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Die Hard with a Vengeance

Die Hard with a Vengeance is the third film in the Die Hard series starring Bruce Willis as policeman John McClane. Vengeance introduces Samuel L. Jackson as new character Zeus Carver, Willis' reluctant partner. Jeremy Irons plays the main villain, Simon Gruber. It was directed by John McTiernan and written by Jonathan Hensleigh.

Die Hard with a Vengeance : Plot Summary

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The villain in this movie is Simon Gruber (Jeremy Irons), brother of Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman, who, like Irons, was an English actor playing a German). Hans was a German criminal who was killed by NYPD cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) at the climax of Die Hard, the first film in the series. Simon, it appears at first, is out to avenge his brother's death but it soon appears that other motives are at work and that dealing with McClane is simply a bonus.
Simon begins by blowing up a bomb in a busy street and telling the police that McClane must walk through Harlem displaying a sandwich board reading, "I hate niggers". When some offended African-Americans threaten him, they are held away at gunpoint by shopkeeper and black activist Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson). Carver gets McClane away, not out of concern for a white man but that the colleagues of a white cop might go gunning for every black man in the area if one of their own is killed. Simon now insists that this "Good Samaritan" become part of the game whether he likes it or not.
Simon has planted real and phoney bombs throughout the city, and forces McClane and Carver to participate in a game of "Simon says", which usually consists of giving them information about a bomb and giving them a chance to defuse it.

Die Hard with a Vengeance : Script & Setting

This movie is based on a script written by Jonathan Hensleigh originally titled Simon Says, which was originally conceived as a Brandon Lee action film, then later considered for use as the fourth installment of the Lethal Weapon series. The first half of Die Hard with a Vengeance is almost identical to Simon Says; the robbery was added to bring the story in line with other Die Hard films. The original plan was to have the villains burgle the Metropolitan Museum of Art, an idea not used here, but which appears in John McTiernan's film The Thomas Crown Affair.
Die Hard with a Vengeance was the first in the series not to take place during the Christmas holidays (though several references are made to Santa and Christmas) and the first where John McClane is an active police officer on his own patch. Also significant is that for the first time he has an on-screen partner, Zeus Carver almost throughout. In Die Hard Sgt. Powell was aiding McClane, but they didn't meet until the end. In Die Hard 2 the air-traffic controller was a partner for the first half, replaced by the janitor for the second. Die Hard with a Vengeance does follow the same pattern as the previous two films, as his partner appears after the 'terrorist' has appeared, is pulled into the plot due to the McClane's actions, helps and hinders action sequences, and he and the partner did not know each other to begin with. It's interesting to note that with the exception of the janitor in Die Hard 2, who served no real purpose other than give McClane directions and the un-coded radio, all the 'side-kicks' have been black until now for the fourth installment of the series, Live Free or Die Hard, Justin Long is cast for that role.
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