My Favorite Movies #52 – Die Hard

Die Hard - Poster.jpgDie Hard

1988

Directed by John McTiernan

Quick synopsis… NYPD cop John McClane’s (Bruce Willis) plan to reconcile with his estranged wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), is thrown for a serious loop when minutes after he arrives at her office, the entire building is overtaken by a group of pitiless terrorists. With little help from the LAPD, wisecracking McClane sets out to single-handedly rescue the hostages and bring the bad guys down. This classic John McTiernan actioner launched Willis into superstardom.

  • I’m already gonna start out by saying, if you haven’t seen this then shame on you.
  • Sorry… I don’t mean to really shame anyone. Maybe you have a moral code that prevents you from enjoying a movie that’s given an R rating by the MPAA.
  • However, I will stand firm on my belief that this IS a Christmas movie.
  • Come at me, bro!
  • Is it fair to say that Die Hard slightly reinvented the action movie?
  • I mean, it seems like, after Die Hard became such a huge success, studios were climbing all over each other trying to come up with the next Die Hard.
  • Think about all the action movies that came afterward that are described as “Die Hard on a _____.”
  • Speed was Die Hard on a bus. Executive Decision was Die Hard on an airplane. So was Passenger 57Die Hard 2 was Die Hard at an airport.
  • The list goes on and on.
  • I’m sure you don’t need me to recap this thing. But here’s a quick rundown…
  • Bruce Willis is John McClane, a hardened NYPD cop who’s flown out to LA to reconnect with his wife and kids, who moved out west when Holly followed her career with the Nakatomi Corporation.
  • McClane meets up with Holly at her company Christmas party, which is interrupted by Hans Gruber and his Merry Men.
  • They look like a terrorist organization. Really, they’re just well-funded thieves.
  • The action ramps up and is non-stop from there.
  • And I’m here to tell you, it is one of, if not the, greatest action movies of all time.
  • Question… When John gets to Nakatomi, why does the guard make him search for Holly on that old school touch screen? When he finds her on the 30th floor, the guard tells him they’re the only ones left in the building.
  • Soon-to-be dead guard, if you knew the people on 30 were the only ones left in the building, why didn’t you just check his ID and send him on up?!
  • Gotta show off that state of the art 1988 technology, am I right?
  • On another note, Die Hard, like many action movies of the 80s and 90s, is responsible for so many incredible one-liners.
  • The dialogue isn’t as cheesy as what you’d likely get with your typical Schwarzenegger outing.
  • With that, the exposition that’s thrown in here and there isn’t heavy handed and doesn’t make you feel like the movie is talking down to the audience.
  • When John arrives at the party, he meets Holly’s boss and compliments him on the impressive building.
  • Mr. Takagi subtly mentions that several floors are under construction, preparing us for later in the movie when John has to hide out on those unfinished floors.
  • At the end, after Carl Winslow saves the day, why do Holly and John limp toward Argyle’s limo? Why isn’t McClane being hauled off in an ambulance?!
  • That dude should have died at least five different ways in that building.
  • Alan Rickman plays Hans Gruber to perfection. Seriously, is there a role that guy didn’t nail?
  • In conclusion, yippie-ki-yay… uh… you know the rest.

Where do you fall in the Christmas movie debate? Does Die Hard fit that category? Or is it just another action movie that happens to take place on Christmas Eve? What action movie is your favorite? Let me know what you think down in the comments!

Come back next week when we head back to the Wizarding World for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

2 thoughts on “My Favorite Movies #52 – Die Hard

  1. I feel like I’ve seen this movie but it might also be just because it’s mentioned in so many other things in life lol for me a Christmas movie has to be about Christmas things not just set at Christmas time. Like if Santa was attacking the tower that would make it a Christmas movie. Or if this Hans person was trying to attack the North Pole then it would be.

    Liked by 1 person

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