Note : this review is my contribution to the Beach Party blogathon hosted by Speakeasy and Silver Screenings.
Die Hard : With a Vengeance (John McTiernan, 1995)
John McClane and a Harlem store owner are targeted by German terrorist Simon Gruber in New York City, where he plans to rob the Federal Reserve Building.
This is the third instalment in the Die Hard franchise and my favorite one. Based on Hercules’ twelve labors and helped by Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson), John McClane (Bruce Willis) has to stop a terrorist in the biggest city of America; New York City. After the criminal bombs a commerce he plays a game of Simon says asking for McClane who is alcoholic and suspended to achieve every tasks he is asking him.
With director John McTiernan back on board, Die Hard : With a Vengeance is a fun ride of action film sequences and mind games. Set during summer, the opening with The Lovin’ Spoonfull track Summer in the City gets us into the mood. Then Michael Kamen embarks us on a great soundtrack with a use of When Johnny Comes Marching Home that fills some of the best scenes of the film. Some bits of his score from the first two film are reused but they all blend together to get us on the edge of our seats.
I remember going to the theater on May 19 1995 with two of my friends, I was eleven years old at the time and I was only one who haven’t seen the other films from the franchise. However, I was becoming a Die Hard fan. Even if the first film of the now five entries is by far the best and one of the best films of all time, Die Hard : With a Vengeance is my favorite one. The setting, my favorite city and almost my second home; New York City does do something in the whole. The fact that they did not visit tourist locations and included inside local places does it for a lot. It makes us feel as we know the city from the inside. It is a nice rally race that reminds us of the first NYC action films of the 1970’s like The Taking of Pelham 123.
All in all, he third instalment in the Die Hard franchise might not be as well praised as the first one but I wanted to highlight it as a summer blockbuster entertainment. And it is everything I’m looking for when I want to catch this kind of film. It has a dear place into my film lover memory and I tend to revisit it almost every year.