Many critics and fans will claim that the last Die Hard movie that actually felt like a Die Hard movie was Die Hard with a Vengeance, the third in a series that sees its fifth installment hit theaters today. As a born-and-raised New Yorker, it's hard not to hold this installment close to my heart. The buddy-cop chemistry between John McClane (Bruce Willis) and Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson) is a ton of fun to watch throughout, and the fact that they brought the series full circle by having McClane battle Hans Gruber's brother Simon (Jeremy Irons) was a nice little touch. Yes, the film lacks memorable action sequences, and yes the entire thing sort of falls apart in the third act because they can't quite figure out how to end it, but it's still entertaining and chock-full of McClaneisms.
The great majority of criticisms lobbed at the film have to do with its awful ending, involving a trip to Canada and McClane disposing of Simon by shooting a power line that takes down the helicopter Simon was trying to escape in. Definitely a lame finale for a villain whose intentions were to toy with McClane throughout the movie by sending him on bogus scavenger hunts. Wouldn't it have been a better ending if McClane reversed things and toyed with Simon?
That's actually one of the endings they shot -- the rare alternate ending that's better than the ending left in the movie. Available on the Blu-ray edition of the movie, this ending still finds Simon escaping and McClane using the bottle of aspirin to track him down. But instead of going to Canada he traces the aspirin bottle to a German pharmacy, and eventually meets Simon in an unassuming office where the two play another game of riddles, only this time it's on McClane's terms.
Check it out below. What do you think? Is this the better ending?
[hat tip to our buddy @Sean_OConnell]
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