“Hey babe, I negotiate million dollar deals for breakfast. I think I can handle this Eurotrash.”
Cast: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia
On a surprise trip to see his estranged wife in LA, John McClane crashes her work Chritsmas party only to find himself caught up in a terrorist attack, fronted by Hans Gruber and his heavily armoured gang. Managing to slip away from those taken hostage, McClane takes it upon himself to save the day, working his way around the building one man at a time.
Die Hard is Bruce Willis’ best movie to date, there’s no doubt about it. It’s the one he is most known for and has spawned an impressive 4 sequels so far. It’s the epitome of all ‘good cop saves the day’ films out there and even goes as far as to top some favourite Christmas film lists.
Firstly the casting choice of our protagonist was brilliant. Bruce Willis as John McClane couldn’t have been a better fit. This cheeky, loving, hardened ‘good cop’ seems to encompass Willis’ characteristics very well. He looks the part and sounds the part. Alan Rickman as sleazy German terrorist Gruber was great too, his creepy appearance made for a more interesting criminal and the only thing to make him seem more convincing would have been a good German accent. His gang of baddies were also well played, each character being explored just enough to show us that you wouldn’t want to mess with any of them.
The simple and classic formula that the storyline follows is just another element that secures Die Hard as such a good film. It’s a very straight-forward tale that sees a good cop swoop in to an unsettled scene and save the day. With it being so simple too, it allowed for the script to be packed full of action and suspense, with a few laughs chucked in for good measure. The pace at which Die Hard continually moves is enough to keep the audience in a constant state of intrigue too. With this mixture of comedy, drama and thriller, we are given a good selection of genres to sink our teeth into, making it very accessible for a variety of audiences.
The only bad things I could pick out from two hours in front of the screen were Alan Rickman’s German accent, and the plausibility of some of the more explosive scenes. Apart from this though, which are pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, it’s all good.
Die Hard is a bloody brilliant film that everyone needs to see. Willis is superb as John McClane and the story is so simple, it works without a hitch. Whether you’re watching it at Christmas or throughout the year, it will never fail to impress with what constitutes a fantastic film.
Star rating: 9/10
Directed by John McTiernan.
Running time 131 minutes.