5 Reasons Die Hard With A Vengeance Is The Best Die Hard Sequel (& 5 Reasons It’s Die Hard 2)
Which of the first two Die Hard sequels comes the closest to reaching the staggering heights of the original. Die Hard 2 or Die Hard with a Vengeance?
Since its release in 1988, Die Hard has been considered the quintessential action movie, with NYPD cop John McClane fighting terrorists in an L.A. office building on Christmas Eve. This film transformed into a franchise that has consistently given us exciting action sequences, one-liners, and a ton of charm (except A Good Day to Die Hard, of course).
While the sequels have provided a lot of entertainment for action junkies, none of them have reached the heights of the original. But today, we are going to see which of the first two Die Hard sequels comes the closest to reaching the staggering heights of the original. Die Hard 2: Die Harder or Die Hard with a Vengeance?
10 Die Hard With A Vengeance – The Villain
Hans Gruber is one of the most iconic villains in cinematic history. Cold, lethal, and calculated, Alan Rickman played this role to perfection. Naturally, the Die Hard sequels failed to deliver villains as impressive as Hans. The villain of Die Hard 2 is Colonel Stuart, a ruthless villain who, unfortunately, managed to be forgettable in the long run.
But the villain of Die Hard with a Vengeance is far better. Played remarkably by Jeremy Irons, Simon manages to be similar enough to Hans while also creating his own distinct feel and personality. He is unpredictable and unhinged, and he is easily the second-best villain of the Die Hard franchise.
9 Die Hard 2 – Feels Most Like The Original
Many can agree that the original Die Hard is the best, and in terms of its tone and story, Die Hard 2 is the most similar to that first film. Both films take place on Christmas Eve in one location, as John McClane finds himself as the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time.
While Die Hard 2 may not have the claustrophobia of the first, it increases the spectacle of the action while delivering a lot of classic McClane moments as well.
8 Die Hard With A Vengeance – The Tension
With the return of Die Hard director John McTiernan, this film reintroduces a McTiernan trademark that was missing in Renny Harlin’s Die Hard 2: the tension.
This game of Simon Says makes for a thrilling premise, as our characters and the audience are consistently kept on their toes. Simon’s unpredictable behavior and demeanor, along with his placement of bombs throughout the city, have people in danger throughout the entirety of the film, making this a nail-biting movie.
7 Die Hard 2 – John Is Alone
A staple of the Die Hard movies is John McClane fighting terrorists. However, later films in the series have started to pair up McClane with less competent sidekicks, such as Zeus Carver in Die Hard with a Vengeance, Matthew Farrell in Live Free or Die Hard, and Jack McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard.
In Die Hard 2, McClane is alone and out of his element, just like he was in Nakatomi Plaza. This illustrates his isolation and how he is the only man there who can save innocent civilians.
6 Die Hard With A Vengeance – Elevator Scene
Before Captain America had his elevator brawl in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, John McClane already had his share of fighting in an elevator.
In this highlight of the film, McClane is in an elevator with four terrorists pretending to be police officers. After a few red flags, McClane recognizes his friend’s badge number on one of the terrorists. He distracts them with a story about lottery tickets before abruptly killing all four terrorists in less than thirty seconds.
5 Die Hard 2 – Plane Scene
While Die Hard with a Vengeance has many merits to it, the film’s most disappointing aspect may come in its climax, a fun-but-brief sequence with a helicopter.
However, the climax of Die Hard 2 may be the most thrilling ending of all the films, with a brutal fight on the wing of a moving plane, topped off with McClane’s iconic one-liner and a massive explosion.
4 Die Hard With A Vengeance – New York Setting
Although John McClane is one of the most well-known NYPD officers, he is rarely ever seen fighting terrorists in New York. He has fought terrorists in Washington, D.C. more often than in New York City.
But Die Hard with a Vengeance brings McClane to his city of NYC, and New Yorkers may get a kick out of finally seeing McClane fight crime in familiar places, from Wall Street to Central Park.
3 Die Hard 2 – John And Holly
At the end of Die Hard, John and Holly ride away in a limo, sharing a kiss with their marriage seemingly repaired. However, Die Hard with a Vengeance separates these two lovebirds once again, with an argument breaking out between them before the events of the film and John leaving her on the phone near the end.
But Die Hard 2 is when we get to see their love for each other and why they made for such a great couple in their years together. John’s worry for her safety on the plane is a large part of what makes specific sequences in the film exciting.
2 Die Hard With A Vengeance – Samuel L. Jackson
Out of the most recent three Die Hard films, McClane has never been more matched with a sidekick than Zeus “don’t f*** with me, or I’ll shove a lightning bolt up your a**” Carver in Die Hard With a Vengeance.
Played brilliantly by Samuel L. Jackson, McClane and Carver do not initially get along, with a lot of bickering and race-related arguments between them. However, they are forced to pair together, and by the end of it, these two have become friends.
1 Die Hard 2 – The Twist
While this series has a few surprises up its sleeve, it has not been known for its shocking plot twists. The exception to this would, of course, be Die Hard 2.
Near the end of the film, we witness a shocking murder as it is revealed that certain characters in the movie, which we believed were heroes, were in league with Colonel Stuart the entire time. This is a twist that is foreshadowed and a huge surprise as well.