I was cautious going into Die Hard: With a Vengeance. My love for the series started to wave after re-watching the second Die Hard film. It wasn't a good film, I really wanted it to be- but it wasn't. With that said: I'm glad to say that Die Hard 3 is a better film-it's actually an entertaining film.
Die Hard: With a Vengeance starts out a bit shaky- with a now bitter and weathered John McClane (Bruce Willis), the movie appears to have lost the cheery and fun tone that was established in the first two films- this isn't actually the case, the film just takes its time to settle into a familiar tone. The film also takes its time with warming up John McClane as a character, giving us a chance to meet John's new 'partner' Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson). This partnership is definitely the strongest element of this film; the uneasy rapport and banter between these characters really stand-out amongst the other, less fun-to-watch characters. Like the previous film (Die Hard 2: Die Harder), the film suffers from other, less-talented actors. It isn't as annoying as it was in the previous film; less time is dedicated to these characters, which I'm thankful for. The villains are more like-able, while not particularly interesting or unique, they do stand out when compared to the previous villains. The plot and story of the movie is just as ridiculous as it was in the second film, replacing the idiotic airport police with the idiotic police force of Harlem. The plot really isn't supposed to make a whole lot of sense or be generally special, it just serves for John McClane to be John 'fucking' McClane. Now, while I don't hate the main plot, the branches from the main plot are so completely contrived, it's almost cringe-worthy. This is particularly noticeable with the school bomb, with the children being stranded. The scene didn't garner any tension, due to it's very stark nature, it wasn't subtle- it was just jarring. All that nonsense aside: Die Hard: With a Vengeance is an entertaining film. This is all due to the fun and lively nature of Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis; their fun, easy-to-like presences really save the film as a whole. All of this equates to a fun, albeit totally forgettable watch.
In short: If you like action movies, and don't mind watching something that won't leave you with anything substantial or long-lasting- then this is the movie for you. It's definitely a fine watch for action movie fans. If you're looking for something with more emotional depth or something with more dramatical density- then you sir, are looking at the wrong movie.