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The greatest bad-ass best action movie hands down my personal favorite number 1 movie of all time
ivo-cobra84 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Die Hard (1988) the first action film is by far one of the greatest best action movies of all time from the 80's till this day hands down. It is my number 1 personal favorite action movie of all time, I love this movie to death! I love it so damn much and I have fun watching it so much. I have to talk about this movie: It is one man army fighting against a team of terrorists with automatic weapons and plastic explosives. Bruce Willis performance was excellent in this movie John McClane is his best role ever. It is my number 1 personal favorite action movie of all time, I love this movie to death! It's stay in my heart forever. To me it felt this film realistic and it makes you think that you are alone trapped in a building against bunch of terrorists what will you do?

This film has heart and soul. A lot of movies have try to do that premise since, but no movie has nail it like "Die Hard." This is a modern day action film of the action genre. I watch this film as a teenager I even watch it with my mom it was ultimate thrill ride. I love everyone in here all the characters and the lead character. I love that McClane is alone he has no help, all telephones doesn't work he is barefoot with his gun and the only help has is from Sgt. Al Powell down there who didn't even see him at all but were both talking on a radio from cop to cop. I love that bond between those two lead heroes. I always love when McClane talks to himself whenever he was about to do something crazy.

It is going to be 30 years anniversary this summer 20th July. I love this film to death I am hugh fan of Die Hard films I love this film so damn much. I would really love to see this movie in a widescreen in a movie theater. It was directed by brilliant John McTiernan it is is based on a novel Roderick Thorp Nothing Lasts Forever. This is a masterpiece action film that started all action genre one man army types battling terrorists while trapped in a confined space. It was arguably the first one in the action genre. This movie has everything . It has intense Action, Drama, Thriller, twists, great dialogue, explosions, fights. Exploding building, great helicopter explosion action scenes. John McClane is one man against a whole team of terrorists. A cracking Action Thriller from beginning to end, Die Hard explodes with heart-stopping suspense!

It has great cast, great plot, great explosions, no shaky cam, doesn't deal with CGI, but real actions real practical effects. Great Direction from John McTiernan, great dialogues, great acting from everyone. Everyone does an excellent job. Bruce Willis is a bad ass action star as John McClane. It has a great bad-ass action hero who does impossible buy stopping the terrorists who were actually a real terrorists who try to steal the money in a vault 640.000.000$ in bearer bonds stored in the building's vault.

My favorite action sequences and the best part of Die Hard: McClane grabs the fire hose, ties it around his body jumps with the helicopter about to kill him. Then Gruber blows it a second after McLane jumps off the roof! It was an incredible explosion that totally takes out the helicopter. But McLane is falling down the side of the building and needs to get inside quickly this is the best scene in the movie my favorite. McClane climbs in the elevator shaft escapes Karl and his men trying to kill him. McClane shoots on the table with his gun killing Marco. (According to the director, the proximity of the gun to Willis' ear during this scene caused permanent hearing loss for Willis.) McClane shot's Hans and Eddie "Happy - Trails, Hans..." Incredibly satisfying action in a brilliant action movie! McClane try to save Ellis when Ellis try to save him self. McClane was afraid of flying and he always carry gun because he was afraid someone would have hijack it. The fight between Karl and John was excellent and well choreographed. McClane drops C4 down the elevator shaft and destroys the entire floor where the terrorists are firing from, giving the cops a chance to retreat. I love The broken glass scene. He shoot's and kills two terrorists with his machine gun to escape Hans and Karl, John McClane is forced to sprint over broken glass while barefoot the best bad-ass scene in the movie my all time favorite. Three terrorists are shooting on McClane on the roof chasing him in which he escapes in the beginning of the movie awesome. Karl shoots in an elevator shaft in which McClane is hiding a real kick-ass scene I love this film to death!

I love the characters in this movie: John McClane a real action hero to me that does something that no one can he stops a team of terrorists. Hans Grubar the German mastermind he was ruthless and brilliant and he would do anything to steal the money even killing people and get what he want's. Alan Rickman's performance was excellent I love him to death in this movie. I really miss the actor he was the best villain of the whole world. The LAPD Supervisor (Diana James) I like that girl she was so good when McClane call's her for help, I love it. I love Sgt. Al Powell how he stand's up and defends McClane against his supervisor. Reginald VelJohnson does a brilliant performance as a great supporting hero in this movie. I love Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson to death he is my favorite character in here. Paul Gleason was so good I love his performance - "kick ass." I love how he tried everything to safe the hostages including SWAT team who were badly hurt. I like Richard Thornburg in this movie who is annoying reporter but I still like it. Bonnie Bedelia as Holly McClane's wife was great.

John McTiernan directed excellent this masterpiece Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza wrote a script that it delivers. The helicopters in here were models in this movie delivered, to me the action scenes felt realistic. This movie has ton's of action and you never get bored with it. Michael Kamen made a music score and you never get bored with it. You'll see lots of heavy automatic and explosive weapons, and you'll see them used well. The film is violent, and bloody rated R with real blood squibs.

10/10 it is my favorite action film in the action genre I love this film to death it is my personal action favorite film. I miss movies like this I miss action movies like this one today I want them back. It is a shame we don't have movies like this today.
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The Perfect Modern Action Film
MadReviewer31 July 2001
"Die Hard" is the prototype type for the modern action film. Since it's also one of the best action films ever made, that happens to be a very good thing. "Die Hard" is lean, mean, and doesn't contain a single second of wasted screen time. The direction, the action, the story, the acting . . . every aspect of this film comes close to big-budget action movie perfection. Since "Die Hard" was first released in 1988, it's difficult to think of a blockbuster action film that doesn't follow the basic structure and format of "Die Hard" . . . or, for that matter, is better than "Die Hard".

"Die Hard" is about John McClane (Bruce Willis, in one of his all-time best film performances), a basically good, honest New York cop with a penchant for annoying authority figures. Traveling to Los Angeles in a last ditch attempt to patch things up with his estranged wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), John McClane suddenly finds himself involved in a hostage situation. Terrorists, led by the enigmatic Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), have taken over the office building in which Holly is working, and with Gruber holding the upper hand over the LAPD and FBI forces in Los Angeles, it's up to John McClane to save the day . . . .

Kudos should be given to both director John McTiernan and screenwriters Jeb Stuart and Steven DeSouza -- the film is tight, electrifying, and clever, which is something few action films can ever claim. The story isn't completely believable, but it's believable enough, and it manages to move along at a quick enough pace to where the most glaring plotholes can easily be glossed over. There's also enough twists and wrinkles thrown into the story to keep the audience guessing as to what's going to happen next . . . and the surprises don't come out of left field, but are actually clever and well thought-out. (The fact that McClane often relies on his brains instead of his bullets to get out of his predicaments is also a big plus.) Simply put, "Die Hard" is one of the smartest and savviest action screenplays ever written. McTiernan holds up his end of the film admirably as well -- he uses the claustrophobic nature of the office building to great effect (particularly in any scene involving an elevator shaft), and he keeps the film rolling at a rollercoaster pace, building up the anticipation of the audience before unleashing the action. A lot of recent action films just fly along at a mindless, breakneck pace, without ever allowing the story to breathe or the suspense to build . . . unlike those films, "Die Hard" knows how to maximize the impact of each and every scene, and that's why it stands out so clearly from them all. With "Die Hard", John McTiernan puts on a perfect clinic as to how to pace an action movie.

As for the acting, it's darn near close to perfect. Bruce Willis is awesome as John McClane. As played by Willis, McClane's a smartass with a distinct disdain for being given orders . . . but McClane's also clever, and knows how to keep cool under pressure. There's more to McClane than the stereotypical tough guy hero. Fortunately, the role was given to Bruce Willis, who infuses McClane with the perfect mix of cocky arrogance and stone-cold heroism. The fact that Willis plays McClane as a man often in disbelief of his own situation, and who struggles in his fight against bad guys instead of just killing bad guys with ease, like most stereotypical action heroes -- well, not only does it make the character much more believable, it's darn brilliant. (The fact that Willis also knows how to deliver a deadpan one-liner better than anybody else in Hollywood makes the character all the better.) There's only a handful of movies where both character and actor are a completely perfect match; Bruce Willis as John McClane is one such perfect match.

Also worthy of mention is Alan Rickman's performance as the villain Hans Gruber. The Machiavellian Gruber would've been an easy villain to turn into little more than a scenery-chewing Bond villain . . . fortunately, Rickman doesn't travel the easy route. Gruber, as played by Rickman, is cold and calculating, and actually acts smart, instead of merely claiming to be smart and then being thoroughly outwitted by the hero. He always appears to have an ace hidden up his sleeve, and is so convincing at giving this impression, it's hard to tell throughout the film whether he or McClane truly have the upper hand. Other actors probably could've played Gruber fairly well, but Rickman makes Gruber one of the all-time great villains. As for the rest of the cast, they're all pretty good. Bonnie Bedelia does a nice job as John's soon-to-be-ex-wife Holly -- she plays her with enough smarts and feistiness to break the usual "damsel in distress" mold. It's also worth mentioning that Paul Gleason, who plays the obstinate police chief Robinson, pretty much sets up the modern action movie stereotype of the authority figure who refuses to heed the advice of the maverick hero. The character is stupid to a fault, and he's wonderful because of it.

"Die Hard" is a terrific example of what happens when all the pieces of a film fall together perfectly. There simply are no weak spots or dull moments in the film. Is "Die Hard" one of the best overall movies ever made? Probably not. But it's undeniably one of the best action movies ever made, and it just might well be the perfect modern action film. Grade: A
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You'll "Die Hard" with this action-lover's action movie
dee.reid4 January 2005
One could claim that 1988's "Die Hard" is one of the most influential action movies ever made because it basically revolutionized one of the most copied (but never matched, at least in terms of quality) formulas: a loner, by some unique twist of fate, battles it out with an "x" number of terrorists in an enclosed environment.

By the time that "Die Hard" was released, the action movies were most often dominated by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Chuck Norris. Star Bruce Willis, whose only notable credits at the time were television's "Moonlighting" and 1987's "Blind Date," which was released the year before, was the unlikeliest of them all.

Willis was a wild card - an unlikely choice for the role of our hero "John McClane" - since he didn't have any action credits on his resume' and let's face it: Bruce Willis just didn't have the bulging biceps required for a role like this. But that's the beauty of his performance in this movie: he's an everyday guy, caught in a not-so-everyday situation.

On Christmas, McClane's estranged wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) invites him from New York all the way out to Los Angeles to spend the holidays with the family. But it requires him to make a stop at the Nakatomi offices, which is having an after-hours Christmas party. Riding for the first time in a limo, he's introduced to the suave driver, Argyle (De'voreaux White), who gives him some pretty useful advice on trying to win over the wife.

At Nakatomi, things of course get off to a rough start for McClane, as he gets into an argument with the wife and is left to wallow in his misery. However, those problems are about to take a backseat to the real "party" - twelve terrorists, led by Hans Gruber (all-purpose bad guy Alan Rickman, perfectly cast) - seize control of the building and proceed to rob the Nakatomi building of its assets, most of which include negotiable bonds and other valuables. But they didn't count on the "fly in the ointment" (pain in the a**) to make things hell for these so-called party crashers.

Certainly one of the best known action movies ever, "Die Hard" did receive the scorn of critics upon its 1988 summer release, but the audiences sung a completely different tune.

The film was most often praised for the production, with the brand-new Fox Plaza office tower serving as the fictional Nakatomi building. It was also praised for the energetic and skillful direction of John McTiernan, whose most notable credit was the action-sci-fi thriller "Predator," which was released the year before and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Bruce Willis was the perfect actor for this performance, since he brings the wit and vulnerability to a role like this one. If Stallone or Schwarzenegger were in this movie, I'm sure the effect would have been a lot different.

Personally, I think "Die Hard" is one of the greatest action movies ever, up there close to my favorite action movie of all time, "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Like Indiana Jones in that film, "Die Hard" had an Everyman cast in the role; McClane, like Indiana Jones, wasn't a larger-than-life musclebound grotesque: he was a real guy that you cared about, who got hurt, and had real feelings.

That's why I think both of these movies have sort of stood the test of time as becoming what they are best known for today: action classics, and they're here to stay, ladies and gentlemen.

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The ultimate thrill-ride – and still the standard by which I judge an action movie
gogoschka-127 July 2014
Seeing 'Die Hard' for the first time as a teenager was a one-of-a-kind experience. This level of raw, "edge-of-your-seat" action was unknown to me prior to this film; it made my head spin and the intensity of it was nearly unbearable. When it was over, I could only think of one word: Wow!

For a long time - at least in western cinema - the only "true" action movies (by that I mean films that were all about the action and you went to see them because of the action) were the 'James Bond' movies. They had the most unreal stunts and crazy, over the top action sequences that you could imagine at the time, and they were (and still are) great fun. However, they usually lacked three vital ingredients:

1. A sense of realism (meaning: the hero is only human and can get hurt)

2. Grit (messy, unpolished action, dirty people and LOTS of swearing)

3. R-rated violence (showing the audience what real weapons do to the human body)

Well, it took John McTiernan to bring those three key elements together in 'Die Hard' - and thus the modern action film was born (it had a good run through the late eighties until the end of the nineties – then the studios figured out they could maximise the box-office by taming down the swearing, violence and sex and thus, alas, the contemporary, toothless PG-13 action film was born). Sure, there have been a couple of others before McTiernan's masterpiece ('First Blood', 'Terminator', 'Predator' - which was also by McTiernan - or 'Lethal Weapon' and probably some more), but those films could have fallen into any number of other categories as well ('Adventure-/Survival-/War-', 'Sci- Fi', 'Horror-' or 'Buddy-movie') – and I can't think of another film that was just such a relentless, pure-action-from-the-beginning-to-the-end film as was 'Die Hard'. To me, it's the ultimate thrill ride. The formula has since been repeated so many times, but the original still sets the standard by which I judge an action film. Should be seen every Christmas. 10 stars out of 10.

Favorite Films: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054200841/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/
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A guy movie that is still fun to watch
ciscokid197017 August 2006
So many things made this movie great.

This movie made Bruce Willis immortal. He soaks up this character so well, it was him. The wise cracking cop who is entertaining because he is sarcastically funny not uttering stupid catch phrases. He is a cop who looks like a normal guy, middle age, loosing some hair with wife problems. (no faked up pretty face with shaved chest and oiled muscles). He is cool without pretending to be cool. He manages to thwart the bad guys while barefoot, man that is a great twist.

The plot is great because it does not fall perfectly in line for the hero. He stumbles, gets stuck and survives only by last minute thinking. It has plenty of action without getting ridiculous.

And the bad guys are great, smart sinister and well acted.

It is one of those movies that could play every weekend and would still be watched. Is one of those top 10 movies every guy should own.

Die hard 2 was OK but not as good as the original, I wish they would have stopped after 2. Die Hard 3 is poor.
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Went to the theater 'thinking' "This might be stupid."
buzznzipp199512 July 2006
I was not a Bruce Willis fan per say. As a matter of fact, I thought what is this guy from Moonlighting gonna do? Is he gonna make them laugh to death with stupid comments and jokes?

I was not a fan of "Moonlighting" then either, that would come later. In addition I was not thinking, 'John McClain' "Hans Gruber' or 'John McTiernan' that was my first error.

As I took in the very first minute of the film, I knew, this was going to be radically different than I had imagined.

This movie and John McTiernan's directing (Also 'Preditor'-1987 'The Thomas Crown Affair'-1999) (The Hunt for red October) (Medicine Man)

The way I felt from his genius directing style, that gets you fully involved, stomach wrapped in knots, pulse pounding. He brings out the whole story, not just a 'clot' of mindless action and or violence.

He actually led up to the stories climax and didn't blow it when he got there. I was shocked at this movie, which gets 'compared to' all the time with other action and drama movies! Still, after two decades.

Needless to say, it changed the way I felt about movies and film making. From Willis's flawless performance to master terrorist Hans Gruber, (Rickman) what a truly superb 'Villain' & (James Shigeta, Holly's Boss) the emotion and heart-thumping fear that lead up to the demise of James's character. The scenery of the towering building and the city itself after dark, under the threat of terrorist activity.

Don't forget L.A. P.D.-in charge 'DeWayne T. Robinson', (Paul Gleason - God rest his soul -Died May 26, 2006)

I truly looked at film with a whole different view point. I got a copy of the original script, well the 18th re-write or something like that and went, line by line, through the story. It was unbelievable how this movie changed my mind on Movies...as well as Bruce Willis. I just can't say enough about Die-hard, but I will come to a soft close...but before I do, here is a 'spanner' of a thought, originally Willis was not first choice, it was Stallone that they wanted and he turned it down, think on that one! This would not be what it is this way, it would be wholly different with 'Sly' at the helm. I will even venture further out, do you know who this was originally written for? -Answer: Burt Reynolds. No kidding.

This is on my all-time list of the best of the best films, bar-none.
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Action-packed thrill ride that could be the best in the genre!!!
jlevin193713 April 2001
Quite possibly the best modern action movie since the classic "Dirty Harry", "Die Hard" simply rocks. Based on the interesting novel "Nothing Lasts Forever" by Roderick Thorp, "Die Hard" made headlines for its combination of a terrific cast, excellent script, amazing action sequences and superb direction. Headed up by screen favorite Bruce Willis (The Sixth Sense), "Die Hard" also features the talented Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest) and Bonnie Bedelia (Needful Things). Directed by action veteran John McTiernan, the mastermind behind such action spectaculars as "Predator", "The Hunt For Red October", "The Thomas Crown Affair" (1999), and "Die Hard With A Vengeance".

In the role that shot him to stardom, Willis plays Detective John McClane, a hard-hitting cop from New York on Christmas Vacation in LA. He is there to visit his wife (whom he is separated from), Holly Gennaro, who recently got a great job working for the Nakatomi corporation and has permanently moved to Los Angeles with their two children. John arrives at Nakatomi Plaza expecting a fun Christmas party and a relaxing night. Man was he wrong! A few minutes after getting settled, twelve gun-toting Eastern Europeans take the entire 30th floor hostage. The supposed terrorists are headed up by the brilliant megalomaniac Hans Gruber (Rickman), who actually wants the $640 million dollars inside the floor's vault. Somehow, McClane escapes upstairs armed only with a handgun and starts causing a ruckus, slowly hunting down each well-equipped thug.

"Die Hard" succeeds is because it presents every challenge McClane has to face realistically and clearly. As the tension mounts, the ordeals for John become increasingly harder. First, it's just a terrorist. Then a whole slew of them. Later, it's the NYPD and even the FBI! Director McTiernan gives the film a good pace and makes the film work by showing that John isn't superhuman; he only uses his brain more than his gun. Also, screenwriters Jeb Stuart (The Fugitive) & Steven E. De Souza (48 Hrs.) add touches of humor that lighten up the viewer and classic one-liners ("Yippy-Ki-Yay, !@#$") that ignite the screen. Their subplots actually add to the story instead of overcomplicating it, especially one featuring good cop Sgt. Al Powell (Rejinald VelJohnson of TV's "Family Matters").

Overall, this movie was awesome. Willis is very believable and has significant screen presence. Character development is superb, and even though Stuart and De Souza leave some loose ends untied - like how a man gets hung with a chain and still comes back for more - the film remains to be an action classic. Note to Parents: the nudity, drug use, continual profanity, and extreme violence would make this a bad choice for kids under 13. Otherwise, see "Die Hard" ASAP! Overall Rating: *** Worth 9 out of 10 dollars ***
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Top action film of the 1980's
SmileysWorld17 May 2004
Every so often,a film comes along that resets the standard for it's genre.Die Hard did just that very thing for action films.Any film that inspires copycats and wannabes really does it's job well.Bruce Willis made a very successful transition from the small screen to the big screen as the everyday Joe forced into being the hero.This film has all the necessary ingredients to qualify it as a great action film.All you have to do is see it for yourself.Particularly well done is the performance of Alan Rickman as the chief villain,Hans Gruber.You can come up with good arguments for many action films as to which is the best all time,and this one is no exception.Well done.
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Not only the best of the Die Hard franchise but one of the best movies of the action genre
TheLittleSongbird15 May 2010
Even if the non-action parts are a tad slow in comparison, that is more than compensated by so many things that makes Die Hard so brilliant.

For one thing the action is explosive and consistently exciting, and the cinematography is astounding being very inventive and colourful. John McTiernon(The Hunt for Red October, Last Action Hero) directs briskly and efficiently, and the pacing a vast majority of the time is exhilarating.

Then there is a terrific score by Michael Kamen, some intelligent and witty scripting and a plot that doesn't feel forced or convoluted. Not to mention some excellent acting. As good as Bruce Willis is, yes his character is somewhat two-dimensional, but he is also resourceful and world-weary and Willis handles this really well, it is Alan Rickman who steals the acting honours as Hans Gruber. Gruber is cold, calculating, suave and menacing, in my opinion only Rickman could do justice to such a character. Overall, a superb movie, not only the best of the Die Hard franchise but one of the best of the action genre. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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The most influential action film of the last half-century
CuriosityKilledShawn21 August 2005
In the Sixties, author Roderick Thorp wrote a novel, The Detective, which was turned into a movie, starring Frank Sinatra in the title role of Joe Leland. A sequel was written, in which Joe becomes trapped in the Claxxon Oil Corporation skyscraper after it is taken over by German terrorists and he has to rescue his daughter and grandchildren. Two decades later, the skyscraper becomes Nakatomi, the daughter becomes the wife, Leland becomes John McClane and the title becomes Die Hard.

To say that Die Hard sets new standards for action movies is like calling Bill Gates well off. The movie was so innovative and groundbreaking that dozens of rip-offs followed - Passenger 57, Under Siege, Cliffhanger, Sudden Death, et al. Hostage/terrorist movies were all the rage in the early Nineties.

Very few came close, because Die Hard had so many strong points, not least of which was Alan Rickman's marvellous performance, as Hans Gruber - also the name of the villain in Our Man Flint - the classically educated, smartly dressed terrorist leader. This is not some hammy guy in a chain-mail shirt with spikes on his gloves (Commando). Gruber would have been well at home on Wall Street.

His plan is to break into the vault on the 30th floor of the Nakatomi Plaza and take away $640million in negotiable bearer bonds. When he and his 12 European henchmen round up the office workers, who are enjoying a Christmas Eve party, one man slips away unnoticed. He is John McClane, a New York cop who has come to LA to settle down with his estranged wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia). The odds are against him. But that's just the way he likes it.

The terrorists even have names. And we remember them. Most action movies these days have unidentified heavies, played by stunt men, who are lined up and knocked over.

In his battle to save his Holly, McClane is scorched, torched, beaten and blown up. He jumps off the roof and falls through air ducts. He uncovers deception and double-cross and picks broken glass out of his bare feet. No help comes from the naive and incompetent police, who are unable to get inside, and even less from the FBI.

McClane is not a supercop. He is an ordinary guy, who doesn't want a fight. When he is shot, he bleeds. He hurts. All he has are his pants, his vest, his gun - which runs out of ammo. This is the first realistic connection the audience has. When you don't want to be in McClane's position, it makes for much excitement.

John McTiernan, who's only previous mainstream movie was Predator, uses awesome photography and technical skills to give the film a truly polished and sophisticated look - it was nominated for four technical Academy Awards. He also allows for enough time for decent character development, most of which comes between McClane and a cop (Reginald Veljohnson) he makes friends with on a CB radio.

Die Hard manages to be heart-pounding and teeth-gritting every single time. And if you are one of those many people who have only ever been able to watch it on TV then now is definitely the time to rediscover a cool, classic and creative action picture.
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An action movie for all to see
srobi2807 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is one action-packed ride. Bruce Willis (John McClane) is a New York cop coming to see his wife who has moved to L.A. with their children, hoping for a relaxing Xmas vacation. Instead, he gets a bunch of bad guys who have taken over the Nakatomi building which he and his wife are located in. He hides out, and takes out the bad guys one by one, all while trying to get police attention from the outside world. This movie is tense and full of action. Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman put in outstanding performances. Willis manages to kill all of the bad guys and throw Rickman off the building. If you haven't seen it yet for whatever reason, now is the time to do so.
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Was there Action Films before Die Hard?? Who cares!! Die Hard is the patriarch of modern action.
Robert_duder7 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Of course the Action Genre existed before Die Hard. After all you had The Terminator, Commando, Top Gun, Roadhouse...but didn't Die Hard absolutely revolutionize the eighties action Genre. It came like a savior and encompassed everything that would blow you right out the back of the theater and made Bruce Willis an absolute idol in the Action world and for good reason. Die Hard had pointless nudity, scores of bad language, bloody death, guns, explosions, a gritty, tough as nails, sweating, dirty hero that takes on everyone with nothing more than a hand gun and his brains. If you watch Willis in Die Hard it's a thing of beauty. His shirt torn off, bare foot, wounds all over him...he looks like he just crawled from a war rather than stalking terrorists through an enormous high rise office building in L.A. The script was so dead on...it was basic, it was to the point, it has great sarcastic humor and one liners that could never be forgotten. And Willis was the man to pull it all together. Add a decent supporting cast, a guy on the ground who is like his partner and a MacGyver style of killing bad guys that will go down in history...THIS IS DIE HARD.

Bruce Willis was brought up right in the Prime of his TV Series Moonlighting where his irresistible charm and personality made him a hit. John McLean was David Addison but with a lot more guts and a lot more ammo. That only made the film more exciting to fans of Willis already. Willis has a way of just making everything edge of your seat and everything believable. Who else could make you smile in fear when he's diving out of a 30 story window attached to a fire hose while the roof of the building is exploding. He really doesn't single handedly make the film...the supporting cast is terrific. Bonnie Bedelia is great as McLean's straight laced, professional and estranged wife. They make an odd yet touching couple. They have some electricity and it's ironic and yet sensible that they don't end up together throughout the series. Still Bedelia is a great female lead and her character is strong and not at all misused in the role. Alan Rickman is just one kick ass bad guy. Can you say anything else?? As terrorist Hans Gruber he is terrifying, evil, brilliant, and you just despise him and you can't wait to see him go up against Willis and he does. He doesn't stand a chance but Rickman is still brilliant as the bad guy. Reginald VelJohnson plays a small yet very important role as Willis' guy on the ground on the other end of a walkie talkie. They don't know each other, and barely know each other's name but yet they become as close as partners and they too are odd together and yet fit. William Atherton has to be mentioned even though it's a very small role, it's Die Hard history that he plays slimy, tabloid reporter Richard Thornburg who gets his just end by Holly McLean's fist which becomes a running joke in the series.

Die Hard is everything that people would look at in disgust now in the new millennium and yet it was everything the eighties stood for when it came to action and heroes. McLean has a cigarette dangling from his mouth, blood pouring everywhere, and a happy ending despite all the destruction around them. If you haven't seen Die Hard you can't ever proclaim yourself an action fan because Die Hard IS action. It's the film every action film strives to live to and will never meet...whether it was before 1988 or after. We won't ever get something like this again. It's an absolute 100% classic!! for all the wrong reasons!! 10/10
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The Best Action Movie Ever Made?
hoobama7 May 2006
There was a moment in an early scene of Die Hard when John McClane (Bruce Willis) is having an argument with his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) in the executive washroom in Ellis's office. It's scripted so that the two of them end up talking over each other about what McClane's idea of their marriage is, and it's such an honest depiction of estranged spouses that I find myself forgetting what movie I'm watching when I get to that part.

Granted, not everyone has a terrorist takeover of their office building to teach them not to take each other for granted, but it works here.

That scene is one of the great things about Die Hard, not because it contributes anything to the action, but because it contributes everything to the characters. Most action films before and after this seem violence-driven, but this one manages to balance the humanity of its protagonist, and I can't even begin to measure how much of that balance comes from that one scene.

I think the other thing that most defines the spirit of this movie is McClane's shoes. It's such an obvious contrivance, set up right from the beginning, but it's worked into the entire story so artfully that I have completely forgiven it every time I've seen the film. Of all the bad luck, to be caught in the middle of a terrorist attack and then have to chase the bad guys around a 40-story building, all without shoes.

But, as McClane himself says, it's "better than being caught with your pants down." I know how much of the plot and the action hinges upon luck, timing, strong fingertips, and the Rube Goldberg machinery of the FBI-terrorist interplay, but I really don't care. I still get caught up in the nervous moments of this movie 18 years later. I still ache along with McClane as he pulls a three-inch piece of glass out of his foot in the emergency lighting in the bathroom. And I still root for him to get the bad guy, rescue his wife, save his marriage, and meet Al Powell even though I must have scene this movie 30 or 40 times already, and I know he's going to do it again the next time.

This is a great film, and easily the best written and best executed action movie I have ever seen. But more to the point, and more importantly, it's a fun movie to watch, no matter how many times you see it.
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Now I have a machine gun...Ho Ho Ho!
fmarkland3228 June 2007
On Christmas eve, John McClane(Bruce Willis) is over at his wife's office party when hi-tech thieves break into said building and look to steal millions of dollars. While collecting hostages in the process, however there is one man who saves the day and it's McClane in what is one of the greatest action movies ever made. I must admit that i'm shocked it took so long to for me to review this. Over the years this has been in my DVD collection, I try to watch it on TV every time it's on and most of all I think it's there with The Terminator,Hunt For Red October and Rocky as the ultimate genre film. The real reason why Die Hard is so great is due to the suspense factor. Sure the action sequences are brilliant and very exciting but what really earns the high marks is just how suspenseful the movie is, it's one of those movies where the hero actually does the most logical things. Unlike the sequels per say, Willis uses the element of surprise and cunning to fight off the bad guys. Unlike the sequels where he was far more one man army. As it stands I remember seeing Die Hard in theaters and remembering being very skeptical of Willis (He was on that show with Cybil Shepherd) but knew right away after watching Die Hard, that Willis would be a great. However as it stands, this movie is a classic. On the other hand it's also a rare instance where one might want to buy a special edition DVD for the extras. Also of note is Alan Rickman who is one of the greatest bad guys ever.

* * * * out of 4-(Excellent, A Must See)
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snottyscotty15017 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
When you see this in the shops you can only think of that line, it's one of the true films to be an Action film from start to finish. The best part of this film is it's ages really well, you would think it was made only yesterday, it has one of the biggest stars in history of films Bruce Willis.

OK so on to the film, it starts like any other film and sets the scene for what is a roller coaster ride that will leave you wanting more at the end. In the beginning we see John Mcclane (Bruce Willis) on a plane on his way to Los Angeles, the reason he is going there is to meet his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia who looks really attractive in this film) and it's Christmas Eve.

He goes to the Nakatomi Corporation building which is where Holly works to see her and be there for his kids who he hasn't seen in a while, but during the time there he has abit of a fight with her and she gets called to give a talk, anyway John is in the bathroom insulting himself in the way how Bruce Willis does, and he ends up taking his shoes off (the person who he is sat next to on the plane says the best way to get over flying is to take your shoes off and walk bear foot and make fists with your toes...personally never tired it). During the time little does he know that a group of terrorists are planning on taking over the building (this all happens in the first 20 minutes or so).

The film then really starts to go into its own as we follow an average police officer from New York in LA trying to just to get home for Christmas, still more about this film. Upon noticing that the building is being taken over by terrorists John escapes and heads to the top floor with work is still going on, and sets off the fire alarm in an attempt to get the police there. When the terrorists find out that hes set the fire alarm off from the top floor they phone the police and tell them that its nothing to worry about and send someone up to kill him, John pleased with his attempt to get back up there looks out the window and swears at them for coming to his aid, then notices they turn around.

At this point they send someone up to take him out, and the person ends up getting killed, John having a wicked sense of humour (on both levels of the word) sends the dead body down the lift and takes as much as he can like the machine gun, and cigarettes as you do when your in that sort of situation, and tries on the shoes only to find they are too small. He also writes an amusing note on the persons jumper, meanwhile hes in the lift above the one that stopped taking notes on what hes up against.

Later on John goes to the roof of the building to transmit a cry for help to the police and has a fairly amusing conversation on to the police, anyway at this time he gets cut off due to being attacked by the other terrorists, and they choose to send a police officer to search to see if John was telling the truth, anyway the terrorists and John are having a shoot out in one of the offices, and to get the attention John uses his head he throws the body out of the window.

Now that he has some help the film moves onto a new level and the action increases more, as police road bloke outside and the FBI get involved the scale of this film (which by the way was made in 1988) starts to show. As John gets in situations and the action increases and has loads of twists and turns.

In my view this film has everything to be one of the best if not they best film out there, the scale of it is amazing and the cast is true great. Words cant really describe this film, you really have to watch it, but the film does leave you wanting more and does leave you wanting to watch the next one in the series. I could talk for days about this film and it's action sequences from the very small gun fights to the massive C4 explosion and the plot which doesn't seem to lose it's appeal even after watching it infinite times, and also it's feel good factor at the end when John is back with Holly and they are in the snow (lets face it you knew they would live) but it's got something that does make you want to watch it over and over. If they made more films like this then people would probably remember what cinema is about and we may have really memorable hero's like we use to.

This film should be a benchmark for ever other film that is out there trying to be an action film with a strong story, lets face it on paper it's a simple story terrorists want a building for money, they take it over, then John gets caught up in this mess...it's not hard really.

But then maybe people like it because it's simple, however I think they like it, or i I like it because it's so original and has never been done before, even Die Hard 2 and 3 they push the idea of films harder and further than before. They go that one more to make it fun and try to make the story still remain simple. It's one film you have to watch and it really should be in the top 250 on IMDb.
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Action Packed From Start To Stop
euqamratz16 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a great fan of Bruce Willis and the fifty odd films which he has starred in, but his role as John McLane in the "Die Hard" series would have to be on the top of my list for the best Bruce Willis movie of all time. After watching and probably enjoying the film immensely, you realize how corny, but good the film was. The first few action sequences involve the ultimate bad guy, Hans Gruber (played by Alan Rickman in one of his more solid performances) and are great viewing. They really do set the tone for the rest of the movie, and even for the sequels to follow. But these first few scenes are upstaged by the brilliance of Bruce Willis in his many fight scenes, usually involving gunfire, glass breaking or some kind of explosion! These scenes are enjoyable and all lead to the explosive finale, which leads to a chopper going down, the roof of a building exploding, and a man falling 70 stories to his death. There's also plenty of comic relief in this film, with Argyle, McLanes' limo driver, being oblivious to the anarchy occurring above him whilst he is in the underground car park listening to music and chatting up ladies. Officer Powell, McLanes sidekick outside of the building, also provides a few good laughs. But the two main performances of Willis and Rickman take up mos of the screen time, and rightfully so, as these two characters are brilliant to watch. The Plot line is quite good for such an action-packed film, and it doesn't ever lose any of the intensity it starts out with, if it doesn't gain any that is! All in all, this is a film I recommend for anyone who doesn't take films too seriously, or just wants a good action packed film. Definitely one to put into your DVD or video collection at home.
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One of my go-to Christmas Movies
mattweiler31 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Every Christmas, there are 2 movies that I have to watch: "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" and "Die Hard".

Every guy that I talk to about this agrees that "Die Hard" is a classic Christmas movie. When I talk to women about this, I haven't met a single one that agrees. My wife certainly doesn't agree, but she watches it with me each year anyway.

From the first scene where John is in Argyle's limo, the snow's falling and we hear a more hip-hop themed Christmas it just feels right. When John does get to his destination, it's a good-old-fashioned Christmas office party... everyone is in good spirits and sharing some cheer.

Sure, there's lots of killing later in the movie, but that doesn't take away from the Christmas feeling that I always have when I watch this movie.

If you celebrate Christmas and you haven't yet incorporated this movie into your Christmas ritual, do so this year.
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Great action, well directed, tense and slick action thriller with enjoyable performances and intelligent social subtext (spoilers)
bob the moo12 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I first saw Die Hard in the late 1980's and have owned it on various formats down the years and will watch it now and again. One of the main reasons I enjoy it so is because of the iconic place it holds within the action genre. At the time it came out we were mostly served up pumped-up action heroes who happily take on entire armies and win in battles that are mostly a simple matter of good versus evil, where good is US and evil is them (whoever them happened to be at that time). Die Hard manages to be more than that by starting out with a "normal" guy as our hero. Now I won't pretend that McClane is not an action hero who does extraordinary things but he seems accessible. I particularly like the fact that his first reaction is to run, to call for help form others and that he only faces the terrorists when he has to, rather than going all Rambo on us.

If this approach provides a grounding, the concept also brings the action into a slightly more real environment. The action is more or less confined to the tower and the bad guys limited rather than being a constantly flowing army of stuntmen. Director McTiernan uses the location really well, injecting tension and a sense of claustrophobia that works really well. The action is enjoyable and offers a lesson that modern CGI-heavy action movies can learn from – if you rely totally on technology then you'll date quickly, if you make the effects serve the action and narrative then you'll be standing for years. As a result the action in Die Hard feels no less slick or exciting for being almost twenty years old.

Although this is the most important part of the film to get right, I always appreciated the clever subtexts in the narrative. Filmed in the 1980's, the film is a clever attack on yuppie values in contrast with the blue-collar "man's man" type. In this way the narrative can be viewed as those seeking more and more wealth getting in the way of those who just want to be with their families. The most obvious attack on the business culture is the aligning of the terrorists and the corporation. Hans and Takagi share taste in suits, education, knowledge and even share the same opening lines ("ladies & gentlemen"); it is not a stretch to see the film suggesting that Takagi may have also shared some of Hans' ruthlessness in his rise to the top. This is also evident from the very start – John does not lose his wife to Hans, he has already lost her to the corporation as she drops his name and had moved away. Indeed such is the films paralleling of these two threats to McClane, that he only rescues Holly from Hans by getting the watch off her wrist – the watch that was specifically mentioned at the start of the film as a gift from the company.

Ellis sees the connection being made even more obvious as he himself suggests little difference between himself and Hans, apart from the gun and fountain pen aspect. Of course with both businessmen being connected to the terrorists in this way, they must also share their fate, and do. Although it has lumbered the film series with a rather poor catchphrase, the discussion of westerns again confirms the contrast between "man's man" and "new man" – a connection further made by having McClane in his vest, an outfit more befitting a blue collar worker who has his values in the USA frontier rather than the cut-throat world of foreign business. This distain for bureaucracy is also seen in the redemption of Al. Stuck outside the action in the building (handicapped by incompetence) but also desk-bound due to shooting a kid. At the end of the movie he is redeemed by killing Karl in a "quick-draw" style shoot out, freeing him from his desk and restoring his manhood. Again the split between bureaucracy and real workers and again the use of wild-west symbolism.

The cast respond to the strong script and direction by turning in roundly good performances. Willis has not really been better (even in the same character) and his action twist on his Moonlighting character was the making of him. It is Rickman that dominates the film though; like in Robin Hood, he is a delightful sneering bad guy who has great lines and great presence. The support cast is good below them with Bedelia avoiding being just a damsel in distress; VelJohnson a solid "buddy"; Godunov is a real physical threat – even if a few of the other terrorists barely make an impression on the memory. Gleason, Atherton, White and Davi all give a good show as well.

Rightly an iconic action movie then. The action has stood up really well and is delivered within a story that is tense and well paced. The performances suit the material and, if you want it, there is a clever and engaging subtext running across the whole film. I find it hard to fault and you can see why it has had the influence it has had on the action genre over the last twenty years.
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Op_Prime15 April 2000
Bruce Willis gives a amazing performance in perhaps one of the best movies of the 1980s. This is an action/adventure movie for the ages. There are a lot of great scenes, including the scene where Bruce Willis leaps off the rooftop and crashes trough the window. I never thought it would be so good when I first saw it, but I was wrong. Don't miss one of Willis' best films of all time.
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This movie is so much fun
arthera0928 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I think this is a great movie. I love the campy one liners and the over the top action, but it was a great movie. It was well paced and they are no real complaints about the movie. Rickman was amazing and it is one of the best bad guys performances and the one scene when we snaps at John's wife is priceless. It is kind of fun to see how a lot of action movies pull from a lot of stuff from this movie (even though I sure this movie got a lot of it's substance from other movies). One of the highlights of the movie is the music and when the bad guys actually manage to open the vault one really feels a swelling of emotion as the music grows. The one problem I have is that the LAPD is not that dumb and the FBI agents are not that dumb and the fact that Al knew better than both of them was kind of silly, but I did like the dynamic of the two FBI agents and the way they fit into the movie as a bunch of idiots, but it was almost a little too much. The humor they tried to inject with the black guy who was cracking the vault was a little dry, but not to the point where I hated him. The limo driver's smile got annoying too, but I liked his character for the most part. Bruce Willis did a perfect job with the character and played him perfect. I like action films like this where there is unnecessary swearing and violence, but it works and I hate how Hollywood is making a lot of action films with a pg-13 rating when i think it would be so much more enjoyable with just letting them swear and be really violent. I know one does not need the violence, but I think it does so much more for the movie experience by letting the characters express themselves with their violence. The last gripe I have is that the ending with Karl jumping up out of nowhere was totally unnecessary and it really annoyed me. The cop did not need a complete arc and John's and his hug was all the ending needed. This will probably always be one of the my favorite action films.
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John McClane terminates all other action heroes
Hollywood Titan22 October 2001
Prepare yourselves for one of the most action packed thrill rides starring one of the best action stars in Hollywood. Bruce Willis is stirring up trouble for the bad guys in "Die Hard." In the first of three awesome films, he stars as Lt. John McClane, a New York police officer, who has been invited to the wrong Christmas party.

This is an action film for future actors and directors to watch and use as a model because it describes what an action film should contain. I have seen many action films in my life, but this ranks at the top of my list because it has all the right components. Action packed sequences, explosions, special effects and most of all superb performances with excellent dialogue.

"Die Hard" is a movie I will not soon forget because the story is so well crafted. Though there are no twists or curves thrown at the audience, the audience can be assured they will be treated to two hours of non-stop action from beginning to end.

"Die Hard" did not only produce great action and explosions but future stars as well. I am talking about Clarence Gilyard Jr. who now stars in Walker, Texas Ranger and Reginald VelJohnson who starred in the series Family Matters. These two actors were pivotal to this film in their respective roles.

Two other names to keep in mind while thinking of key performers are Bonnie Bedelia and Alan Rickman. I was blown away when I saw the impact they had on this film. It is as if they came in and said 'Okay boys, watch out I'm taking over." They certainly did that; however, nobody could have done better than the impact performer himself Bruce Willis.

On a scale of 1-10; "Die Hard" is given a 100 by yours truly. My only regret would be that the movie ended. I wish there was more to see in this film. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE "DIE HARD" AGAIN.
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"Welcome to the party, pal!"
pootc25 June 2007
When people think action - they remember Die Hard. They remember Bruce Willis in his star-making role as that guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. They remember John McClane, they remember Han's Gruber, Holly Generro and Ellis, alright not really Ellis... but everybody will always remember those immortal words, "Yippee-Ki-Ay Motherf*&ker" Die Hard is the ultimate action film, packed with all the firepower you can handle and enough C4 to level a building. It's and a genuine no-holds-barred roller coaster ride from beginning to end.

With a relatable everyman John McClane, (Bruce Willis in his iconic role - brilliant)and a sinister villain in Han's Gruber (Alan Rickman)Die Hard has the action-genre by the balls and sets a standard in this genre that has never been equaled. "Welcome to the party, pal!"
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One seized tower block, one sweaty vest and one big set of action cojones.
Spikeopath31 December 2010
Based on ex cop Roderick Thorpe's 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, Die Hard, directed by John McTiernan, changed the face of the action movie. Starring Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald Veljohnson, Alexander Godunov, William Atherton & Paul Gleason, McTiernan's movie went on to make over $100 million in profit at the box office alone. Spawning three equally successful sequels (at the time of writing), it began a franchise that showed that if done well, the action movie could be a dominant force in the world of cinema.

The set up is relatively simple, Willis plays New York cop John McLane who during the Christmas holidays is in L.A. to visit his estranged wife Holly (Bedelia). She works for the Japanese Corporation of Nakatomi, and currently she's attending the company Christmas party up on the 30th floor of the humongous Nakatomi Plaza tower block. Bad day at the office because a group of apparent German terrorists, led by the charismatic Hans Gruber (Rickman), take the whole building hostage: with one exception; McLane, who evades capture and launches a one man war against the terrorists.

What follows is just over two hours of high octane action, smart dialogue and technical smarts. McTiernan had already endeared himself to the action movie fan with the ball busting beef stew that was Predator in 87, a fact not lost on Die Hard's co producer Joel Silver, who clearly knew that McTiernan could smoothly shift the action from the Val Verde jungle to the urban jungle of L.A. And he did. Next was to get the right man for McLane. Richard Gere was first choice but passed, so the makers took a gamble on Willis, whose career was at a standstill after his leap from TV show Moonlighting on to the big screen with the likes of Blind Date & Sunset barely making a ripple in Hollywood. The rest for Willis, as they say, is history. McLane is an everyman hero, streetwise, even slobbish, but identifiable to many with his work ethics, desperate heroics and emotional vulnerability. Willis attacks the role with a hunger rarely seen from the big male earners in filmdom. During the two hours and ten minute running time of Die Hard, Willis as McLane changed the face of the action hero for ever; even making a dirty white vest iconic in the process; the latter of which couples nicely with the hero being bare footed throughout for a nifty bit of writing.

Across the board the casting is flawless, Bedelia is spunky and driven, a woman worth fighting for. Veljohnson as beat copper Al Powell-McLane's walkie-talkie buddy and only link to the outside world-is memorable because it feels real, he has his own issue gnawing away at him, but his exchanges with Willis keeps the humanity grounded as the carnage unfolds. Gleason & Atherton are wonderfully anal as Deputy Police Chief and TV Reporter respectively, while Hart Bochner as Ellis dishes out one of the best weasel turns to have ever graced a movie featuring corporate suit types. But as Die Hard resembles the great Westerns of yesteryear, much like the great Oaters, Die Hard could only be as good as its chief villain. As Willis' McLane ushered in a new action hero to copy, Rickman's uber intelligent villain set a new benchmark.

Snappily dressed, well versed and as charming as they come, Gruber in Rickman's hands is a villain you could quite easily root for! That's further testament to Willis' turn that Rickman doesn't walk away with the movie, both men are from different sides of the fence, good and evil, yet both are characters you can hang your hat on. Quite a trick from McTiernan that. Rickman is ably supported by the scary Godunov as right hand man Karl and Clarence Gilyard Jr. as the cold hearted Theo. Elsewhere the impact of Robert Davi & Grand L. Bush as the two cocksure FBI agents Johnson & Johnson (no relation) should not be underestimated. All the actors, of course, are indebted to the sizzling script by Steven E. de Souza & Jeb Stuart. So to is praise due to photographer Jan de Bont, who in collaboration with McTiernan, produces a camera work lesson for action movies, as the camera swoops in and around the tower, down elevator shafts and up tilt to roofs; with the fight scenes afforded a spatial sheen not expected in the confines of a tower block setting (the film was actually shot at 20th Century Fox's own 2121 Fox Plaza). Even the scoring from Michael Kamen and the sound tracking are of a high standard; check out the various "mood" uses of Beethoven's Ode to Joy from Symphony No.9 and Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 In G Major: Brilliant.

The 80s was well served by action movies with the likes of Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop proving massively popular. But just as Raiders Of The Lost Ark changed the game for action/adventure, so too did Die Hard. It's now the benchmark movie for action, a film that unlike Hills Cop & Lethal Weapon remarkably shows no signs of ageing either. It's no monkey in the wrench or a fly in the ointment, it's the daddy, and the one that all other action movies have to answer to. 10/10
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A classic action movie
Rautus30 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Die Hard is one of the best action movies ever made, the acting is great. Bruce Willis does a great job as the hero John McClane and Alan Rickman does a great job as the villain Has Gruber. The action is fantastic and the effects are amazing.

The plot sees New York Cop John McClane going to LA to see his family since he's currently separated from his wife Holly, he goes to see her in the huge Nakatomi building. John meets Holly and after an argument in the room John calls his Chauffeur Argyle when suddenly the phone wires are cut, Hans and his men kill the guards and has one of his men disguised as one, they then go to the floor where everyone is and take them hostage. John hears the gun shots and quickly goes through one of the doors. Hans asks to meet the boss of the building and he shows himself then in the office Hans explains to him that he wants the collection of valuable items hidden in the vault, he doesn't tell him the code so he shoots him.John witnesses this and quickly escapes. John activates the smoke alarm so the fire brigade will come, they see on the computer what floor the alarm was raised on so Hans sends one of his men after John but he kills him and takes his weapon and bag. John then goes to the roof to call for help but Hans and his men hear where it's coming from so he sends some of his men to get him, the brother of the man John killed wants to personally kill him. After a firefight on the roof John quickly escapes and the police send an officer to investigate, Sgt. Al Powell. At first he doesn't notice anything but after John throws at body out the window they open fire at his car and once getting to a safe place he calls for reinforcements. The police soon surround them place waiting for the negotiations while John tries to stop them from inside the building.

Die Hard is a classic action movie that should be seen. 10/10
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My favourite action film of all time
DavidSim24018328 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I've seen many action films over the years, but few have had an impact like Die Hard. Bruce Willis gives one of the best (if not THE best) performances of his film career. This is quite simply, my favourite action film of all time.

Willis plays NYPD cop John McClane, who has come to LA to be with his estranged wife Holly, (Bonnie Bedelia) and their children for Christmas. To my knowledge, Die Hard is one of the few action films set at Christmas. This makes Die Hard rather unique for the genre, but the seasonal setting does nothing to detract from the action, and its still a gripping film to watch.

Getting back to the plot, McClane heads for the Nakatomi Plaza, a 40 storey skyscraper, Holly's workplace, to pick her up from the Nakatomi Corporation's annual Christmas party. But just after a heated discussion concerning the breakdown of their marriage, a group of German terrorists led by Hans Gruber (the brilliant Alan Rickman) seize control of the building.

McClane manages to escape detection, and where the action kicks into overdrive. Willis makes a very likable hero as John McClane, because he comes across as a more down to earth guy than other action heroes. An example is when the terrorists first seize the building, but instead of trying to be a hero, he just runs and tries to call for help.

This is believable behaviour to me, and you would expect anyone thrust into the same situation to do just that. Since the action is confined to an LA skyscraper, it makes for a more claustrophobic atmosphere and environment. With McClane crawling through air ducts and elevator shafts, the camera angles have you right in his face. In some ways, Die Hard reminds me of The Towering Inferno, the classic Irwin Allen film also set in a skyscraper. But they are still two very different films, with Die Hard being more about action.

McClane must now wage a one man war against Rickman's terrorists. It may sound ludicrous for one man to single-handedly pick off a group of heavily armed terrorists, but in this film it works. I think its because of Willis' likable performance of an ordinary man plunged into an extraordinary situation. I like the way he wears that white vest, that becomes increasingly dirtier as the film goes on. To me, this symbolises his transition from ordinary joe to the one man army he's been forced to become.

Alan Rickman oozes evil as Hans Gruber, who is principally interested in the 640 million dollars worth of negotiable bearer bonds in the Nakatomi building's vault. He is in complete control of the situation, even when McClane is causing high rise havoc with everything from automatic weapons to plastic explosives.

Rickman never loses his cool, and gets a lot of great lines. He even finds time to mock McClane, likening him to a cowboy. This is where McClane's famous catchphrase comes from Yippie Kayee Mother F###er. I like the way Rickman has the police (and later the FBI) at a complete disadvantage, bluffing his way past them about comrades in arms to keep them occupied. He simply weaves them into his plan, and he skillfully manipulates them to play right into his hands. This is a rare thing in an action film, where neither hero, nor villain upstages the other.

Reginald VelJohnson is also great as Sgt Al Powell, the only ally McClane has with the cops on the outside. Although they talk via radio, the two have great chemistry, and I like the scene when Al confides in McClane how he accidentally shot a kid, even though they've never met. This illustrates the bond between them. McClane returns the favour when asking Al if he could tell Holly he's sorry their marriage didn't work out. This shows his more sensitive side, but I think it shows depth to McClane's character, and doesn't come across as soppy. That's why he's such a great hero.

The stunts are incredible, in particular when McClane has to jump off the roof tied to a fire hose. I like the way he says just before he's about to jump "Oh God, please don't let me die", compared to some other action heroes like Schwarznegger or Stallone who would probably just jump. This again demonstrates what a realistic character he is playing.

Nailbiting stuntwork and spectacular pyrotechnics are impressive, and never overshadow the characterisation built upon throughout the film. The action scenes serve the plot, when in most action films, it is the other way around. There are some people who won't like the swearing (and even I found some of it unnecessary) but the film is still a masterpiece of action. Definitely John McTiernan's best film (although Predator was almost on a par) and its so stylish and witty right up to the nailbiting conclusion.

Die Hard even succeeds as a knowing commentary on the action film genre, dropping references to other action heroes, and exemplifies Bruce Willis as a new type of hero. One that can get hurt, one that feels pain, and one that actually has ties to the world.

The best of the Die Hard series, and I love the Christmas song Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow on the end credits to remind you it is still Christmas even after all this. Not to mention how liberating it is to watch a corporate building going up in flames.

Die Hard set a whole new standard for action films to come. There have been many imitations since, but none have ever managed to top the unforgettable adventure of Die Hard.
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