Die Hard Quadrilogy

Previously missing on UK shores, the third Die Hard finally shows up in this boxset

New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) just doesn’t seem to be able to catch a break. He spent Christmas 1988 dealing with terrorists holding his wife and other workers hostage in an LA office. Two years later his Christmas was ruined by mercenaries taking control of Washington’s Dulles Airport. No wonder that by 1995 he’d become a washed-up alcoholic, coaxed back in to action by a nutter with a vendetta against him. And then in 2007 he quit swearing and turned into a virtual superhero, surfing on the back of a jet in his quest to foil a computer hacker.

In cinematic terms this all equates to one of the best action films in the history of cinema, a somewhat repetitive follow-up, a really enjoyable buddy movie and a complete betrayal of everything the character once stood for.

Picture: Three of the discs in this set have been previously available separately in the UK and arrive here completely unaltered (the first film could do with a little more spit and polish, the second is extremely muddy at times and the fourth is as sharp as you’d expect from a modern blockbuster). As such, the real point of interest is the UK Blu-ray debut of Die Hard with a Vengeance. Free from the edge enhancement and muted colour palette that plagued previous DVD releases, the AVC 2.40:1 1080p encode represents a definite step up in quality. However, there’s still room for improvement, thanks to the less-than-pristine nature of the source print and a couple of obvious instances of compression artefacting.
Picture rating: 3/5

Audio: All four films feature DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtracks. The first, second and fourth films sound the same as ever on Blu-ray. In other words, slightly processed when it comes to the first two and like your front room has been transported into the heart of a war zone with the fourth. Die Hard with a Vengeance ranks somewhere between the two extremes. Use of the surrounds is more expansive than its two predecessors, but there’s also a lack of the finesse and raw power of Die Hard 4.0’s mix.
Audio rating: 3/5

Extras: Once again, the extras accompanying the first, second and fourth film are the same as ever, with nothing added or removed since the standalone releases. Newcomer Die Hard with a Vengeance offers up the most comprehensive set of archive goodies in the collection, in the form of a commentary, alternate ending, interviews, a trio of promo featurettes, six split-screen visual effects comparisons, storyboards and trailers.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: This Blu-ray boxset is really starting to show its age. Maybe it’s time for a remaster…

20th Century Fox, Region B BD (Die Hard 1/2/4)/All-region BD (Die Hard 3), £40 Approx, On sale now