Newest Review: ... as NYPD Detective John McClane as a man who arrives from New York in LA to see his wife and kids over Christmas. His relationship with ... more
Die Hard - John McClane vs Hans Gruber
Die Hard (DVD)
Member Name: TimListfield
Die Hard (DVD)
Advantages: Surely one of the finest action films of all time, with one of the best villains.
Die Hard is the only film that can rival Lethal Weapon as the greatest action film of all time. Plotwise, it's not as deep or as dark as Lethal Weapon. But this film does have the better villain in Alan Rickman, who steals every second of screen time that he's involved in. Also, at times the action, though explosive, is a little less meaningful. So though it's second to Lethal Weapon, it's still above every other action film ever made and has a sharp script from Steven E. de Souza, along with ever excellent direction from John McTiernan, a man known for his superb action/thriller flicks.
Die Hard stars Bruce Willis in his first real blockbuster role as NYPD Detective John McClane as a man who arrives from New York in LA to see his wife and kids over Christmas. His relationship with his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedilia) is strained because she left him for her job in LA, and is now far more successful than he is. She works at a Japanese company who has its offices in LA in a skyscraper (in reality the FOX tower in LA). John arrives, and he and his wife talk for a while before having an argument.
At the same time, a truck is moving across LA, and it eventually arrives at the skyscraper, parking underground. Another car arrives just outside the skyscraper, and two men get out. They walk into the tower and shoot the securty guard before locking the tower down. The truck underground opens up and armed terrorists get out, including their leader Hand Gruber (the brilliant Alan Rickman). They go up to the floor where the Christmas Party is being held.
Meanwhile, Holly has gone to make a speech leaving John in his office. Suddenly, the terrorists enter the floor and start to shoot and round up everyone. John is just about able to escape and manages to reach a floor further up the building, where he has time to think. He then realizes no one is going to help, so makes the decision to take on the terrorists himself. So it's the outrageous and lucky all American John McClane vs the subtle, clever and slick Hans Gruber, leading to some classic action scenes and a fabulous climax.
This is one of the most iconic action films of all time. Though it's not as deep as Lethal Weapon, this is still hugely entertaining. Bruce Willis is unforgettable as John McClane and this really was the role that propelled him into stardom. And he is matched by Alan Rickman in his signature role as the sleek villain Hans Gruber, which also had the effect or propelling him into stardom as well.
The action in this film is just outstanding. It's over the top, yes. But it's just so much fun. To save money, FOX allowed John McTiernan to use the FOX HQ tower in LA, so most of the action is centred around there. There are some classic shootouts, some huge explosions and a wonderful climax at the end, making this easily one of the finest action films of all time. Unmissable.
Summary: A fast paced action film all the way.