Adam Savage, of Mythbusters fame, is a huge fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, he always refers to it as a singular movie. He points out that he is specifying Raiders and not the Indiana Jones franchise. Savage is not a fan of the franchise, just the one film, which he considers brilliant. I feel the same way about Die Hard. As far as I am concerned, it’s a standalone film and not part of a franchise.
Die Hard is a pretty much perfect action movie. It’s also a great Christmas movie, which is why I am writing about it right now. Die Hard is great. It’s propulsive and populated with great performances. Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman have never been better. Hans Gruber is a great action movie villain. The set pieces are great, it’s funny, and all in all it just really works.
I understand why they did sequels, but man do they all fall flat. None of them interest me. Not even Die Hard with a Vengeance, the one that a lot of people will stand up for. I won’t, though. It’s just a repackaged action movie given a Die Hard sheen, anyway. Nobody is on par with Hans Gruber, and Willis doesn’t give the same level of performance he gives in the first one, when he was trying to prove he could be an action star.
Die Hard is one of my favorite action movies and one of my favorite Christmas movies. Beyond that, though, the rest of the franchise might as well be considered non-canonical. There is one Die Hard movie in my book. John McClane only had one adventure. He only said his “Yipee kai yay” line once. This is where I stand.