High above the city of L.A. a team of terrorists has seized a building, taken hostages and declared war. One man has managed to escape. An off-duty cop hiding somewhere inside. He’s alone, tired… and the only chance anyone has got.
Top 250 #105
Year of Release: 1988
Director: John McTiernan
Bruce Willis – Officer John McClane
Bonnie Bedelia – Holly Gennaro McClane
Reginald VelJohnson – Sgt. Al Powell
Paul Gleason – Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson
Alan Rickman – Hans Gruber
Regular readers of my site will have seen me mention my wife Carly once or twice in a few posts. Well, the reason Die Hard is todays review is all thanks to her. And another friend of ours I should add. They both asked me what I thought were good Christmas movies. After reeling off a few I threw out Die Hard for them and they both told me Die Hard ‘isn’t really a Christmas movie, is it?‘.
Yes. Yes of course it is!! So I did what all sensible people would do in this position and this week gave Carly the true gift of Christmas – DIE HARD!!
Coming in at number 105 on the IMDB Top 250, Die Hard is an excellent action film, and just reminded me how good the 80′s movies and Bruce Willis were. I would say we all know the story, but as my own wife proved, some people haven’t lived and have never seen it, so here is some plot info for you.
Bruce Willis plays John McClane. He’s a New York cop who has flown out to Los Angeles for Christmas (see Carly, Christmas!), and we quickly learn that his marriage was put on hold after his wife (Bonnie Bedelia) left for the coast to accept a great job offer. She is now a vice president of the multinational Nakatomi Corporation. After McClane says hello to his wife, he heads off to change his clothes. Disaster strikes as the party is disrupted by the arrival of Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his heavily armed group of bad guys. The group seizes the tower and secures those inside as hostages, except for McClane, who manages to slip away.
The movie then becomes John McClane vs everyone else as he desperately tries to save the day. Die Hard has everything; explosions, blood shed, guns, smart bad guys, dumb bad guys, bad guys with amazing hair, and most importantly an on-form wise-cracking Bruce Willis. I was surprised how funny Die Hard was, as even though I have seen it so many times over the years, hearing my wife laugh regularly at McClane’s comments and actions was good enough proof that even nearly 25 years after release (25 years, wow) it still holds up so well.
Director John McTiernan creates a perfect balance between the excellent action sequences, the character development and the humour. Oscar nominated for its visual effects, obviously Die Hard looks amazing throughout and the pace is just relentless. There is never a dull moment, and that is normally down to the interaction between the main actors. Whilst Sgt. Al Powell nearly steals the show with his back and forth with McClane, the film rests and succeeds with Bruce Willis & Alan Rickmans characters facing off, in the good old-fashioned ‘baddie vs goodie‘. The final showdown between these two is of epic proportions which sums up the quality of the film and makes sure nothing lets it down.
Die Hard is an incredible action film and created a role and character Bruce Willis has never come close to equalling. It has been often imitated but never bettered, for example, 1994′s Speed was nicknamed ‘Die Hard on a bus’, and 1996′s The Rock was dubbed ‘Die Hard on an island’. It thoroughly deserves its place in the IMDB Top 250, and should be way higher in my humble opinion.
I’m such a huge fan that I even played the video games back in the day. Finding images of them now makes me realise how far video games have come, but I remember vividly at the time playing these how happy I was.
What did my wife think overall? She loved it, but felt it wasn’t quite Christmassy enough. A tree, the odd bit of tinsel and a few passing mentions do not a Christmas movie make in her opinion. But she loved the film enough to watch the sequel the next day (which she thought was much more Christmassy, you will be pleased to know!). Yippie-ki-yay, motherf#&%er!