Release Date: May 19, 1995
Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson
Runtime: 131 min
Tagline: Think fast. Look alive. Die hard.
The plot: John McClane and a store owner must play a bomber’s deadly game as they race around New York while trying to stop him.
This is actually a better sequel than the first, but not by that much. This has the ability to be equally intense and still quite funny. McLane has a new sidekick, Samuel L. Jackson who plays a racist shop owner. They make a really good team. I also appreciate the film going back to its “original” roots by bringing in a mastermind like Hans Gruber, his brother Simon (portrayed by Jeremy Irons). I enjoyed all the surprises that were thrown out there, and the one-liners are still stellar.
Release Date: June 27, 2007
Director: Len Wiseman
Stars: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant
Runtime: 128 min
The plot: John McClane takes on an Internet-based terrorist organization who is systematically shutting down the United States.
Currently, this is the weakest of the series (I haven’t seen the fifth), but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. At all. It’s really good and the idea of shutting down the United States is cool.
There’s fun oozing out of this, and there are epic action scenes, even though one might have to accept a lack of realism at times.
Strangely, Justin Long’s character can be a serious and extremely anxious, but you’d expect a comedian to be a bit more hilarious. Not a lot stands out about him in this. I have nothing but love for the guy in most his roles, but this one… It isn’t special. It isn’t the greatest idea on the studio’s behalf to cast a comedian as a character who’s hardly that funny or memorable. In fact, to date, he’s the most forgettable of the sidekicks that McLane has had. Though, Olyphant plays a solid villain.
It’s a pretty stellar movie that’s really fun and flows well, but an R-rating may have made this a little better.