There are many classic action movies out there, past and present. You’ve got Predator, Aliens, the Bourne movies, Rambo, Bloodsport, but none of those are as near perfect, if not perfect, as Die Hard. The game changer that showed not all heroes have to be larger than life; they can be regular guys with marriage problems and a fear of flying.
John McClane is a New York cop out in California to visit his estranged wife and family for Christmas and while visiting his wife at an office Christmas party, the building gets taken over by terrorists who are out to get theirs. Now, as said before, McClane is a regular guy. When we first see him he is on a plane talking to a passenger about his fear of flying and then lays out his story to Argyle, the limo driver, as he’s heading to the party. As he’s meeting everyone at the party, the terrorists take over and one of the first things McClane does is look for the exit door instead of taking the bad guys head on like Rambo probably would’ve done. The other thing too about McClane is he forgot to grab his shoes. So stepping on Legos and glass is just about a big a problem for him as the terrorists are.
The terrorists, on the other hand, are just about as interesting as McClane. Bad guy Alan Rickman as Hans is truly exceptional. He comes off cool, collected and very educated. There are moments of tension between him and Takagi (the guy who runs the building and McClane’s wife’s boss) where Rickman is standing in the elevator humming along to the music. He talks about the type of suit Takagi wears and mentions he has two himself. Very odd, but it’s a nice touch and goes to show that this guy isn’t just some random villain. Like McClane, he could be the guy sitting next you at a Starbucks reading a magazine (Forbes for Rickman bc he mentions it to Takagi) and drinking a coffee.
Besides the characters being so great the movie is directed with zeal by John McTiernan. He has a great eye for the action and makes sure every frame is perfect. Like his previous movie Predator, the surroundings of the main character have to be much, much larger than the hero. In Predator, Schwarzenegger is basically in the Predator’s playground (the jungle) and doesn’t know where Predator will pop out from, same with McClane and the building he’s in. This being the first time McClane has ever set foot in there and the terrorists who, more than likely, staked out the building and know all about it. Kudos to McTiernan for creating that environment.
The movie also has other characters to really like and dislike as well. You’ve got Al who is talking to McClane via walkie-talkie the whole time and even exchange some really heartfelt monologues about their personal lives. You also have the FBI agents both named Johnson who are assholes and the Chief Dwayne T. Robinson who isn’t interested in McClane’s heroics. The title for Cocky Yuppie has got to go to Ellis, the guy does coke, flirts with McClane’s wife and also thinks he can outsmart Hans Gruber (Rickman). The guy is something else and gets a bullet to the head for his arrogance. So don’t be an Ellis, kids.
One thing that’s always up for debate is whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie, lots of people say yes, lots say no but why not pop this movie in and let us know what you think it is.
Yippee ki yay, motherfucker.