Ranking The Die Hard Movies
Ask anyone what their favorite action movie is and roughly 40% of the time they will say, “Die Hard.” Die Hard spawned 4 sequels and has inspired countless movies since. It was the perfect mixture of like-able everyman hero and European bad guys. We ranked the series from worst to first.
Note from Brian: I fought very hard to have Die Hard 2 excluded from this list on the grounds that it is absolutely terrible. No one listened.
A Good Day To Die Hard
This is the worst installment in the franchise.
It’s laughably bad. The stakes are too high for John McClane. I thought it was bad when he was chasing Timothy Olyphant’s master hacker.
In this one, he’s chasing Russian spies, with nuclear weapons, or something stupid like that. It’s too much.
It’s a little over an hour and a half long, and it’s all action. How they were able to remove any possibility of enjoyment from explosions is beyond me.
Makes me think of Michael Bay’s pitch for the Imaginationland gig.
Die Hard 2: Die Harder
“It’s a rip-off of Die Hard, but in an airport – and IT SUCKS!” – Brian J. Skelley
Here’s the thing: while that quote is meant to be funny – it’s also a perfect summation of this terrible movie.
The Hangover 2 had the same problem. It was just more of the same. Neither movie brought anything new to their respective franchises. If this was the first movie, it would have been serviceable. Move it behind the original movie and it becomes a disappointing and formulaic rip-off of a great flick. If you’re going to rip something off, do it better (like Oreos or Lady Gaga).
They managed to more than double the production budget yet the only significant changes from the first film were made to the setting. Skyscraper office building became stupid airport.
This movie is hot garbage.
Live Free Or Die Hard
This film gets a lot of flak, but I (Joey) love it. It’s a fun, action-filled adventure. Sure, some of the action is ridiculous, but it never felt as over-bearing as the fifth one (where they destroyed half of Russia).
This movie also has the heaviest emphasis on comedy in the franchise, with Kevin Smith and Justin Long rounding out the supporting cast. One liners are thrown around like mom jokes in middle school, usually punctuating an incredibly far-fetched action sequence (Brian: You’re a jabroni if you don’t like that helicopter takedown).
That actually may be why the film works so well. Bruce Willis really seems at home in a comedic environment.
Die Hard: With A Vengeance
If you don’t like Die Hard 3, get out of my face. The Gruber family returns, John gets a partner, and New York City is the playground for this cinematic joy.
This time around, Bruce Willis is supported by Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Irons. What more could you ask for?
Jackson bounces off Willis, incredibly, as his new partner Zeus, and Irons kills it as Simon Gruber, older brother to Hans.
“Die Hard is a perfect action movie about the perfect “every man” hero.” – Brian J. Skelley
Again, Nerdopotamus regular Brian Skelley comes in with a killer quote.
What else needs to be said about the original Die Hard? It regularly tops Best Christmas Movies lists. Everyone loves Die Hard.
It created a whole new genre. Countless movies have ripped it off since.
There’s Die Hard 2: Die Harder, White House Down, Under Siege, Olympus Has Fallen, and then, of course, there’s this –
PS: Featured image by Archive Photos/Getty Images – © 2012 Getty Images