simon the bomber and McClane he says (of Simon), “That’s a white man with white man problems.” Nothing else really stuck with me. I mean, Zeus’s “kill whitey” mantra could have been turned way up. Here’s the following:
McClane: You know how to fire one of these?
John McClane: No?
Zeus: Hey, all brothers don’t know how to use guns, you racist motherfucker.
Which I guess is like half-funny. I don’t know… I don’t think I heard Zeus utter honkey, cracker, peckerwood, blue-eyed devil, ofay or gray meat even once. Which, you know, is pretty funny material. Especially “ofay.” He also gets off a good one when he says to bad guy Simon, “Stick your well-layed plan up your well-layed ass!” Actually, that’s a really good one.
Again, no great ones, but after McClane kills the head bad guys by attacking their helicopter, he turns to Zeus and says, “Think I should call a firetruck?” To which Zeus answers, “Naw, let ’em cook.” I know, not very good.
Stupid Political Content:
In a weird turn of events from the first two, not only is their nothing overtly rightwing taking place, but there is pretty much nothing political at all. Sure, a few cracks here and there at rich, Wall Street types, but I mean… Wait a second! Something amazing has just happened!! I just realized that I am reviewing an 80s Action movie not made during the initial 12 year Reagan/Bush reign of terror! Serious, think about it. Clinton is in power and the sequel to a real, honest to goodness 80s Action flick contains:
- No Homoeroticism
- A low Corpse Count
- Low volume of decent One-Liners
- No good Post-Mortem One-Liners
- No rightwing agenda
- The Stupid Chief gives McClane his gun and shield back at the beginning of the film
Folks, how amazing is this shit? I just proved our thesis. Holy fuck. Now, if our thesis is water tight, current Bush/Cheney era 80s Action faire should contain all of the above. We really need to see the new remake of The Punisher. Now more than ever because it turns out Hensleigh wrote and directed the remake.
A guy gets sliced in half by a winch cable. Zeus and McClane then drag the two halves of the body around, for some reason.
Was There An Atomic Blast At The End?
No. But a really big bomb went off and it had one of those little shockwave effects that George Lucas is so found of grafting onto his older films.
What You Learned:
Like most of life, shit just ain’t as interesting when it is stripped of all its politics. And, this iteration had a bit too much comedy and not enough suspense. Also, Die Hard 4: Die Hardest comes out in summer, 2005.