Whoever thought Germans could make such good villains.
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, wise cracking McClane sets out to single-handedly rescue the hostages and bring the bad guys down.
After watching this film I have realized where all these other action/thriller films all came from. Films such as Speed, Double Impact, and Cliffhanger all would be nothing if it weren’t for this film, and its out-of-control action.
The action of this film is everywhere. The building it is set in gets blown up so many times I’m just surprised that it didn’t become a huge ball of flames. The action sequences are all pre-CGI era and all the stunts are great to see cause of how realistic they look.
The pacing of Die Hard is also very credible because although its highly exciting and filled with action it still takes time to bring in some down time, of the screenplay. We get to understand these characters and who they are and what they want. The screenplay is also very well-written cause although this movie is serious, a lot of humor ensues from Willis and the lines he makes are hilarious and very quotable.
Up to then, action heroes were larger than life types like Stallone and Schwarzenegger, obscenely muscled and seemingly indestructible despite the many dangers they encountered. But Bruce Willis as everyman cop John McLain changed the super hero mold, settling for just plain vanilla hero. Here was a flawed protagonist who bled and cursed and cried like the rest of us and we immediately embraced his character and all his flaws and false bravado.
Willis does an amazing job and brings a lot of energy to the film with his deliverance of the lines, that could’ve become too corny were actually delivered well. Alan Rickman is very convincing as the villain here and makes him seem more evil in this movie as it goes on, and without this role he would’ve never been put in those Harry Potter films.
The one main problem I had with this film was that the cops in this film are just so stupid. The decisions they make are so dumb that my attention towards them didn’t mean anything. Basically John McLain is taking on this whole army of Russians by himself and the cops just sit there and talk to him, what are these cops even doing.
Consensus: Die Hard is a great action classic, filled with over-the-top action, little shades of humor, and a very realistic protagonist. Without this film we wouldn’t have the big-time action films of the 90’s or today.