Today is Valentine’s Day, which can only mean one thing. It’s time for terrorists and mayhem! That’s right, “A Good Day to Die Hard,” the fifth film in the “Die Hard” franchise opens in theaters today with yet another installment of everyday policeman John McClane laying waste to global villains. The franchise has since gone away from its original premise, but the idea of a lone man in the wrong place at the wrong time facing near impossible odds to fight off bad guys was so well done in the original film that it naturally spawned many copycats. Soon after the release of “Die Hard” in 1988, there were many similarly made action films which featured lone heroes in specific locations which could all be summarized as “Die Hard on a ___.” Most were forgettable but some of those copycat films actually turned out to be very entertaining and went on to become blockbusters, leading to sequels themselves.
Here’s a look at my Fab Five “Die Hard” copycats. What’s your favorite “Die Hard” copycat film?
#5 - Under Siege
Premise: "Die Hard" on a battleship
After a series of successful three-word titled action flicks that totally kicked all kinds of butt ("Above the Law," "Hard to Kill," "Marked for Death"), Seagal was finally given a big budget and big name stars (Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey) to help make a bigger splash, and "Under Siege" certainly did that. Slickly directed by Andrew Davis, "Under Siege" went on to gross more than $80 million and even spawned a decent sequel.
Unfortunately for Seagal, this high point in his career was very brief and it was straight-to-video films soon after. I really miss the lean, mean killing machine version of Seagal. I'm hoping he does some "Insantity" DVDs and returns for a cameo in "The Expendables 3."