Nothing gets a man’s testosterone pumping as a good old action movie. And when we think of action movies, you know what comes to our minds first. Yes, this is the Die Hard movie review!
Watching Die Hard has become a part of our lifestyle, like shaving (or not shaving). No matter how many times we watch it, we always feel superior and determined, just like John McClane did. And we always discover some gem, when we watch it. Like the fact that McClane gave Gruber empty gun because he noticed that the watch on his wrist.
Even when it first entered cinemas, the Die Hard movie was unmistakably the greatest action movie ever made. All of the sudden, everyone forgot about Commando and Rambo. Die Hard has set up a new action movie benchmark with its thriller approach and with those intense killing scenes.
Who’s the man in charge for the Die Hard movie
John McTierman, also known for Predator (another intense action flick), has done an amazing job in executing the Die Hard movie. There’s never been any movie before 1988 that had such perfectly timed scenes, such a good editing, and camera positioning. That’s why the movie earned 4 Oscar nominations in Best Sound, Best Editing and Best Sound and Visual Effects categories.
Every scene from Die Hard remains embodied in our minds. And every scene superbly builds up the anticipation for the next one. A pure action, thriller, and badass humor perfectly blended in a 2hr 15min testosterone build up.
The characters and the plot
So, McClane (Bruce Willis), a NYPD cop tries to save his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedella) and others from Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his crew led by Karl (Alexander Godunov) during Christmas party. The entire movie plot happens in a building, Nakatomi Plaza, Los Angeles.
Even from the opening sequence, Die Hard does the trick for us. John looks real like every one of us. He is not Arnold, and definitely not Stallone or The Rock either. But John looks cool even when he’s nervous during the flight. Then, when he’s about to leave the plane, we notice his gun and we know what to expect. From the start, he’s been presented to us as an imperfect person that has his flaws. But still, he is cool, self-assured and comical like we want to be as men.
John McClaine is not suave like James Bond either. He’s not indestructible like Chuck Norris. He gets in hard into fights and gets injured quite a lot in this movie. He’s hurt from the beginning of the movie, after falling from the stairs.
And actually, that’s the outcome that we want out of a movie. A dose of reality that shows us what can possibly happen if these types of events occur in real life. These sequences have set another benchmark, which is action heroes that are hurt, but still manage to save the day.
John is forced to walk barefooted on broken glass, removing debris of his feet and crying over the thought of not seeing his wife again. That’s what he came in LA for in the first place, to see her and make his marriage work. And that is his main motive that pushed him through the gruesome fight with the German terrorists.
Speaking of the terrorists, they’re taking over the building silently in the first 20 minutes of the movie. This emphasizes their thoroughness, character and tells the audiences that this is not the usual Christmas movie. This is where the expertise of McTiernan lies. He opens up the characters perfectly in the first 20 minutes of the film.
Basically, McClane is kicking ass while fighting to save his life at the same time. Action, thriller, comedy and a love story all packed and delivered to the audience. This is the movie that launched Bruce Willis as a major Hollywood action star. Also, it introduced Alan Rickman as a brilliant actor with manlier voice than Vin Diesel.
Even 29 years later, you can still feel how the action of the Die Hard movie pumps you up and excites you. You experience the action along with McClane knowing that he is a human being with a story, just like every one of us. That experience is in fact the reward for watching this movie.
Related: After Die Hard, you will want to check out Desperado!