NYPD cop John McClane's plan to reconcile with his estranged wife is thrown for a serious loop when, minutes after he arrives at her office, the entire building is overtaken by a group of terrorists. With little help from the LAPD, wisecracking McClane sets out to single-handedly rescue the hostages and bring the bad guys down.
**This is one of the definitive 80s Action Films.** There is no nonsense whatsoever, the plot moves along with such a pace that the viewer is not disturbed by implausabilities. Bruce Willis plays the likeable "regular guy", who is forced bare-foot into unleashing mayhem and destruction, to perfection. His brilliant opposite is Alan Rickman, playing the German villain Hans Gruber in such a way that you almost root for him to get away with his heist. Also, he thankfully dispatches the office sleazeball, Ellis, in a wonderful scene. The bad guys in Die Hard are more likeable than their counterparts in other movies. They are allowed to be funny and charming, which is good because we as viewers spend a lot of time with them, so it's good that they are not complete douchebags. John McLane gets to do what many adolescent boys wanted to try: to drop something off the ledge of a skyscraper or down an elevator shaft, and see what happens. But he uses an office chair armed with a PC monitor and a block of C4 and watches as it drops, then explodes, wiping out an entire floor! Everything here is bigger and louder than other Action movies from it's time. McLane drops bad guys and one-liners left and right, things and people explode, culminating in a grand finale that is as well paced and executed as any action sequence that came after it. This film started it's own sub-genre, after it came not only it's own sequels, but a load of films that were described as "Die hard on a..." or "Die Hard in a..." Most prominent examples were perhaps "**Speed**" and "**Under Siege**". This is entertaining as hell, it's a must-watch!
Just watched this inexplicably for the first time, after having seen and adoring its first two sequels. As a teenager when this hit theatres, I never really felt the urge or inclination to see this at the time. Action films weren't big for me back then. Now as a father of a teenager myself, it's interesting seeing what's now considered 'a classic' for the first time. This easily deserves its lofty status as one of the finest action movies ever made, especially of the 80's. Alan Rickman, now deceased, played with distinction one of the finest cinematic villains ever. This film--closely followed by 'Pulp Fiction'--is the most important work Bruce Willis ever made. I enthusiastically hope that should someday Willis either leave this plain or decide not to make any more DH films that they simply put the franchise to rest. He was born to play this character. Anyone else in his shoes could never fit the iconic bill.
What can I even say about _Die Hard_? This is one of the most highly praised action movies of all time, and it has **actually earned that praise**. _Final rating:★★★★ - Very strong appeal. A personal favourite._
***Big, dumb, fun action flick with Bruce Willis and a skyscraper*** RELEASED IN 1988 and directed by John McTiernan, "Die Hard" is the first of (currently) five installments in the Die Hard series. In this one New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) flies to Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his wife & kids. When McClane visits Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) at her company’s Christmas party a group of radical criminals take control of the skyscraper. Alan Rickman plays the nefarious mastermind of the operation while Reginald VelJohnson plays a cop on the ground that befriends McClane via walkie talkie. Meanwhile Paul Gleason is on hand as an exasperating police chief. This franchise fills the bill if you're in the mood for big, dumb, fun action thrills. Don't get me wrong because a lot of work goes into making these kinds of films and it takes talent & genius to pull them off. I mean "dumb" in the sense that the focus is on unbelievable action rather than deeper themes beyond "genuinely good people may be flawed, cocky and somewhat profane, but they're courageous and never give up in the face of evil." The Die Hard flicks are the natural progeny of over-the-top films like 1977's "The Gauntlet" where the action scenes are so overdone they're cartoony, but entertaining. There's a thin line that filmmakers must tread with these kinds of blockbusters because they can easily fall into overKILL, like 2001's "The Mummy Returns." Thankfully, "Die Hard" evades that ditch because it’s not too over-the-top and it offers entertaining protagonists & antagonists, amusing one-liners, worthy bits of character development and a compelling comic booky story. While all five Die Hard movies are of the same action expertise, I prefer the sequels because this one takes place almost entirely in and around a skyscraper. I favor the wider location scope of the others. THE MOVIE RUNS 2 hours, 12 minutes and was shot entirely in Los Angeles. GRADE: B/B+