Die Hard 1 and 3 are both excellent. The original novel, Nothing Last Forever, the first movie is based off of does have a better story though. The only weak/terrible Die Hard movie is the fifth one. You can only find a few defenders with that one. One of them being either people in Indonesia or Malaysia. I forget which one. My mom likes all the movies though. She thinks none of them are bad.Interesting take. I don't think the show you've suggested would be interesting at all, i.e.: a "protagonist" so self-serving that he would cooperate with terrorists despite the risk to +100 other innocent people's lives? I mean, where would a show like that even go when, from the onset, you've established the main character isn't morally likeable? People don't go to the movies to see people do what most of us actually would do in crisis situations; we go to see heroes, and escape from reality and likelihoods. At some point the terrorists had to lose, but by your definition, that would be rote "playing it straight." So I guess you would have preferred a show about the woman who killed the pilot and re-hijacked the plane? Should she have crashed the plane and the terrorists (the guys released from prison on the ground) see their elaborate stock scheme through to their millions?
And while we're comparing, hot take: Die Hard is good, not great. I think it survives on nostalgia, its few quotable lines, and the ageless debate over whether it's a Christmas movie or not. Hotter take: I much prefer Die Hard With A Vengeance.