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Die Hard with a Vengeance


Review

Die Hard With A Vengeance is a 1995 American action film that is the third entry in the Die Hard film series. It was produced and directed by John McTiernan, who directed the first film and stars Bruce Willis as NYPD detective John McClane. The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson as Willis’ reluctant partner Zeus Carver and Jeremy Irons as the main villain Simon Gruber. The film was written by Jonathan Hensleigh and was followed by Live Free or Die Hard in 2007.

Plot

The film is set 7 years after the events of Die Hard. A bomb explodes in an early morning at Bonwit Teller department store. At the Police Station a man calls Major Case Unit Inspector Walter Cobb (Larry Bryggman) and tells him he is responsible for the bomb and calls himself “Simon”. He plays a game of Simon Says and orders suspended Police Lt John McClane to walk through the middle of Harlem and wear a sandwich board saying the words “I Hate Niggers”. McClane is driven there by Cobb, Detective Joe Lambert (Graham Greene), Connie Kowalski (Colleen Camp) and Rick Walsh (Anthony Peck). Harlem electrician Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson) spots him and points out a gang of black youths will kill McClane and advises him to hide in his shop but the gang attacks McClane and Carver who barely escape. Back at the Police Station Simon calls again and orders McClane and the Samaritan (Carver) to go to a phone booth outside a station in 15 minutes where Simon says there is a bomb in the trash can next to the booth and taunts McClane and Carver with a As I was going to St Ives riddle and hangs up. They are 10 seconds late in answering the riddle and duck but learn the threat is false alarm. Simon tells McClane that there is a bomb in a subway car and to get to a phone booth in 30 minutes or the bomb will detonate. They realize that the station is 90 blocks away and they borrow a cab to get through the traffic. McClane manages to get aboard the moving train while Carver gets to the payphone. At the payphone Simon informs Carver that it’s non-compliance that they are not together and hangs up, while on the train car McClane finds the bomb and throws it out back of the car before it detonates and sends the train tearing across the station.

While McClane and Carver recover they are shown pictures of possible suspects who are Mathias Targo (Nicholas Wyman) and Peter Krieg (Jeremy Irons) but both are not recognized until McClane learns from an FBI Agent that Peter Krieg is really Simon “Peter” Gruber the brother of terrorist Hans Gruber who was killed by McClane in the first film. Simon calls and tells McClane and the Police that he has planted 2400 pounds of a liquid explosive in a school and any radio or CB Communication may set it off. The Police then leave to find the bomb without their radios and leave Walsh and a few officers at the scene.

With only a few officers left Simon manages to distract Walsh and the remaining officers and heads to the Federal Reserve Bank and replaces the Bank guards with his own. Simon, Targo, his mistress Katya (Sam Phillips) and their men go through the ruined subway and steal $140 Billion of Gold Bullion that was stored in the vault in the Bank, haulinng it all away in 14 big dump trucks. Simon tells McClane and Carver that there is a clue to the school bomb at Yankee Stadium but on the way McClane goes to the Bank and manages to kill the impostor guards and one of Targo’s men and discovers the theft and realizes Simon’s games were a distraction. He leaves with Carver and follows the dump tucks but they lose them. Another dump truck driver named Jerry takes McClane to a dam pipe while Carver heads to the stadium. In the pipe McClane spots two of Simon’s men and kills them and takes their dump truck. Simon blows the dam after finding out that McClane is following them but McClane manages to survive.

Meanwhile at the stadium Carver finds the clue and leaves, unaware he is being followed by two of Simon’s men. Carver and McClane regroup and a firefight ensues between McClane and Simon’s men. McClane is able to kill them both and learns that Simon and his men have put the gold aboard a tanker and plan to detonate it and ruin the world’s economy. He and Carver manage to sneak aboard the tanker. Carver follows Katya to Simon and threatens him with a machine gun but Simon shoots him in the leg.

Meanwhile the police finds the school bomb and manages to evacuate the school but Lambert and Kowalski head back inside after learning 4 kids are still in the building locked in a classroom. The bomb turns out to be fake. In the tank room McClane is attacked by Targo and McClane manages to knock him out. Simon finds and captures McClane and ties him and Carver to the real bomb. Katya kills Targo when he reveals that the tanks only contain scrap metal instead of gold. McClane and Carver manage to escape the tanker before it explodes. While McClane and Carver recover McClane discovers an aspirin bottle given to him by Simon is a clue to his current location which is a border town in Quebec. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police led by McClane and Carver arrive and capture Simon’s men and the gold. Katya and Simon escape on a helicopter and shoot down the police chopper McClane and Carver are on. McClane uses his last bullets to shoot a power line which hits Simon’s chopper and causes it to explode. He then calls his wife Holly when he realizes he left her on hold earlier.

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