When Jonathan Hensleigh’s spec script ‘Simon Says’ was bought by Twentieth Century Fox to be turned into a Die Hard sequel, he was thrilled. After all, his deal with Warner Bros. to turn it into a Lethal Weapon sequel had collapsed. What it meant, though, is finding a way to rework half of the script to make it fit something that would happen in John McClane’s world. For the most part, things work well, and with John McTiernan returning to the franchise, it’s a solid entry. But could it have been better? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Die Hard series with McTiernan’s 1995 film Die Hard With a Vengeance.
We talk about the incredible strengths the script and film have right out of the gate but how things slip quite a bit in the second half, even if it’s still a lot of fun. We discuss the buddy relationship brought forth this time with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson and why it works. We debate some dated elements of the script regarding arguments about race and quips about homosexuality. We look at the incredible stunt work paired with patient camera and editing to bring the maniacal drive through Central Park to the screen. We ponder how well the alternate ending could’ve worked because at least it brings back the riddle elements to the close. And we chat about some of the frustrating music Michael Kamen wrote for the film, sounding like bad 90s Eric Serra score.
It’s a fun film that has its faults but also has an incredibly strong first half. We have a great time talking about it on the show this week, so tune in then check it out! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.