Recently I had a conversation with some coworkers about the merits of how good the Lethal Weapon movies were and still are. I’ve talked about that here and here. And, as it naturally does when discussing Lethal Weapon, the conversation shifted to Die Hard.
I make no bones about it. I love Die Hard. I love it for likely the same reasons that I love Lethal Weapon – they’re both pure, 80’s action fun. Both of these movies still hold up and I would throw both of these in the ring against any two action movies of the last decade. In fact, as I said in this post, the sequels to Lethal Weapon are just as much fun. I argue that Lethal Weapon 2 is on par with the first movie and that numbers 3 and 4 are just action-comedy at its finest.
You really cant say the same about the Die Hard sequels, can you? Yes, Die Hard is a sick movie and one that I love to watch each year at Christmas. John McLane was the everyday guy…wrong place at the wrong time. Perfect. Then the sequels hit.
Die Hard 2: Die Harder is very much the same and not as good but still enjoyable and fun. Its really Die Hard at an airport. I think the ‘jumping the shark’ moment came when John McLane was ejected out of the airplane as it was exploding.
But it did have a guy get murdered by an icicle so…there’s that.
Die Hard 3: Die Hard with a Vengeance is…ok. Samuel L Jackson makes this movie more fun that it likely deserved to be. But it was decent. John McLane is back in New York and is a raging alcoholic who has to stop Jeremy Irons from blowing up a school or two. I can get behind this. I would likely watch this one over Die Hard 2. But is that really a winning statement?
Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard is when things went bananas with the Die Hard series. As crazy as Die Hard 2 was with the exploding jet and ejection seat, this movie went balls to the wall stupid. I mean, John McLane jumped on a fucking jet! A jet!!!! Think about that for a second.
A bridge is about to collapse that he is on and he decides to jump onto the canopy of a flying, hovering jet!! And yes, I know its a scene ripped out of True Lies…but at least True Lies was a parody of crazy action movies. In Live Free or Die Hard, it was made to be serious! A JET!!!
Die Hard 5: A Good Day to Die Hard. Maybe the final entry in the series? What a pant load. John McLane in Russia trying to figure out why his son, who is CIA or FBI or DEA or KFC, is investigating some bad guys and then they have some typical father-son drama and seriously I don’t care.
I only saw this movie once and have no real interest in revisiting it again. Ever. If I was to sit and do a movie marathon of series, like Lethal Weapon or Alien…and I was to include Die Hard…the OCD purist in me would feel the need to watch this movie. And yet the very thought of forcing myself to watch it makes me feel nauseous. Like at Thanksgiving when you were forced to eat brussel sprouts and if you didn’t, no pumpkin pie. Ugh.
Where Lethal Weapon 2 was on par with its predecessor, Lethal Weapon 3 and 4 were great chapters in the quadrilogy. They complimented the first two. Die Hard‘s 2-5 did neither. With the possible exception of #3, Die Hard With a Vengeance, the rest of the movies did nothing but come close to tarnishing the original movie.
What say you? Are you a fan of any of the sequels?