- Critical Dissonance: Vengeance received a mixed critical response, but was very-well liked by audiences and fans alike, and is often considered to be the best of the Die Hard sequels.
- Ear Worm: Good luck getting "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" out of your head.
- Ending Fatigue: The film starts running out of steam once McClane and Simon come face to face. This is largely because no one knew how to end the story - the original scripted ending was never filmed, the first was considered too dark by test audiences, and the finished product was tacked on at the last minute.
- Evil Is Cool: Simon is often considered to be one of the best villains in the series, second only to Hans.
- Harsher in Hindsight:
- One of the cops makes an offhand reference to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, saying how inconvenient it was. Ouch. The entire plot can be harder to watch after 9/11: a beautiful late summer day, terrorists making an attack on New York City, school children possibly being in danger...
- The sudden bombing of a crowded city block in New York City that kicks off the film is also harsher in light of the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- Meta Example: The film's distributors, 20th Century Fox (domestic releases) and Disney (international releases) would cross paths again 22 years later in Disney's 2017 buyout of Fox.
- At one point, a frustrated 911 call operator exclaims "And I'm gonna marry Donald Trump!" ... back when he was but a billionaire, and not the President of the United States (and married multiple times over).
- Magnificent Bastard: Simon Gruber is a former soldier, Hans' older brother and master thief just like his sibling. Distracting the New York City police department with bomb threats, Simon strings along John McClane and Zeus to play games following his instructions lest he detonate his bombs. Pretending to be masterminding revenge for his brother, Simon mobilizes on his real goal: robbing the Federal Reserve for over one hundred billion dollars in gold bars, while the preoccupied police force leave it nearly completely unguarded for Simon and his men to plunder. When McClane attempts to follow his men, Simon improvises with a discarded bomb to flood the tunnel McClane is in, nearly drowning him. Alleging to destroy the gold to disrupt the American power-grasp on the world, Simon really means to make off with it himself. Every bit as adaptive and charming as Hans, Simon is yet another Gruber who shows to be a brilliant criminal.
- Moral Event Horizon: Simon Gruber seemingly crosses this when he plants a bomb in a school. Turns out the bomb is a fake.
- Only the Creator Does It Right: Among the sequels, Vengeance is the least-criticized by fans, largely due to being directed by John McTiernan, and it directly followed up on events and characters from the first film.
- Tear Jerker:
- Ricky's murder. The last thing anyone (who isn't a villain) said to him before he died was that he was "full of shit!" ...Ouch.
- Equally upsetting is later when John finds his corpse below the Federal Reserve.
- The fact that the actor who portrayed him passed away from cancer a year after the film was released makes this worse.
YMMV / Die Hard with a Vengeance