Die Hard at 25: which is the best film in the series so far?

Die Hard, Die Harder, Die Hard with a Vengeance or Die Hard 4.0... you decide!

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Die Hard at 25: which is the best film in the series so far?
Written By
Tom Cole

Bruce Willis celebrated 25 years of Die Hard last night by unveiling a giant mural of John McClane at the Twentieth Century Fox studio lot in Los Angeles.

Welcomed to the stage by Fox chief executive Jim Gianopulos, who joked “We’re glad he agreed to come out to the coast, have a few laughs,” Willis was invited to push a button which set off a barrage of pyrotechnics and revealed the giant image of McClane from the first Die Hard movie.

McClane will now permanently adorn stage 8 at the studio, and joins other giant Fox murals of successful productions like The Empire Strikes Back and The Simpsons on the lot.

But seeing as it’s been a quarter of a century since McClane liberated the Nakatomi Plaza, and there’s less than a fortnight to go until A Good Die to Die Hard blasts its way into cinemas, we're asking which movie in the action franchise is your favourite so far…

Unlike, say, the Friday the 13th series, every Die Hard film is very much unique. Which, actually, isn’t enormously surprising: Die Hard was originally written for Arnold Schwarzenegger as Commando 2, Die Hard 2 was based on Walter Wager's novel 58 Minutes and Die Hard with a Vengeance began life as Lethal Weapon 4.

Even 2007’s Die Hard 4.0 (Live Free or Die Hard in the States) wasn’t initially intended to be part of the franchise. Instead, its original title was WW3.com and the film was based on Wired writer John Carlin’s article A Farewell to Arms.

But despite their origins, thanks to some amazing stunts and set pieces, pithy dialogue and stellar performances from the likes of Willis, Alan Rickman, Jeremy Irons and Samuel L Jackson, the Die Hard films are some of the best action movies ever released.

In his Radio Times review, Andrew Collins gave the original Die Hard five stars and said the film “stands as a giant of the genre.”

John Ferguson rated Die Hard 2 as a four star film and described the sequel as a “hugely entertaining slice of action hokum” which “cheerfully piles on the increasingly grand explosions and set pieces”.

Die Hard with a Vengeance earned a four-star write-up in RT from David Parkinson, who described it as “cracking entertainment.”

And Die Hard 4.0 also notched up four stars from our reviewer Jamie Russell, who said it was a “loud, relentless and thoroughly entertaining throwback to the 1980s.”

But which is your favourite? To paraphrase Die Hard with a Vengeance’s villain, Simon says cast a vote in our poll and let us know…

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