Dir: Setsuro Wakamatsu
Starring: Yuji Oda, Koichi Sato, Nanako Matsushima

Evidence that the Japanese fondness for taking Western inventions and replicating them extends to cinema, this relocates Die Hard to Japan's largest dam. It is occupied by terrorists, led by a guy in a wheelchair, who threaten to bust it open, unless they get paid 5 billion yen - that's "a lot", regardless of current exchange rates. It goes without saying that one employee escapes their net, and it's up to him to stop them. In an interesting twist, his best friend died in the mountains, and his fiancee, who blames our hero for her lover's death, is among the hostages. Is that the sound of redemption beckoning that I hear?

This is competently handled, and the mountainous, blizzardy conditions add another angle, hampering all sides equally. However, the hero never engages in the way that Bruce Willis managed to do, and there is way too much footage of him tramping through snow - not least because he escapes from the mountain, apparently only to phone the cops and tell him he's going back up. There are a couple of surprises, but they also seem poorly thought-out, or at least poorly explained, though it's nice to have characters who aren't inexplicably adept with weapons, and have to learn about things like safety-catches. Such moments will keep you watching, yet likely fail to lift it above any other Die Hard clone, and certainly falls well short of its inspiration.


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