The debate was over the idea of which Die Hard sequel is more like (and closest to being as good as) the first movie. So, without any further ado... enjoy my personal opinion:
A little background; Die Hard (the original) is centered around Bruce Willis' character (John McClane) being in the wrong place at the wrong time, fighting bad guys (awesomely), getting all beat up but prevailing, having his wife taken as hostage and getting her back, then killing the bad guy at the end. During this sequence of events, there are several amazing fight scenes, some cheesy one-liner jokes, an entertaining side-kick and a whole lot of "yippee Ki yay." Great movie!
The second movie is based in an airport, once again McClane is in the wrong place at the wrong time, his wife is on an airplane (which somewhat puts her at the mercy of the bad guy), some action scenes, some pitiful humor (insert naked boobie calendar here) and all-in-all "yippee Ki yay." Yes, it stuck with the same idea as the first movie, but the movie itself wasn't as strong as the first one, and frankly it was a little boring. Plus...those grenades took FOREVER to go off. I just found that a bit unbelievable. Kinda rurnt the whole thing for me at that point.
The third movie is really one of the better humor ridden movies, simply because of the fact that Sam Jackson is the sidekick. This movie strayed from the first two a bit as far as plot. McClane isn't in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the movie does stick with the first one in the fact that the bad guy is after revenge for the death of his brother in the first movie. No one close to McClane is held hostage and not as much "yippee Ki yay" as the other two..but as far as being a good movie, it is really good. This one could stand alone (away from the Die Hard series) if it had to. As far as following the same idea as the first one, this one didn't. But, they did a good job of tying it to the original with the brother of the original villain being brought back into the picture because of his... brother.
Now, the fourth movie?.. I think, is the one that comes back to all of the original ideas and meshes with the first movie better than the rest. It was almost as if the writers got together and said, "oh! let's make this one like the first one, just updated and with better fight choreography and humor." The fourth movie, you find McClane, once again, in the wrong place at the wrong time with a sidekick, action scenes, and by the end, his daughter is taken hostage ..."yippee Ki yay." And, if that doesn't do enough for you? ... let me just show you why this movie makes John McClane one of the baddest cowboys ever!....
Now.. for my final answer: Personally, the movie that stayed with the original plot, and that offered the best action plus humor.. it would have to be *drum roll*
Die Hard 4.
In the beginning, from what I had remembered from the movies, I would have said 3 was my favorite...but after watching them again (in sequence), I have to say that the fourth one is the closest to the original idea, in my opinion.
I just want to say that Bruce Willis is amazing as John McClane. He is awesome. That is all.
June 4th on Blu Ray/DVD. I'm there, baby. I'm there. Yippee Ki Yay!!!!