Your favourite Die Hard "inspired" movies

Hunter Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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This week sees the release of the 5th Die Hard movie and the franchise has expanded over the years. However in 1988 the first Die Hard laid out a blueprint for the action genre that has been used more often than any other with the possible exception of the buddy cop formula.

Die Hard is so ingrained in pop culture to the point films to this day are still described as "It's Die Hard in/on a *____*" right up to 2013 where we have two movies described as Die Hard in the White House.

So what are everyone's favourite Die Hard "knock offs" that relocated the concept but did a damn good job in the process?

My top 3:

1. Cliffhanger (Die Hard on a mountain)

One of Stallone's best. The stunning scenery and inventive aerial heist along with the brutal showdown's with the various members of the mercenary crew set this one apart, and John Lithgow is fantastic as sneering sociopath Eric Qualen.

2. Air Force One (Die Hard on THE plane)

The only film I can recall where the President is an action hero. Sure it has some atrocious CGI at the end but for the most part it is a tense action thriller with smarts, good fight scenes and two quality actors in Ford and Oldman, at the top of their games.

3. The Rock (Die Hard on Alcatraz)

Yeah I know a lot here hate Michael Bay, but I find most of his movies entertaining with great action and The Rock is still his best to date IMO. A big San Fran car chase homage to Bullit, that shower room shootout massacre, the mine car sequence, a morally grey villain played by the always quality Ed Harris, Nic Cage as a nerdy hero and Sean Connery spitting out great sarcastic one liners as a badass old British agent and the only man to have ever escaped Alcatraz, glorious stuff!
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It's late. Had to find a 90 minute movie to enjoy. You pointed me in Paul Blart's direction lol. I thought that was an entertaining funny movie. Not the best, but funny.

I'd say AIR FORCE ONE!!!!! ALL THE WAY. That was my first R rated movie in theaters, it will always be a classic to me for that reason.

I'd say AIR FORCE ONE, SPEED, THE ROCK, MASTERMINDS (this film I used to watch all the time when I was home sick when I was a kid, this and 'Wild America').

Ones I've seen

Die Hard (1988) (NYPD cop John McClane takes on terrorists inside an L.A. office building)
Die Hard 2 (1990) (John McClane battles terrorists at a Washington, D.C. airport)

Passenger 57 (1992) (Airline security expert John Cutter battles terrorists in a airplane)
Under Siege (1992) (former Navy SEAL Casey Ryback battles mercenaries in a U.S Battleship)
Cliffhanger (1993) (former mountain rescue climber Gabe Walker battles terrorists in the mountain range)
Speed (1994) (Daredevil LAPD SWAT officer Jack Traven takes on an extortionist on a bomb rigged bus)
Beverly Hills Cop III (1994) (Detroit cop Axel Foley travels to Beverly Hills to find his boss' murderer in a theme park)

Bloodfist VI: Ground Zero (1995) (Air Force Courier Nick Corrigan takes on terrorists at a nuclear missile base)
Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) (John McClane and a salesman hunt a bomber in New York City)
Sudden Death (1995) (Fire Marshal Darren McCord takes on terrorists inside an hockey arena)
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) (Casey Ryback takes on mercenaries on a train)
Executive Decision (1996) (Army Consultant David Grant, along with a Special Forces team, take on terrorists in a passenger plane)
Broken Arrow (1996) (Air Force pilot Riley Hale and a park ranger battle rouge military operatives in a desert)
The Rock (1996) (Chemical weapons expert Stanley Goodspeed and Former S.A.S. Captain John Mason battle mercenaries in Alcatraz Prison)
Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) (Los Angeles SWAT cop Alex Shaw confronts a computer genius in a luxury cruise ship)
Air Force One (1997) (President James Marshall battles terrorists on Air Force One)
Con Air (1997) (Ex-U.S. Army Ranger Cameron Poe takes on cons on a prison transport plane)
Masterminds (1997) (Hacker/student Oswald "Ozzie" Paxton battles corrupt security guards led by a revenge-seeking security system expert in a prep school)

Mean Guns (1997) (highly-skilled killer Lou takes on gangsters in a maximum security prison)
Agent Red (2000) (U.S. Navy Officer Matt Hendricks battles terrorists in a Russian submarine)
Derailed (2002) (NATO Operative Jacques Kristoff takes on terrorists on a passenger train)
Half Past Dead (2002) (FBI agent and convicts take on mercenaries in the re-opened Alcatraz Prison)
Snakes on a Plane (2006) (FBI Agent Neville Flynn takes on snakes on a passenger airplane)
Live Free or Die Hard (2007) (John McClane and a computer hacker take on cyberterrorists in Eastern United States)

Against the Dark (2009) (vigilante group battles mutant vampires in a hospital)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009) (mild-mannered security guard takes on terrorists in a mall)
Lockout (2012) (former government agent Snow takes on prisoners who've taken over a space prison)
Dredd (2012) (Judge Dredd fights his way through a 200-storey high-rise block of flats)
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Die Hard in a toy store might be cool... White Castle wouldn't exactly work because they'd practically always be in one room. It'd be more of a short.

Now that I said it... I'm thinking about actually making "Die Hard in a toy store" lol. A group of kids somehow get locked in a toy store when thieves break in to steal money from it. Or mean kids break in to steal toys from it. Or, I don't know about the villain yet. But, I could actually get this thing made lol and just the idea is comically intriguing and a flash back to the kids movies I used to watch when I was growing up. And when I say toy store - I mean like the Toys 'R Us in Times Square! Something just tells me that kids might seriously love that idea.
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I always have a special fondness for The Rock.
Speed. I've always had a soft spot for that movie.
It's clearly Speed. It's certainly better than any of the Die Hard sequels.

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